Chocolate ❤ Cakes
About a month ago, I found a Williams-Sonoma heart cakelet pan in my notorious stash of almost-anything-you-could-want. (Mine is no longer available, but a similar one can be found here.) I immediately thought that I needed to put it to good use, and what else would one do with a heart shaped pan, but make ... lotion bars! Then I noticed the $38 sticker was still on the pan and thought I probably shouldn't use a brand new Nordic Ware for lotion bars! Instead, I headed to the desk for a bit of recipe crafting, with the hope of coming up with something delicious to bake in time for Valentine's Day.
Now you might think that someone like me, who doesn't prefer chocolate and can't eat nuts and shouldn't have avocado, would make something that contains none of those, but that would hardly be a Lory move. I'm complex! I live on the edge! I do what I wanna do! (And I have a brother who adores chocolate and almonds and who prefers a Paleo-ish way of eating. Also - I like dark chocolate, just has not milk chocolate! Don't try to fool me with semisweet, either!) With the idea of making a flourless, dairy-free cake with no processed sugar, I went to my cake notebooks. For someone who doesn't cook often, I have put in a ridiculous amount of time drafting and testing recipes. After a few tries, I finally got these right. And when I say "right," I mean they are pretty much to die for. (I suspect that these can easily be adapted for a vegan diet by replacing the three eggs with 2/3 cup of unsweetened apple sauce. My mom used to do those substitutions regularly without any problems, but I make no guarantees!)
1/2 cup unrefined coconut oil
214 g 63-70% cacao dark chocolate (I prefer Valrhona, Divine, or Guittard; if you don't mind dairy, Ghirardelli is decent chocolate and widely available)
3 T cocoa powder (I chose
1 well-mashed organic avocado
2 T brewed espresso
1 c organic almond flour
1 c organic Medjool dates, pureed
3/4 c coconut palm sugar
2 T vanilla extract (I chose
3 large organic, local eggs
Dash of kosher salt
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray your cakelets with organic baking spray.
2. Fill the bottom of a double boiler with water. Bring to a boil. Once the water below comes to a boil, turn the heat to low. In the top bowl of the double boiler, place the oil and chocolate. Stirring gently, allow the chocolate to melt completely. Be patient and do not cover. Remove from heat. Stir in your cocoa powder, allowing it to fully incorporate into the chocolate and oil. Stir in 2 T of brewed espresso.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla, and salt. To the egg mixture, add date puree and coconut palm sugar. Stir until well combined.
4. Combine chocolate mixture with mashed avocado and almond flour. Be sure to break up any clumps of almond flour in your mixture. Once thoroughly and smoothly combined, add egg mixture.
5. Pour the batter into your cakelet tins, filling 2/3 of the way. Bake at 350° until cake tester comes out clean, about 25-35 minutes, depending on your oven, the alignment of the stars and the color of your pan.
6. Even though these look like individual cakes because the recipe makes six, they are really too rich for just one person, so share it with someone who has captured your heart.
I served my chocolate cakes with a rapsberry sauce, fresh raspberries, and one scoop each of chocolate and vanilla (coconut milk) ice cream. The wine I served was a wonderful Raspberry Merlot from a local winery that I love, Fabbioli Cellars. It was a fantastic treat! I hope you'll try the recipe yourself.