Sunday, February 23, 2014

Food Swoon's First Birthday & A Flourless Chocolate Cake!

It's Food Swoon's First Birthday!!  It's crazy to think that it has already been one year writing this blog.  It hasn't been a year free of drama though, there has been more than one time that I've considered throwing in the towel.  I started this blog as a creative outlet for myself, but it's really alot of work!  I like to stay busy and learn new skills, and feel like I have something to look forward to, even in the dull-drum routine of the everyday.  Wake up, workout, get the kids ready for school, go to work, come home, cook dinner, extra-curricular activity of the season, go to bed, routine.  Something I think many of you can relate to.
This blog allows me to think ahead and look forward to how I could make dinner a little more exciting!  Maybe an extra special batch of cookies on the weekend, instead of the same old recipe over and over.  I get to practice my photography skills, and hone my computer and writing skills...I've come a long way, some of those first photos are totally cringe-worthy, but still have a long way to go!  I constantly harass Cory to help me figure out Photoshop, and other web design stuff that confounds me, and my kids enjoy thinking of Sunday Funday activities, even if I have less time to post them than last year.  If nothing else, this blog has become a fun little family project.  
Hopefully you've enjoyed the journey as well?  Please comment on posts and let me know what you think - it gives me feedback and inspiration, especially on the days I'm feeling like giving up!

For my first Blog Birthday, I really debated on what I should make to celebrate.  It was going to be cake, that part was easy.  But what kind of cake?!  Too many cakes ideas, swirling in my brain!  
Cory really thought I should make my signature cake - Carrot Cake.  But I have made that sooooo many times, I just wasn't feeling it.  I wanted the cake that I've never had the opportunity to bake.  
I was craving a chocolate cake...somewhat healthy?...and guilt-free if possible?  This Flourless Chocolate Cake fit the bill perfectly!   It turned out to be one of the most decadent tasting cakes I have ever created.  So rich, and dark, and chocolaty.  Almost the consistency of a cheesecake, because it is that dense.  But get this! This cake contains NO white sugar, NO butter, NO heavy creams, NO white flour!  Yes!  Gloriously clean, and gluten-free!  

P.S.  For my blog birthday I (finally) added another social media tool. Come follow more Food Swooning on Instagram!

Flourless Chocolate Cake
Recipe Adapted From:Yammies Gluten Freedom

1 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 cups chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips ( I used 76% Cocoa President’s Choice Black Label Equateur Origine baking chocolate)
6 eggs
1 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup strong coffee
1 Tablespoon vanilla
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease three cake pans, and line with parchment paper, or dust with cocoa.
Melt the oils and chocolate chips on the stove top using a double boiler, I use a make shift double boiler, with a stainless steel bowl placed on top of a pot of simmering water.  You could also use the microwave in a pinch.
While chocolate is melting, beat together the eggs and sugar for about five minutes at high speed until pale and doubled in volume. Add the coffee and vanilla to the eggs continuing to beat.  Next sift in the cocoa and salt and mix again.  And finally, stream in the melted chocolate and oil, beating until combined.  Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans, try to smooth out as best as possible, as they don't really rise or even out during baking.  Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out with some crumbs attached but no longer wet.  Allow to cool completely before frosting.

2 cups chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips
3/4 cup coconut milk
3-4 Tablespoons agave or honey (Optional - I used really dark chocolate, so wanted to add a little sweetness)

Using a double boiler, melt chocolate, then slowly add 3/4 cup of coconut milk, whisking as you add.  Whisk in the agave or honey as well, if you would like more sweetness.  Once smooth and glossy, you can use the ganache just like this, or you can whip it up a bit for some added volume for layers.  Reserve half the ganache for whipping for layers, and the other half for pouring over the top. 
Place the bowl of melted chocolate in a larger bowl of ice water and whip vigorously, add the extra coconut milk if you wish for creamier layers.
Spread the ganache, or the whipped ganache in between the layers of cake, and then allow to chill briefly, before pouring the pure ganache over the top of the cake, allowing simply to drip over the sides, or spreading until smooth.


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