Let me just start by saying – this is not your ordinary cake. It is completely free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar. It is filled with healthy fats, fibres and minerals from coconut, cacao and dates. Plus – it is super simple to throw together. Can you believe that?
One of my friends asked me (with a smile of course, but did I sense a little fear too?) when posting this cake on Instagram the other day: – What? Can’t we even be allowed to have cake made with loads of sugar and butter anymore?
I think there is nothing wrong with sugar and butter (in fact I especially love butter, and use it often) as long as we keep it for treats once or twice a week. But if a cake can be made a little healthier – and equally good, or even better than the less healthy counterpart – why not go for the healthier alternative?
This cake have everything you can ask of a cake. First of all – my two favorite things combined, chocolate and coffee – woo hoo! And with no grains or added sugar, this is a great one to share with family and friends to help convince them healthier food is the future.
When I saw this cake on Nordmat a while back, I instantly bookmarked it. It was one of those recipes I just knew I had to try. I’ve baked it a few times now, and only made some minor changes to the original recipe. For the cake base I’ve tried both maple syrup and coconut sugar and both work very well. If using maple syrup your cake will become a little sweeter and a tad more moist than with coconut sugar. Either way, this is a very rich and moist cake without that overly sweet aftertaste.
I prefer using a neutral coconut oil, so that the coconut flavor doesn’t take over. But that is up to you and your taste buds of course! And if you don’t have an espresso machine, just use a strong solution of instant coffee or regular (strong!) coffee. I also like to add a tablespoon of instant coffee powder to the caramel to get that full-bodied coffee flavour.
Now go ahead and try this cake for your next gathering or birthday! Or make half a batch, bake in silicone muffin molds (200° C for about 12-15 minutes), top the muffins with the caramel+berries and enjoy on an ordinary Monday evening!
Coco crazy chocolate cake with salted espresso caramel
Adapted from Nordmat, original recipe by Megan Guertner/Pur Oslo
3/4 cup coconut flour
3/4 cup coconut sugar or maple syrup
3/4 cup (raw) cacao powder
1 tsp sea salt
1,5 tsp baking powder (aluminium free)
4 shots espresso, cooled (about 3/4 cup)
6 eggs, lightly beaten with a fork
3/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil (preferably neutral)
3/4 cup coconut milk
Salted espresso caramel
1 cup dates (medjool or regular), soaked for 3-5 hours and drained
3 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp almond butter
2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil (again neutral)
1 tsp powdered vanilla
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp instant coffee (the powder), optional
2 shots espresso, cooled (about 1/3 cup)
1) Preheat the oven to 200° C (400° F). Line the bottom of three round springforms (approx. 15 cm/6 inches) with parchment paper and lightly oil the sides with coconut oil.
2) In a medium sized bowl mix all the dry ingredients for the cake. Add the wet ingredients and stir until well combined.
3) Divide the mixture equally in the three springforms and bake for about 18-20 minutes on the middle rack, or until a until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
4) Place all ingredients for the caramel in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and shiny.
5) Assemble the cake with the caramel between the three layers and decorate with seasonal berries or fruit.