Delicious Low Carb Recipe - Flourless Dark Chocolate Espresso Cake

Gluten Free Dairy Free Healthy Chocolate Cake

This absolutely divine chocolate cake is a birthday gift for Mom and David. Happy birthday guys!! This recipe comes from my somewhat-recent obsession with low carb chocolate desserts and from Karina's Flourless Chocolate Cake recipe. Thank you Goddess! I am really excited to try this ... if there is any left after the birthday folks devour their share :) Karina, I hope you are doing better. I know you can't have this recipe with the eggs and probably not even the vegan butter (?) :(

Since I was always one of those kids who failed the basic "read and follow directions" quizzes, I decided to alter Karina's basic recipe to be lower carb. I omitted the organic cane sugar entirely and substituted Stevia, unsweetened pineapple juice, a tad of organic brown sugar for texture, and cinnamon instead. I'll tell you that the batter is fantastic, so I think it will be sweet enough.* I also decided to lump in extra espresso grinds as I blended the batter since fresh espresso grinds can't possibly make it worse. Can't possibly, no way jose.

*This cake is absolutely delicious - it has a rich, fudge-like consistency and deep dark chocolate taste. I will definitely be making this again - possibly for our wedding.

Chocolate Espresso Heaven by the Slice
1 12 oz bag Sunspire unsweetened dark chocolate chips (or your favorite dark chocolate bar)*
1/4 c. hot fresh espresso **
~1 T. fresh espresso grinds (optional, but man its good)
1 T. organic vanilla***
1 T. cinnamon
4 heaping T of unsweetened baking cocoa powder
1/4 c. (powdered) Stevia
1 T. organic brown sugar
1/4 c. unsweetened pineapple juice
6 free range organic eggs, room temperature
2 sticks Earth Balance Vegan light butter, room temperature (I know that's a lot, but it makes the consistency for a flourless cake. See the bottom for a butterless variation.

My first remark is that I used the Vita-Mix for the whole grinding and mixing process. You can use a food processor or your blender if you prefer. The Vitamix made the preparation very fast and fun. I love to watch it go!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat either two cake pans or preferably a large springform pan with nonstick spray. First, add the Stevia, brown sugar, cinnamon, espresso grinds, and chocolate chips to the Vitamix. I did this as I made my second double shot of espresso so I just so happened to have extra grinds to add. It is not as if I used the cake as an excuse to make more espresso, nor as if I used the espresso as an excuse to make the cake - nope. In fact, if you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell .. call me. Anyway, grind the chips and dry ingredients up for about 10-15 seconds as shown below. I did this for a very sort time since I wanted to preserve a few whole chips for the cake.

Vita-Mix chocolate cake recipe
grinding the chocolate chips

Add the pineapple juice and hot espresso. Blend for ~5 seconds until creamy. Add the cocoa powder, vanilla, eggs, and vegan butter. You may wish to scrape off the sides with a spatula before you start blending again to make sure no dry powder is stuck. I just cracked the eggs and poured everything right into the Vitamix as shown below, but if you're not using the Vitamix, beware. The Vitamix has a very large container ( ~8 c.) which makes it perfect for batters like this, smoothies, and soups. However, your blender or food processor may not be this large so be careful not to overflow it.

Vita-Mix fudge recipe
all batter in the Vitamix, ready to rock n' roll

Replace the lid and mix on variable medium-high for about 30 to 45 seconds until smooth. Again, you may need to use the spatula (or the Vitamix damper) to scrape the sides as you go.

Pour the batter into the greased springform or two cake pans. I made the mistake of only using 1 cake pan and it almost overflowed. We had some tense moments baking, having to quickly slide a cookie sheet under the cake pan to prepare for an overflow. After all, it didn't overflow - thank goodness! If it had, I probably would have been a moron and tried to lick the bottom of the oven after it cooled since it smelled so good :)

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes (for 1 cake pan). You will need to shorten the time for 2 pans - I estimate about 30 minutes or so. Bake until the middle is set and a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to completely cool - hands off (that's a reminder for me). Once cooled, cover and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours or longer so it is nice and firm, thick, and deliciously lip-smacking chewy (think fudge texture but better). My cake edges fell a little but it isn't a problem. Karina recommends pressing the cake gently with the spatula to even out the surface after cooling, but I am too lazy for that so, as I like to say, to each his his/her own. Serve cooled with obnoxious birthday hats :) The hats are optional. I wonder if Burger King still gives out paper crowns for birthday kids?

Gluten Free Dairy Free Healthy Chocolate Brownies
GF DF Chocolate Cake

No butter flourless dark chocolate espresso cake:
The butter recipe is the exact same, minus the butter. I made a tiny single serving of the batter without the vegan butter as an experiment. It baked for about 12 minutes. Omitting the butter does change the consistency by a fair amount. This variation is sticky and reminiscent of very moist fudge, but still tastes phenomenal. I think both recipes make delicious desserts and I am going to make both again.

Gluten Free Slice of Chocolate Fudge Cake
No butter GF DF chocolate cake

Rants/ Sidenotes:
* These are gluten and dairy free, but always read the ingredients anyways

** I used freshly ground Newman's Own French Roast beans. They are organic, free trade and shade grown (and on sale at Harris Teeter, yay!)

*** Watch for sales on the fancy organic spices and extracts. We found this organic fair trade vanilla on sale and with a coupon at our local co-op. Getting fair trade spices, herbs, and extracts is important if you can manage it. Supporting the local farmers is vital since usually large haciendas or companies take over the market and either under pay and overwork, or put the locals out of business. Also, the quality of more local fair trade products is better in my experience. Judge for yourself, but just so you know. I might do a post on fair trade issues later.

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