Friday, June 16, 2017

Chocolate Espresso Coconut Cake

This cake is basically everything you look for in a chocolate loaf cake - delicious, tender,
moist, and chocolatey. And it is gluten-free.



In all honesty I really didn't think I would have a need to bake something gluten-free, but recently one of my daughters cut back on carbs and I felt guilty that she could not enjoy all of the baked goods I usually make. Since I had no experience in this area I did some quick searches online, and the one product that keep coming up was coconut flour.




Coconut flour is made from the pulp left over after producing coconut milk. After being dried out, the pulp is ground into a powdery flour. It has rapidly gained in popularity because it does not have the gluten found in the most commonly used grains - wheat, barley, rye - making is perfect for those suffering from celiac disease. It is also high in fiber and low in carbohydrates so it is a great choice for those on a paleo diet or those just watching their carbs intake.  Since it is a low glycemic food, it doesn’t spike blood sugar levels which actually makes coconut flour very beneficial for people who struggle with diabetes, as well as those working on reaching healthy weight. Besides all of this it tastes really good.





There are a couple of things you need to take into consideration when baking with coconut flour. Although you only need a small amount of coconut flour in most recipes, it is very absorbent so you will need extra liquids such as water, coconut oil, melted butter, coconut milk, or pureed fruit. You will also need more eggs than a traditional recipe to help improve the texture of the batter and to help the cake to rise. Also, you need to let the batter rest for about 10 minutes prior to baking to allow the batter to fully absorb all of the liquid and to see if you may need to add a little more.  It is important to note that substituting coconut flour for wheat flour is not a one-to-one ratio.





Since I have never baked with coconut flour before, I really did not know what to expect. Would the cake be dry? Would the coconut flavor totally overwhelm the cake?  Would it be hard to slice? Would my family like it?  I am happy to say that it worked out perfectly. This cake is so easy to make that you don't even need a hand-mixer, you can just use a whisk. It was moist, it had a great chocolate flavor, the coconut was very subtle, it sliced like a dream, and my family loved it. Loved it to the point that I should have baked two loaves since it was gone in no time.  I can't wait to experiment more with this flour, and I have already bookmarked a lot of recipes I want to try. Also, how beautiful is my Nordic Ware Anniversary Loaf Pan? I received it, along with a bundt pan, as a Mother's Day Gift from my daughter Monique.  She certainly knows the way to my heart. ❤️





Chocolate Espresso Coconut Cake

Ingredients
  • 64g (½ cup) coconut flour
  • 5g (1 teaspoon) baking powder
  • 85g (6 tablespoons) butter
  • 50g (½ cup) Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 5g (1 teaspoon) espresso powder
  • 160g (¾ cup) sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 5ml (1 teaspoon) vanilla extract
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature

Preparation
  1. Preheat the oven to 180℃ (350°F).
  2. Grease a 22cm x 11cm (8½" x 4½") loaf pan or an 20cm x 20cm (8"x 8") square cake pan.
  3. Sift together the coconut flour and baking powder; set aside.
  4. In a large, microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter with the cocoa and espresso powder, stirring until well blended.
  5. Whisk the sugar, salt, vanilla, and eggs into the butter-cocoa mixture.
  6. Add the coconut flour and baking powder, whisking until smooth.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. 
  8. Let it rest for 10 minutes prior to baking.
  9. Bake the cake for 35-45 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  10. Cool the cake in the pan for 30 minutes before turning it out onto a rack to cool completely, prior to slicing.



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