Oh, January. I've never felt anything verging on the January blues. I actually really, really like January. Especially this January, which has involved lots of plans, exciting prospects and lifestyle choices. I'm not one for going on a 'detox' after Christmas, as I feel no one should feel shameful for enjoying rich and indulgent treats during Yuletide! I've often blamed Christmas for a few pounds gained here and there, but the truth of it is that being busy and to be honest, a bit lazy, I've gotten in to some questionable eating habits. Think hand-rolled sausage rolls in the Clapham Junction underpass...
So yes, I guess I am on a detox of sorts, more in an attempt to feel less sluggish and grumpy in the day time than for any aesthetic reason. I'm currently one week in to a month of going Paleo (I'll talk more about that another time) and whilst I've been eating enough sweet potatoes to sink a ship, I've also acknowledged and accepted that I've got to get baking again! Healthy eating doesn't have to be boring, so I've devised this minimal sugar, gluten free and grain free cake, which has been a keen weekend treat of late.
Paleo Dark Chocolate and Almond Cake
100g 85% chocolate
2 tablespoons raw honey
150g ground almonds
4 eggs, separated
1 tbsp dark chocolate cacao powder
1 tsp baking soda
Note: Add less baking soda and slightly less ground almonds if you want a more mousse-like texture.
1 // Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
2 // Melt the butter, honey and chocolate in a heat proof mixing bowl over a simmering pot of water. When this has completely melted, remove it from the heat and set to one side.
3 // Beat the eggs yolks in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they are fluffy and form stiff peaks.
4 // Add the ground almonds, baking soda, egg yolks and cacao powder into the melted chocolate mixture until well combined. Carefully fold in the eggs whites until you have a loose mixture.
5 // Grease a cake tin with coconut oil and pour in the mixture. Place in the oven and cook for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
This cake is rich but not sickly at all, and with absolutely no refined sugars inside it's not going to give you the guilts! I was skeptical at first when I started looking at Paleo baking recipes, but the main principle is good quality ingredients and grass-fed dairy products that give a cake a tasty, velvety texture. Yum! This cake would also freeze well - if you're struggling to get through a 20cm bake with only two people... It also helps if you've got a chap ready to hand over the egg whipping to!
Could we call this a healthy bake? Sure, why not!
Do you have any cakes or bakes that you turn to in order to satisfy a pudding craving but not seem too indulgent? I'd love to know!
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