Chocolate Strawberry Crumb Cake

I sort of mentioned this in passing in a recent post, and got quite a few requests for the recipe.

Then I promptly forgot all about it.

When I realized I’d only posted two recipes this week (three is my norm) and that I hadn’t really done much cooking this week since Beloved is out of town on business, I decided I’d drag it out and post it.

You’re welcome.

This was one of those Sunday morning indulgences – I woke up and thought that a coffee cake-ish sort of thing sounded good and was in the mood to bake.  I had some fresh strawberries on hand and almost made a fruit buckle, but then decided to just put them on top of the cake and drizzle them with some melted dark chocolate.

It. Was. Wonderful.  Fruity and rich, but not too sweet; a great addition to our Sunday brunch.  It would make a nice dessert, too.

A couple of notes –  the coconut milk in the chocolate serves two purposes; it helps prevent the chocolate seizing up when it’s being melted (the double boiler also assists with this) and it helps keep the chocolate from re-hardening after it’s been drizzled over the strawberries.  You can use heavy cream if you prefer.

Also, the servings are not huge, but they don’t really need to be – it’s pretty filling due to the nuts, both the almond flour and the almonds in the topping.  Just keep in mind this is not diet food; it’s neither low in carbs nor calories, but most treats/desserts aren’t.

Chocolate Strawberry Crumb Cake. Fruity and rich, but not too sweet - a great addition to your Sunday brunch.

Click to enlarge

Chocolate Strawberry Crumb Cake
Serves: 8 to 12
Ingredients
  • Cake:
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 2 tablespoons potato flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup ghee or clarified butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Crumble:
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped almonds
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tablespoons potato flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter, melted
  • Topping:
  • 1 quart fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 3 ounces good-quality dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Stir together the dry ingredients – the flours, salt, baking soda and coconut sugar – in a large mixing bowl. Add the wet ingredients – eggs, ghee, and vanilla – and mix on medium speed until the ingredients are combined. Increase the speed to high and mix until the batter is very smooth, about 2 minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine all the ingredients for the crumble except the ghee. Stir in the ghee, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is moist and crumbly, but not wet.
  4. Pour the batter into a well-greased 8″ x 8″ baking dish, then top with the crumble (there will be a lot). Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  6. While the cake is cooling, combine the chocolate and coconut milk in the top of a double boiler over simmering, not boiling, water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is completely melted and combined with the coconut milk.
  7. Layer the sliced strawberries on top of the cooled cake and drizzle with the melted chocolate. Cut into squares and serve.
  8. Nutrition (per serving): 373 calories, 24.9g total fat, 64.5mg cholesterol, 91.2mg sodium, 483.6mg potassium, 32.1g carbohydrates, 6.9g fiber, 16.8g sugar, 6.1g protein

Blackberry Buckle

It is Friday and I can’t even BEGIN to express how pathetically grateful I am that this week, which has just been horrific, is at an end.  On the upside, I’m please to report that what had us so very frightened at the beginning of the week turned out to be pretty much a non-issue.  We still don’t have the whole story or all of the results so I still can’t post about it, but as soon as I do, I will.  But aside from the fact Beloved seems to be coming down with a cold and has some odd rash on the left side of his face, we’re all fine and everything seems to be returning to normal.

Or I so fervently hope.

Anyhoo, today’s recipe is my version of the classic fruit buckle.  The base of buckle is a rich cake batter, which is sprinkled with fresh fruit and then topped with a streusel mixture. During the baking process, the cake batter rises up around the fruit, encasing the fruit in batter and causing the streusel to buckle, giving it a bumpy, uneven appearance.

Is it good?  Well, let’s just put it this way:  I don’t think this lasted 24 hours in our house.  We’d all walk by the covered dish it was in, sitting on the counter in the kitchen and cut a tiny piece, which decimated it pretty quickly (and no, it wouldn’t be inappropriate to suggest we were finding excuses to walk past it).

If you have a nut allergy, I apologize, because this is just full of almonds, which accounts for it’s calorie and fat content.  However, if you don’t this is one of those special treat desserts that is certain to please your family.  I used blackberries because they were on sale at the store (it may not be berry season here, but it is in California), but you can use just about any fruit you want.  I may make it again this summer when the local peaches are ripe.  Mmmmm, peaches…

Blackberry Buckle. This homey, gluten-free dessert can be made with just about any kind of fruit.

Blackberry Buckle
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 2 tablespoons potato flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup ghee or clarified butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pint fresh blackberries
  • Topping:
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped almonds
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tablespoons potato flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Stir together the dry ingredients – the flours, salt, baking soda and coconut sugar – in a large mixing bowl. Add the wet ingredients – eggs, ghee, and vanilla – and mix on medium speed until the ingredients are combined. Increase the speed to high and mix until the batter is very smooth, about 2 minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine all the ingredients for the topping except the ghee. Stir in the ghee, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is moist and crumbly, but not wet.
  4. Pour the batter into a well-greased 8″ x 8″ baking dish and scatter the blackberries evenly over the surface, then top with the almond mixture (there will be a lot). Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Cool completely on a wire rack; cut into squares and serve.
  6. Nutrition (per serving): 448 calories, 31.6g total fat, 96.5mg cholesterol, 132.5mg sodium, 382mg potassium, 33.4g carbohydrates, 6.9g fiber, 16.7g sugar, 7.4g protein

Chocolate Banana Snack Cake

You do odd things at 4 a.m. because you can’t sleep.  Like bake a cake.

Well, that’s not the only reason, but it is the reason I was doing it at 4 a.m. in the morning.

It’s that time of year again – our funds are squeezed due to all the darn food we’re buying and preserving to get us through most of the year.  We’ve canned 4 bushels of tomatoes, a half bushel of green beans (and will probably do another bushel before it’s said and done), canned or frozen 5 dozen ears of local sweet corn, canned I don’t know how many jars of salsa from our our garden (we’re growing both tomatoes and peppers), and I’m planning on roasting and canning a variety of squashes, including pumpkin, in the next few weeks.  We’re picking up our latest side of beef this week, have another hog coming in October, and if the hunting gods favor me, I’ll have at least one deer in the freezer before the season is over.  I’d also like to get another goat, if not two.

I know it seems odd that I’m using that as an excuse to bake a cake, but I’ve already got everything I need in my pantry to bake it.  Let me explain a little further…

The Young One, who these days would be better described as The Young Bottomless Pit, takes his lunch to school every day.  He takes a sandwich on sprouted whole wheat bread, nuts (he’s fond of pistachios and cashews), cheese cubes (we buy large blocks just for this purpose), fruit of some sort (this week it’s apples and grapes), carrot sticks, celery stuffed with some sort of nut butter, and a fig bar or other cookie purchased from our local natural foods store.

Those nuts and cookies are flippin’ expensive, so he’s not getting them this week.  He’s getting home-popped organic popcorn, of which I have a generous supply in my cupboards, and this snack cake – if his reaction this morning is anything to go by, I’m probably screwed and will never get to buy him a cookie again.  Not surprising; the cake is dense, moist and chocolatey, and really pretty quick and easy to throw together.   It requires no icing or other adornment (although I bet it would be great topped with a nice chocolate ganache), and you get 16 servings out of an 8-inch square pan.

Works for me…even at 4 a.m.

Chocolate Banana Snack Cake
Chocolate Banana Snack Cake
Chocolate Banana Snack Cake

Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tablespoons potato flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large very ripe bananas
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 4 tablespoons melted ghee or clarified butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F; generously grease an 8″ x 8″ baking pan.
  2. Whisk together the flours, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or another large mixing bowl if using a hand mixer), mix the eggs, bananas, sugar, ghee and vanilla on
  3. medium speed until well blended. Mix in the almond flour mixture in three additions on low speed, mixing well and scraping down the sides after each addition.
  4. Spread the batter (it will be thick) into the prepared baking pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Place on a wire rack and allow to cool. Cut into16 squares for serving.
  6. Nutrition (per serving): 173 calories, 10.2g total fat, 42.5mg cholesterol, 172.3mg sodium, 208.4mg potassium, 16.8g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 7.7g sugar, 2g protein

 

Nectarine Crumb Cake

‘Tis Wednesday.

This is a good thing.

Not everything is good, of course; one of my most vexing problems right now is that there was a massive update to the recipe plugin I use – Easy Recipe – that has broken the “print” function on each recipe.  I’ve contacted the developers and they are working on it, but I have no idea when it will be fixed.  I do apologize, and in the meantime if you want a printable version of a recipe on the site, just shoot me an email via the contact page, and I’ll send you a .pdf file of the recipe right away.

At any rate, it took me awhile after the Whole30 (which I think is rather the point), but I finally baked something again.  I don’t bake or make a “treat” every week, but when I do it’s usually part of our Sunday brunch, just about the only “leisurely” meal we have.  This was no exception.

If you recall, my first treat after completing the Whole30 was the much desired waffle, topped with nectarines poached in a lovely honey-tarragon syrup.  There were three of the fruits left, and they’d been sitting on my counter, staring at me, for the better part of a week when I decided I’d better use them before they went bad.  But what to make?  Some sort of coffee cake sounded appealing, so that’s what I did.

This is based on my Coconut-Cinnamon Coffee Cake recipe; the major difference is there is not nearly as much cinnamon in the topping, and no spices in the cake at all – just juicy, luscious pieces of ripe nectarines.  I also tweaked the amounts of the flours used, because I was worried about the fruit making the cake soggy; the proportions worked really well, and the cake has a moist crumb without being dense or mushy.  Nor is it unduly sweet.  In fact, it’s not very sweet at all – it is mostly just fruity and delicious.

And worth every bite.

Nectarine Crumb Cake
Nectarine Crumb Cake
Nectarine Crumb Cake

Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tablespoons potato flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 very ripe nectarines, diced
  • Topping
  • 1/2 cup date sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Stir together the dry ingredients – the flours, salt and baking soda – in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the wet ingredients – eggs, coconut oil, honey and vanilla – and mix on medium speed until the ingredients are combined; scrape down the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula. Increase the speed to high and mix until the batter is very smooth, about 2 minutes. Gently fold in the diced nectarines.
  3. For the topping, combine the date sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add the coconut oil, and rub it into the mixture with your fingers or a fork until it resembles wet sand. Stir in the coconut until well combined and set aside.
  4. Pour the batter into a well-greased 8″ x 8″ baking dish and sprinkle the topping evenly over the surface. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack; cut into squares and serve.
  5. Nutrition (per serving): 299 calories, 19.3g total fat, 69.8mg cholesterol, 143mg sodium, 284.8mg potassium, 26.5g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 16.6g sugar, 3.6g protein

 

Chocolate Cupcakes

With chocolate buttercream.

Oh yes, I did.

Now, to give me credit, The G Man was spending the night with us on Friday and what kind of Meema would I be if I didn’t make some sort of treat for my adorable grandson?  Besides, these are about as primal, if not strictly paleo, as a cupcake can get – no refined flours or sugars of any kind – and still be pretty darn moist and delicious.  AND topped with an airy-yet-delectable chocolate frosting.

The cupcakes were good; the texture was a little more rustic than a traditional cupcake, but any baked item made with almond meal will have that quality – they were still pretty moist and tender (to say nothing of being the embodiment of chocolatey deliciousness).  Without the frosting, they come in about 13 grams of carbohydrate per serving – not bad for a chocolate cupcake.  The frosting was a traditional neoclassic buttercream, but I subbed the corn syrup and sugar with honey.  It came out really well, but the honey flavor was a bit overwhelming at first; refrigerating the cupcakes after they’d been iced mitigated that a great deal.  I also used the raw honey from our local bee keeper – next time, I’ll probably use a mild commercial honey.  But considering the original recipe calls for 1/2 cup of corn syrup and 3/4 cup white sugar, I think the substitution of 2/3 cup of honey was a good choice.  It certainly didn’t hurt the texture of the finished product, which is part of its appeal.

A couple of things you want to keep in mind when making these – the frosting, in particular.  Make sure the honey comes to a complete boil, or else the buttercream won’t firm up enough to spread or pipe, but don’t allow it boil beyond that or it’ll boil right over the top of the saucepan.  Also, take care when transferring it to the glass measuring up – it will foam up a bit and overflow the container if you’re not careful.  Also, I use a stand mixture for this because the eggs and honey must be beaten until completely cool before adding the butter or else it will curdle, and this takes a little time.  So if you’re using a hand mixer, be prepared to stand there for awhile.

You can probably add up to 4 ounce of chocolate – I used a 70% bittersweet – to the buttercream before it becomes too stiff to spread or pipe, but I wouldn’t add any more.  Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler, or a bowl suspended over simmering water in a saucepan, but make sure the chocolate is relatively cool to the touch before adding it to the buttercream, or you’ll run the risk of curdling the mixture.

If you plan on refrigerating the buttercream before frosting the cupcakes, bring it completely to room temperature and beat it again with the mixer to restore the texture.  If you don’t bring it completely to room temperature before rebeating, it will curdle.

Note:  you’ll notice this makes 10 cupcakes instead of a dozen.  Sorry about that, but that’s how much batter this particular recipe makes.  You will have enough frosting for a dozen though; hand the leftovers and a spoon to someone so it won’t be hanging around the kitchen, tempting you.

Chocolate Cupcakes
Chocolate Cupcakes
Chocolate Cupcakes
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 1 tablespoon potato flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup ghee or clarified butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Chocolate Buttercream
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup mild honey
  • 8 ounces butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 ounces high-quality dark chocolate, melted
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 10 cups of a standard muffin tin; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, cocoa, salt and baking soda. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer), mix together the egg, coconut sugar, ghee, coconut milk and vanilla on low speed until well-blended. Add the dry ingredients in three additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition, until the batter is smooth.
  3. Divide the batter equally between the 10 greased muffin tins. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in one of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes; remove the cupcakes from the pan and cool completely before frosting.
  4. To make the buttercream, grease a heat-proof 1-cup glass measuring cup. Set aside.
  5. In a medium bowl, beat the yolks with an electric mixer until light in color. Meanwhile, heat the honey in a small saucepan over medium-high heat just until it comes to a full boil. Immediately transfer the honey to the glass measuring cup to stop the cooking.
  6. If using an electric hand-held mixer, beat the hot honey into the yolks in a steady stream. Do not allow honey to fall on the beaters or they will spin it onto the sides of the bowl. If using a stand mixer, pour a small amount of honey over the yolks with the mixer turned off. Immediately beat at high speed for 5 seconds. Stop the mixer and add a larger amount of honey. Beat at high speed for 5 seconds. Continue with the remaining honey; for the last addition, use a rubber scraper to remove the honey clinging to the measuring cup. Continue beating until completely cool.
  7. Gradually beat in the butter and vanilla – the buttercream will not completely thicken until all of the butter has been added. Once all of the butter has been incorporated, beat in the melted chocolate – make sure the chocolate is not hot. Buttercream can be refrigerated; bring to room temperature and rebeat to restore the texture before using.
  8. Nutrition (per serving): 484 calories, 37.2g total fat, 175.1mg cholesterol, 141.4mg sodium, 232.6mg potassium, 33.8g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 26.9g sugar, 4.3g protein