Another Reason to Celebrate

With the holiday season upon us, sugary sweet indulgences seem to be lurking at every office party, open house, and seasonal gathering.  Many of us make and eat the same indulgent desserts each year, despite the refined sugar and white flour.  Traditions are good, but imbalanced blood sugar and expanding waist lines are not.

This holiday season, why not update your baking repertoire with delicious treats that pack in the flavor without all the junk?   Try a rich Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Brownie Cake, made with coconut flour and sweetened only with maple syrup, or protein-packed fluffy Almond Cake sweetened with honey (recipes to follow).  Guaranteed to please,  these treats use high-quality ingredients and all natural sweeteners.

The Bauman College Natural Chef students in Berkeley had a great time baking and decorating a multitude of delicious cakes  (see picture).  They creatively topped their cakes with things like shredded coconut, toasted nuts, or fresh fruit for an extra health-supportive boost.

So relax: you don’t have to skip the holiday party, or even the dessert!  You’ve now got another reason to celebrate: you really can have your cake and eat it too….

Happy Holidays!

Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Brownie Cake

8 oz 100 % dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into several pieces
3/4 cup maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1/3 cup sorghum flour
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp xanthan gum

1. Preheat oven to 325 F.  Line the bottom of two 6 inch round cake pans with parchment and grease the sides.
2. Place a medium metal bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.  Add the chocolate and butter, and stir frequently until melted.
3. Remove from heat and whisk in the maple syrup and vanilla.  Slowly add the eggs, one at a time, whisking continuously.  Whisk the mixture until it is smooth and glossy.
4. In a separate bowl, sift together the flours, salt, baking powder, and xanthan gum.  Add the dry mix to the chocolate mixture and mix until incorporated.
5. Divide batter evenly by weight, pour into the pans, and bake for 35 minutes, checking after 30 minutes.  Cakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean and the center bounces back when touched.
6. Allow cakes to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes.  Then, run an offset spatula around the edges and invert over a wire rack.  Cool completely before frosting.

Yield: two 6 inch cakes

Author: Kasey Caletti, Natural Chef

Almond Cake

1 1/4 cups whole almonds (will need 1 1/2 cups ground)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4  tsp plus 1/8 tsp salt
3 eggs, separated
3 Tbs honey
2 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 small pinch  cream of tartar

1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. Oil and line with parchment, one 6″ pan.
3. Grind the almonds in a food processor until finely ground, like almond flour.  Add to a large bowl with the baking powder and salt.  Mix until combined.
4. Separate the eggs.  Add the yolks to one bowl and the whites to another (or to the bowl of a stand mixer).  Add the honey and vanilla extract to the egg yolks and whisk to combine.
5. Add the egg yolk mixture into the ground almond mixture and mix until well-combined.
6. Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites.  Whip the egg whites with a whisk. electric mixer, or in a stand mixer until stiff peaks form (make sure the whites are still moist and not dry or over-whipped).
7. With a spatula, very gently fold the egg whites into the almond mixture until well-combined, folding in about 1/3 of the egg whites at a time.  Since the almond mixture is thick, this will take about 15 minutes to do properly.  Work slowly and gently.
8. Pour the cake batter gently into the prepared pan and tip gently to spread evenly and smooth on top.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, checking at 25 minutes with a toothpick.  Allow to cool completely.

Yield: one 6″ cake
Author: Bauman College Staff