Featured Ingredient: Almond Flour
We decided to escape the Canadian winter chill and rent a place in Austin, Texas. The goal is to explore the countryside on bikes and test out the food scene, which promises to be tasty.
It was a long, long 2 1/2 day drive down from Ontario and unfortunately Tabi had to spend her birthday trapped in the car. So I thought I would ease her pain by bringing along some birthday chocolate cake.
Made by grinding up blanched almonds, almond flour infuses baked goods like these gluten-free individual cakes with high amounts of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and other vital nutrients like vitamin E. It’s now available at many grocers or grab some at bobsredmill.com.
I’ve found that when baking with grain-free flours like almond, it’s best to separate the eggs and whip the whites to produce a lighter, cakelike end product. These are deliciously moist and exploding with chocolaty goodness. You can also make them in smaller, standard sized muffin cups. You would probably get 12 cakes, but will likely need to reduce the cooking time by a couple minutes. Raspberries are a stellar garnish option. I like to warm them for a moment in the microwave before serving.
Almond Chocolate Cakes
1 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup natural cocoa powder
1/2 cup brewed hot coffee
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large free range eggs, separated
1/3 cup melted coconut oil or other oil of choice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Soak pitted dates in 1 cup boiling water for 15 minutes. In a separate bowl, stir cocoa powder into hot coffee and let cool. Place dates and soaking liquid and the cocoa mixture in a blender container and blend until smooth.
Preheat oven to 350° F. In a large mixing bowl, stir together almond flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Stir date paste, egg yolks, oil and vanilla extract into the cocoa-coffee mixture. Add the cocoa mixture to the almond mixture and stir gently until combined.
Using an electric mixer or whisk, whip the eggs whites until soft peaks form. Stir about one-quarter of the egg whites into the almond flour mixture and then gently fold in the remaining egg whites.
Divide batter among 8 large sized greased or paper lined muffin cups. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out mostly clean. Let cool in pan for a few minutes before unmolding and cooling further, preferably on a metal rack.