There was one night last week, when I suddenly had the urge to get up out of bed to do some baking. I was thinking specifically about these Grain Free Ginger Almond Brownies by Hallie at Daily Bites. Then my mind wandered off, as it tends to do and I thought maybe some German Chocolate Fudge Bites by Chocolate Covered Katie would be just the thing to make after midnight, or what about coconut, I do so love coconut! These Coconut Bars by Elana’s Pantry are Grain-Free. That’s healthy right???
As you can tell, I’m still doing battle with my insatiable sweet-tooth. Nighttime is my most vulnerable time, it’s the time when I crave sweets the most. It’s as if my brain tries to reconcile the number of sweet treats I allowed myself that day, against the number of sweets my insatiable sweet-tooth expected and “yikes”!
Noo jist haud on! Gads, ye cannae be sairious! Expectit a wumman tae get by’n sicna wee bit o’sweet-lippit! Ye no’ dae that!!
Haha, the funny things that go on in this sugar starved head of mine in the middle of the night. It appears my ‘all Canadian sweet-tooth’ has a wee bit of a Scottish accent. I meant to say…
Now just hold on! Goodness, you can’t be serious! Expecting a woman to get by on such a small bit of sweets! You can’t do that!!
That was last week, today is Friday February 17th, it has been forty-nine days since I first took ill (this time around). It’s been seventeen days since I came home after spending eleven days in the hospital, where I was given a diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. IBS, a label that’s applied when doctors cannot pin point the exact cause of your abdominal/intestinal pain. It’s been fourteen days since I started taking the antibiotics Cipro and Flagyl and about ten days since I’ve needed extra strength pain medication for my grumpy gut. It’s been about five days since I first felt well enough to venture out of the house by myself, this year and only a few days since I started eating real meals without having my belly blow up like a helium balloon. It’s only been a couple of days since the light headedness and dizziness have lifted. Hurray! I finally feel I have enough energy to accomplish things in my kitchen. I love being able to create tasty, wholesome, nurturing foods for myself and my family!
Yay! I’m feeling better!
Yesterday, I had a follow-up appointment with my family physician. She agrees that my condition could have been caused by a bacterial imbalance but it was a condition that was not considered by the hospitalists. My blood tests showed a normal white cell count, it didn’t show signs of an immune system that was fighting bad bacteria. Great, my immune system must be in cahoots with my sugar craving brain and my Scots speaking sweet-tooth.
It’s been a shameful twelve days since I posted my last recipe here. It’s not like I’ve run short on material, I have at least a dozen recipes I can hardly wait to share with you but alas, my dear readers, my focus has been almost entirely on nurturing and healing my poor unhealthy digestive system.
I didn’t forget about those Grain Free Ginger Almond Brownies I was craving last week.
I didn’t allow myself to get out of bed to make Brownies last Thursday night (technically, I guess it was morning) but the next day, I made Hallie’s recipe as written on her Daily Bites blog. The Brownies were gobbled up! Gone almost before they had a chance to cool. Gone almost before I had a chance to snap the above picture. Gone Delicious! And yes, before you ask, I am left-handed. Good thing too, as it allowed my right hand to snap pictures between bites
I have one small piece of advice, if you plan on making some of Hallie’s Brownies, you better make a double batch. Yep, they’re that good!!
I haven’t gotten around to making the other treats mentioned up there in my opening paragraph but Hallie’s Brownies inspired me to try my hand at making my first gluten-free, grain-free, lactose-free, refined sugar-free Chocolate Cake. As you can see by the picture below, it didn’t turn out too badly. Nope, as far as grain-free and gluten-free cakes go, not bad at all!
For those of you who have followed me on Pinterest, you may have noticed I’ve tried to make wiser choices lately. The new recipes I add to my boards these days, are either sugar-free and grain-free or they’re for savoury dishes. I haven’t deleted any of the old sugar-full sweet recipes, I expect some of them will make an occasional appearance here in the FoxKitchen but for now, I shall deny my nemesis (that insatiable sweet-tooth with the Scottish accent).
Hallie over on dailybitesblog.com says, Ginger and Chocolate pair well together. I admit I was skeptical until after I tried her “Grain Free Ginger Almond Brownies” recipe. Now I’m a believer.
With an abundance of fresh ginger on hand, I decided to use her recipe as a template to make this Almond Ginger Chocolate Cake. I increased the volume and switched up some of the ingredients. I used Cacao instead of Cocoa, Coconut flour instead of Tapioca starch and Honey instead of Maple Syrup. I omitted the baking powder (to make it corn & starch-free), increased the baking soda slightly and added some of my homemade kefir yogurt.
My original plan was to make this cake SCD friendly but I was told that chocolate (beans) in any form are not SCD legal. Oh well, I haven’t fully committed to the SCD diet yet anyways. On a side note, Cocoa powder instead of Cacao gives this cake a richer chocolate flavour but either one produces a nice chocolate cake, so I will leave it up to you to decide which one to use.
Recipe: Almond Ginger Chocolate Cake
Summary: Ginger and Chocolate pair well together. Having an abundance of fresh ginger, I decided to try my hand at creating this gluten-free, grain-free, lactose-free, refined sugar-free Chocolate Cake and it didn’t turn out too badly. Nope, as far as grain-free and gluten-free cakes go, not too bad at all!
Gluten-Free | Grain-Free | Sugar-Free | Vegetarian
I know, Ginger and Chocolate? I was skeptical about the combination until after I tried the fantastic Grain Free Ginger Almond Brownies by Hallie at Daily Bites. Inspired, I switched things up to make this cake.
- 1/2 Cup virgin coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
- 3/4 Cup coconut flour
- 3/4 Cup unsweetened cocoa or organic cacoa powder
- 1/2 Cup blanched almond flour
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 4 Large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 Cup honey
- 1/2 Cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 Cup unsweetened plain yogurt
- 1 Tbsp finely grated fresh (or frozen) ginger root
- 1 Tbsp GF vanilla extract
- 1/2 Cup sliced almonds (optional for topping)
- Preheat oven to 325° F. Line a 9×9 square or round cake pan with parchment paper. Spray with cooking spray or coat with a light layer of coconut oil (if desired).
- Melt coconut oil and set aside to cool. I put mine in the microwave for about 45 seconds.
- In a medium size bowl, mix coconut flour, cacoa powder, almond flour, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon and sea salt. Sift and/or whisk dry ingredients together until well blended. Set aside.
- In another larger bowl, add eggs, honey, applesauce, yogurt, ginger root, vanilla and the cooled coconut oil. Mix until blended.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir until blended. You can use your mixer but I found this was easy enough to do by hand.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and gently spread until evenly distributed.
- Sprinkle sliced almonds (if using) evenly over the top.
- Bake for about 30 minutes or until the sides begin to pull away from the edges of the pan or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
- Cut into squares and serve.
- The lower oven temperature is because honey has a low burn rate. I scorched the bottom of my first cake.
- Ingredient Tip: did you know you can freeze fresh ginger? See Hallie’s notes about storing fresh ginger over on her Daily Bites blog.
- I’m watching my sugar intake but I think this cake would be wonderful with frosting instead of sliced almonds
Recipe by Laureen
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegetarian
Diet tags: Gluten-Free | Grain-Free | Sugar-Free
Number of servings (yield): 16
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