Chocolate Cake with a Secret

 Sugar Free.  Grain Free.  Chocolate.  Low Glycemic.  Beans.  What!?  Yes.  Beans.  There are beans in this recipe.  A chocolate cake recipe with beans.  It is the most awesome piece of cake I’ve ever had, and I think you’ll agree.  

Chocolate Bean Cake

Ingredients (For one 9 inch Round Cake)

1 15.5 oz. can Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed

4 Large Eggs, at room temp.

1 Tb. Vanilla Extract

1/4 tsp. Salt

6 Tb. Butter, softened

2 Tb. Powdered Stevia

6 Tb. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

1 tsp. Aluminum-free Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

Method (Cake)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Grease a 9 inch cake pan, and lightly dust with Cocoa Powder, tapping off excess.

Place the Beans, 3 of the Eggs, Vanilla, and Salt in a food processor.

Blend until the Beans are liquefied, and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix the Cocoa Powder, Baking Soda, and Baking Powder.

In a large bowl, beat the softened Butter with the Powdered Stevia, until light and fluffy.

Add the remaining Egg to the Butter mixture, and beat another minute more.

Pour the Bean batter into the Butter mixture, and mix well.

Add the dry ingredients from the medium bowl to the wet ingredients in the large bowl, and mix for 1 minute, until smooth.

Pour batter into the cake pan.

Grab pan by the sides and tap on the counter a few times to pop any air bubbles.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the top is rounded and firm to the touch.

Let cool for 10 minutes, then turn out cake onto a cooling rack and let cool to room temperature.

Cover (if needed) until ready to frost cake (right before serving is best).

Ingredients (For the Icing)

1 Stick (1/2 c.) Butter, softened

2 Tb. Powdered Stevia

6 Tb. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

2 Tb. Milk of your choice (I used Goat Milk)

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Method (Icing)

Cream the butter in a medium bowl until fluffy.

Add the Powdered Stevia and beat until smooth.

Slowly blend in the Cocoa Powder and Vanilla.

Slowly beat in the Milk.

This icing is light, fluffy, and very easy to spread.  There will be plenty of icing if you wish to make a layer cake.

Double Layer Chocolate Bean Cake
Double Layer Chocolate Bean Cake

Updated 11-11-13

100% Barley Sourdough Bread

Barley Sourdough Bread

Chewy, dense, full of sourdough flavor.  A pure Barley Bread that is naturally risen?  Impossible, you might say, especially since Barley Flour has virtually no gluten, the main element of flour that helps the bread rise.  Well, I’ve found a method that involves using pure Barley Flour that is fermented in order to bring out a delicious sourdough flavor and give the bread a little bit of rise (you essentially end up with a flattened bread).  The Barley Flour is not so overwhelming that you lose the sourdough taste, and it is low glycemic, which means that it will not cause a sudden spike in blood sugar levels like most white or whole wheat flours may do.

If you don’t have experience in bread baking, I find this to be relatively simple.  The first step is making your sourdough starter.  Once you have an active starter going, it’s time to convert it over to a Barley Flour starter.  

I tried various methods in converting my white flour starter to a whole grain one, and found the Detmolder Process gave the best results.  The process is for Rye Flour, yet Barley Flour may be easily substituted.  You need to make sure that you have an open schedule during the Detmolder Process, since there are specific times in which you add more flour and water to the starter.  You do not need to be precise on your ferment stages, but do not wait longer than one hour before adding the flour and water, or you will start to get a rancid starter.

I got a lot of help with my Sourdough bread making strategy from Sourdough Home, including the ratios of Starter/Flour/Water used in this recipe.  This is an amazing web site, so if you have a particular interest in Sourdough bread making, I highly recommend you spend your time browsing this very informative website.

*This recipe will make 4 small loaves of Barley Sourdough bread.  They may be frozen for up to three months.*

Day One

6:00 am-“Freshening”

Stage 1: Freshening
Stage 1: Freshening

I recommend you start as early as possible.  Even starting at 6:00 am, the bread usually isn’t done until around 9:00 or 10:00 the next evening.

Mix:

 

1/2 tsp. Starter

1 Tb. Water

4 tsp. Barley Flour

Set in a warm place and let ferment for 6 hours.

12:00 pm- “Basic Sour”

Stage Two: Basic Sour
Stage Two: Basic Sour

To the previous mixture, add:

1/2 c. + 1 Tb. Water

1 c. + 1 Tb. Barley Flour

Mix well, and return to the warm place for 24 hours.

Day Two

12:00 pm-“Full Sour”

Stage Three: Full Sour
Stage Three: Full Sour

To the previous mixture, add:

1 1/3 c. Water

2 1/2 c. + 1 Tb. Barley Flour

Mix well, and return to the warm place to ferment for 5 hours.

You now have your fermented Barley Flour Starter that is ready to use.  Do not refrigerate the starter, or ferment longer than mentioned, or it will become rancid and not have any active yeast.  

The Barley Bread Sourdough Recipe:

Ingredients

All of the active Barley Flour Starter from above

1 3/4 c. Water

3 Tb. Butter, softened and broken into small pieces

5 c. Barley Flour

2 3/4 tsp. Salt

4 Tb. Honey

Method

It is strongly suggested to use a stand mixer for this bread (i.e. KitchenAid), since this is a very sticky dough.  If you do not have access to one, you may attempt to use a sturdy bowl and a wooden spoon.

In a mixer:

Add all ingredients to the mixer bowl.  Knead for 5 minutes.

Turn off and let rest for 5 minutes.  This will allow the liquid to be fully absorbed into the flour.

Scrape the sides of the bowl.  Knead for 5 minutes more.

Scrape the dough into a large oiled glass bowl for rising.

Cover and let the dough rest for 30 minutes (you will not see much rise since Barley Flour has such a small amount of gluten).

Using wet hands (this is the best way to keep the dough from sticking to your fingers), remove 1/4 of the dough from the bowl.

On a greased and floured cookie sheet, loosely shape into a loaf.

Formed Loaves
Formed Loaves

Repeat with the remaining 3/4 of the dough until you have 4 small loaves.  Lightly dust the loaves with flour and cover loosely.

Let the dough rest for approximately 1 1/2 hours.  Again, there will be little rise.  You will, however, notice that the dough has a “cracked” appearance.  This means it is ready for baking.

"Cracked"
“Cracked”

Place an empty pan on the bottom rack of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.

When preheated, place the bread in the oven and pour 1 c. water into the empty pan to achieve a “steamy” environment.

Bake 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes longer.

Let cool, then tear off a hunk and dip in your favorite dipping oil!

Dipped

Low Carb / Sugar Free / Grain Free / Cheesecake Brownies

I am in love with these brownies.  They taste divine, and are good for you too!  All of the ingredients are incredibly easy to find…none of those weird sugar substitutes that you see in most low carbohydrate recipes!  The texture is more like that of cheesecake, so be sure to let them cool completely before you try to remove them from the pan.

Epic Brownie Tower
Epic Brownie Tower

Ingredients

Cheesecake Filling:

8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened

1 Egg

1/2 tsp. Vanilla

2 tsp. Powdered Stevia

Brownie Batter:

1 c. Almond Meal

5 Tb. Cocoa Powder

2 1/2 T. Powdered Stevia

6 Tb. Butter, melted

2 tsp. Vanilla

1/2 c. Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream

2 Eggs, beaten

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter and dust an 8 x 8 baking dish with cocoa powder.

Dusting with cocoa powder keeps the recipe grain-free!
Dusting with cocoa powder keeps the recipe grain-free!

Melt the butter over low heat.

Mix the cheesecake ingredients in a glass bowl with a hand mixer until smooth.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the Almond Meal, Cocoa, and Powdered Stevia.  Use a fork or whisk to break up any lumps.

Mix in the melted Butter.

Mix in the Vanilla, Yogurt/Sour Cream, and eggs.

Pour brownie batter into the prepared pan.

Pour the cheesecake filling on top, and mix the two batters with a butter knife to form “swirls.”  Be sure to mix them together well.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until center is set and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cool for at least fifteen minutes before serving.

Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Updated 9-27-13.

Sugar Free Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins

I call these my Blueberry Ninja Muffins, since I’ve adapted it to be less messy when my children eat them.  I add a blueberry puree’ to the top of the muffins for two reasons: for uniform blueberry flavor (whole blueberries tend to sink to the bottom of the batter), and to trick my children into eating the whole muffin.  They like to pick out the blueberries and eat the rest of the muffin separately.  Talk about a mess!

For approximately 6 GIANT muffins (I use my large muffin tin for this recipe):

Ingredients

2 c. Spelt Flour

1 Tb. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Salt

3 Tb. + 1 tsp.  Powdered Stevia

1 egg, beaten

1 c. Half and Half, Whole Milk, Almond Milk

1/2 c. Whole Fat Greek Yogurt

2 tsp. Vanilla

1/4 c. Unsalted Butter, melted (You may sub a flavorless baking oil of your choice)

1 + 1/2 c. Frozen Blueberries

1 tsp. Arrowroot Starch

Method

For the puree’:

Heat 1 c. Frozen Blueberries and 1 tsp. Powdered Stevia over medium high heat.

Mash and stir the blueberries for approximately 5 minutes to reduce liquid.

Add 1 tsp. Arrowroot Starch, and simmer for 1 minute more, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and allow to cool while mixing the muffin batter.

Muffin Batter:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, beat the Eggs and Yogurt together.

Mix in the rest of the wet ingredients (including the Butter).

Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix until just blended.

Fold in 1/2 c. Frozen blueberries.

Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.

Spoon approximately 2 tsp. of the Blueberry puree’ on top of the batter in each cup.

Swirl into batter.

Bake for 30-32 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Updated 4/26/13

Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato Fries

This is a tasty, easy way to make oven-baked sweet potato fries. I find not much seasoning is needed, though, as sweet potatoes are amazing on their own!

Ingredients

Equal parts
Cinnamon
Salt
Powdered Stevia (optional)

Dash of Cayenne Pepper

High smoke point oil (Avocado, Grapeseed…I usually use Olive Oil, though it does put off a bit of smoke)

Method

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Peel and cut sweet potato into equal sized fries.

Mix dry ingredients (I keep a jar of the seasoning mix).

Sprinkle desired amount of seasoning on fries and toss with oil to coat.

Bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.

100% Barley Flour Sweet Potato Muffins, Sugar Free!

Barley Sweet Potato Muffins, fresh out of the oven.
Barley Sweet Potato Muffins, fresh out of the oven.

It is hard to find a pure barley flour recipe, let alone a sugar free one. These muffins come out moist and delicious, and you will find yourself making another batch the next day!

Ingredients

2 c. Barley Flour

1 Tb. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Salt

1 tsp Cinnamon

3 Tb. Powdered Stevia

Pinch Allspice

1 eggs, beaten

1 c. Half and Half or Whole Milk

1/2 c. Whole Fat Plain Yogurt

1 c. Cooked, Mashed Sweet Potato

2 tsp Vanilla

1/4 c. Unsalted Butter, melted

1/4 c. Unsweetened Coconut

1/4 c. Raisins

1/4 c. Chopped Pecans

Method

Bake the sweet potato in a 400 degree oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until soft. Let cool.

Leave the oven set at 400 degrees.

Grease muffin tins with butter or spray oil.

Mix the dry ingredients (excluding coconut, raisins, and pecans) in a large bowl.

Mix the wet ingredients (including sweet potato) in a smaller bowl.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in the large bowl, and mix until just blended.

Fold in the coconut, raisins, and pecans.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool. Enjoy!

I fill my mini muffin tin first, then use the leftover batter to make regular size muffins. Leo has an easier time eating the mini muffins by himself, and I enjoy snacking on them throughout the day.

Updated 4/26/13