Dark chocolate has an extra layer of goodness. You ask what could be good about chocolate candy, besides that it’s yummy. I’m about to tell you all about the great powers of chocolate.
Feeling a little sluggish? Try having 25g of dark chocolate 72%. Dark chocolate contains just enough caffeine for a little afternoon burst of energy.
Caffeine is a compound naturally found in commonly consumed items such as coffee, tea, and chocolate. An average cup of coffee (8 fl oz) contains about 95 mg and the same amount of tea contains about 26 mg. Compared to these two sources chocolate has very little caffeine. The caffeine content of chocolate is dependent on the amount of cacao in the product. Dark chocolate contains about 20 mg of caffeine per ounce, milk chocolate contains about 6 mg per ounce, and white chocolate contains no caffeine. However, caffeine content will vary and can be dependent on the cocoa bean type and origin.
Brownie Mix … Duncan Hines-Betty Crocker any one will do.
12″ x 9″ pan
Bake your brownies as directed on box, cut into even squares. 2 cuts down length and 3 cuts on width of pan. Let them cool in the pan before removing them. The brownies can be made a day in advance.
Place one brownie on the bottom and layer with sliced strawberries, whip cream on top, place another brownie on top and layer with strawberries and your whip cream. Go around the edge between the 2 layers of brownies with whip cream and place a full berry on top or you can slice them. If you want to dazzle it up a little, drizzle a bit of melted chocolate over the top of the entire dessert and plate. Simple easy dessert.
A deep dark chocolate cake recipe. Just in time for Valentine’s Day. And the best part? It’s not only gluten-free, but vegan as well. And it’s technically a flourless chocolate cake (which for some retro-fueled reason still conjures the term sexy thanks to Sarah Jessica Parker).
In full disclosure (hey, I vet my recipes okay?) I added a scant amount of buckwheat flour to help it set up without eggs, but buckwheat isn’t technically a grain, is it? More of a groat, a fruit kernel. In fact, buckwheat is a cousin to sorrel and rhubarb. I could try to impress you with shout-outs to the Polygonaceae family, dropping botanical distinctions like actinomorphic and calyx as fast as Madonna drops post-Guy Ritchie boyfriends, but I’d rather leave all botany urges behind and get back to chocolate and celebrating the dream of true love.
One important lesson I’ve learned after three years of blogging original recipes and building an on-line audience which insists I keep playing in the kitchen developing recipes that are not only gluten-free, but often dairy-free (and those voracious vegan readers- they’re sprouting up everywhere these days, not to mention the increasing number of devoted mothers writing in daily to request soy-free, and nut-free recipes for their food sensitive kiddos) is to experiment.
The challenge for a gluten-free (or wheat-free) vegan is how to create certain flourless and creamy recipes without eggs. The answer- in every vegan cookbook I’ve ever perused- is tofu. Vegan cooks love their tofu- tofu custards, tofu ice cream, tofu pumpkin pies, tofu stuffed lasagna. Tofu works. It lends an egg-free recipe body and silkiness. But what if- like so many of us ingredient challenged individuals- you are allergic to soy? What then? Then, my friend, tofu is no magic bullet. Tofu is the enemy. In fact, I am sorry to tell you, tofu sucks.
What if, I started to imagine, I melted Belgian dark chocolate and tweaked my pumpkin pie to turn it into a flourless chocolate cake? (See how my fevered little associative thinking brain works?) I could use pumpkin for the eggs/tofu. Why not?
So send me a kiss when you’ve baked this chocolaty confection. And most of all, be sure to kiss the one you love. Young and old. Seasoned and brand new. Straight, gay and in between. Celebrate love in all its generous forms this Valentine’s Day.
And don’t forget to love yourself.
Because that, Babycakes, is where the seed of true love begins to grow.
Vegan “Flourless” Chocolate Cake Recipe
By Karina Allrich August 2009. Febuary 2009.
You can make this cake batter in a Vita-Mix or a food processor, following the method explained in my recipe for Flourless Chocolate Cake (the recipe with eggs and butter). Easy. Easy.
Brew 1/2 cup very hot, double strong coffee or espresso (decaf works); or use 2 rounded tablespoons of instant coffee in 1/2 cup freshly boiled water. Sweeten with stevia, to taste (or sugar).
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line the bottom of a 9-inch Springform pan with greased parchment paper.
6 ounces unsweetened dark chocolate, broken into pieces
Place the chocolate pieces in the Vita-Mix (or a high speed blender container); add the hot coffee and heated hemp milk. Cover tightly- use caution with hot liquids. Turn on the mixer to high. Blend until chocolate pieces are melted. Add the vanilla extract, and pumpkin puree. Cover. Blend a minute.
Add the brown sugar, buckwheat flour, tapioca, egg replacer, xanthan gum, sea salt, baking powder, cinnamon or ginger. Cover. Blend on high for a minute. Turn it off (unplug it for safety if you have kids nearby). Open the top and using a plastic spatula scrape down the sides if any flour is sticking to the sides- if you’re using a food processor instead, do the same. Cover. Plug back in.
Blend for another minute or two until the batter is creamy and smooth.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan; scrape all the batter out with a smallish silicone spatula. Smooth the top evenly.
Bake in the center of the oven until the cake is firm- anywhere from 50 to 60 minutes. Here at almost 7,000 feet it baked in 57 minutes. Check the cake sooner if your experience indicates that flourless cakes and pies bake up quicker than 50 minutes; also, if your experience is that these types of recipes bake longer- check at 50 to 55 minutes; and follow your instincts. The center will be the last to cook- it shouldn’t be wiggly.Cool the cake on a wire rack. The top will collapse a bit- no worries. When the cake has cooled, cover and chill it at least two hours before serving. The longer the better.
Chilling creates a dense fudgy cake. I froze some pieces and tried one ice cold from the freezer- it tasted like a Fudgsicle.
Serve with chocolate sauce, a few ripe berries, a dusting of confectioner’s sugar, or a few fresh mint leaves. Serves 8 to 10.
We enjoy sugary treats in moderation, don’t we? Gluten-Free Goddess advises consuming no more than 2 tablespoons of sugar a day.
For substitutions, please see my guide to baking with substitutions here.