Monday, March 26, 2012
Party Food---Return of the Gluten-Free Chocolate Coconut Cake
I went to a barbeque recently and decided to take a gluten-free dessert. Chocolate makes a lot of people happy, so I took my Gluten-Free Chocolate Coconut Cake. It was my first time taking a grain-free Paleo dessert, so I was a bit nervous people wouldn't like it. No one seemed to have a problem diving into it, however! I think people were quite eager to try it, because the remainder I took home was in crumbed shambles (it still tasted good, which was all that mattered). To make the cake more festive, I added a touch of chocolate and pecan glaze, which was really easy:
1 tbsp of butter
2 tbsp chopped bittersweet chocolate
2 tbsp agave nectar
2 tbsp chopped pecans
1. In a microwave-proof liquid measuring cup, melt the butter and chocolate using 10-second intervals. It's a small amount of butter and chocolate, so it can burn easily. Stir every 10 seconds until melted. It should take about 30 seconds.
2. Blend in the agave and pecans and drizzle over the cooled cake. The glaze does not "set" so you can eat it immediately or store in the refrigerator until serving.
The next time I want to make this cake, I want to try and make it with honey because of an article I read from Paleo Blocks discussing the issues with agave nectar. I think it's a great article that has some scientific research to back up their chain of logic. People go both ways on whether agave nectar is Paleo or not. It is a processed, high-fructose sweetener. I don't think added sweeteners are strictly "Paleo" anyway, but we can use information to choose the best sweetener available. My new personal favorite sweetener is pure maple syrup. I have loved maple flavor since I was a kid, so I don't mind the extra flavor it provides. I also like local honey. I used agave nectar to make this cake and glaze because I hadn't read the Paleo Blocks article yet and because I didn't want to experiment with honey right before taking this cake to someones house---I knew the recipe worked and I didn't know what would happen if I substituted honey. I think agave can be a good option if you can find a natural source that is not too processed...which is true for most Paleo ingredients. Here is a great overview of natural sweeteners from the Weston A. Price Foundation. I find the videos on their youtube channel to be quite informative!