Happy Valentine’s Day, sweethearts … between exams, bizarre weather and political mayhem, it’s been a while since my last post. But if anything could pull me out of hiding, it’s February 14th. Say what you cynically may about commercially hyped holidays, I love Valentine’s Day. I also happen to be working very hard to practice what I preach and eat well while slowly increasing exercise. Intensive school has always been a recipe for health disaster for this doc, and I’m working to repair the damage of too much high cortisol stress — sitting on my rear end, studying, while shoving sweets in my mouth in a vain attempt to feel better.
I’ve found it interesting to learn that Chinese medical theory recognizes an important connection between the Heart and the Stomach. If the Stomach gets overheated, for example, it can flare up and harass the Heart. This fits nicely with our biomedical recognition that gastroesophageal reflux can often feel like symptoms of a heart attack. But it also provides an explanation for why we often try to treat our emotions with food — which then in turn, affects our bellies.
In an ideal world, we would all have perfect coping mechanisms to process negative emotions and wouldn’t need to turn to food. Last time I checked, though, ideal wasn’t happening yet. While we await its arrival, I’ll keep working on recipes that preserve the soothing nature of comfort food while not dragging us into the depths of disease. This recipe was initially created for my good friend, Laura’s birthday last summer. At the time I was experimenting with a ketogenic diet (more on ketogenic, paleo and what-exactly-is-the-difference-and-why-we-should-care in my next post), and yes, I was, not incidentally, going through a breakup at the time. I brought the cake to Laura’s party, where it was a resounding success among people on no special diet at all who just really like chocolate cake. And they adored this one!
In the past week, I’ve had several conversations with women looking for good baking recipes that won’t break their low-carbohydrate, high protein/healthy fat/high vegetable eating routines. Then I unexpectedly ran into a wonderful person I’d met at Laura’s party, and the first thing she said was, “Oh my god, that chocolate cake!” So, here it is — devilishly delicious cake whether you are paleo, keto or just plain love chocolate cake. Nourish your beautiful Heart and lovely Stomach with a wholesome sweet treat, baked with love.
BIG LOVE BADASS CHOCOLATE CAKE (A note about sweeteners: I make this with Lakanata monkfruit sweetener, which has zero glycemic index and no calories, but you could also use coconut sugar or date sugar, which is just made from dried, ground dates.)
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 1 1/2 cups almond flour
- 6 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups sweetener of your choice
- 4-6 drops liquid stevia (I like Whole Foods brand vanilla flavored)
- 3 sticks butter or 1 1/2 cups coconut oil
- 1 cup whole milk Greek yogurt (for non-dairy, substitute full-fat coconut milk)
- 1 cup hot coffee (or Earl Grey tea)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (I use Lily’s stevia-sweetened chips)
- Decadent Soaking Syrup: 3/4 cup coffee or Earl Grey tea, 1/4 cup butter or coconut oil, 1/4 cup coconut sugar+ liquid stevia to taste, 1 teaspoon vanilla, brought just to a boil
First prepare your cake pan. I use a bundt pan. Grease the bottom thoroughly, then shake in a couple teaspoons of cocoa powder. Tap the pan until the bottom is well coated, then tap out any excess into the sink. Next, mix the dry ingredients, except for sweetener, together in a bowl with a fork to get all the lumps out. In a second large mixing bowl, cream butter, eggs, yogurt, sweetener, stevia and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in the dry ingredients. Bring coffee or tea to a boil and mix in just until smooth; then blend in chocolate chips. Spoon the batter into prepared pan(s), and bake in a preheated oven at 325 for an hour and a half. Check for done-ness by sticking a knife in. It should come out clean. If not, bake another 15 min and remove from oven. Make the soaking syrup, poke holes in the warm cake with a chopstick (a great task for kids!), loosen the sides with a knife, and spoon the hot syrup over the cake. Let sit for 10 minutes, and invert onto a serving plate. This super rich cake is meant to be served in tiny slices (you’ll find that’s all you can eat!) — it’s terrific with whipped cream or coconut cream and a big pile of fresh berries — or try the berry sauce from December’s rice pudding post!