My sister, Lynn, is a master grain-free baker who has the knack of figuring out the exact ratios to make cakes, cookies and pies taste heavenly. When she dreamt up this perfectly balanced chocolate birthday cake for her son Kaydn, we knew she had struck gold. It has the perfect balance of fudge to cake texture that will have you dreaming of seconds. I love the monk fruit extract for a no-added-sugar version, but Lynn enjoys using honey to satisfy her kids.
½ cup whole chia seeds
1 1⁄3 cups water or coconut beverage
6 ripe bananas (see Tip)
½ cup coconut oil, melted plus more to grease the pan
½ teaspoon pure monk fruit extract (or ½ cup raw honey)
1 cup raw pecans, chopped
1 cup coconut flour, if using monk fruit (or 1½ cups coconut flour, if using honey)
1 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon unrefined pink salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries or blueberries
Tip: I suggest that you freeze the ripe bananas and then thaw them before using them.
This cuts down on the guess work as to the moisture level of the cake.
No Sugar Added Option:
Use pure monk fruit extract.
Vegan Option: Omit the honey.
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease one 13- × 9-inch baking dish or two 10-inch pie plates with coconut oil or line them with unbleached parchment paper, leaving enough overhang for easy removal.
2. Grind the chia seeds in a clean coffee or spice grinder. This will give you about ⅔ cup ground chia seeds, but do not worry about an exact measurement.
3. Place the ground chia seeds in the bowl of a stand mixer. (Alternatively, you can use a hand mixer.) Add the water and blend for 2 minutes to allow the chia to thicken.
4. Mix in the bananas, then add the melted coconut oil, monk fruit and pecans.
5. In a medium bowl, sift together the coconut flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda.
6. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix for 1 minute.
7. If using frozen berries, stir them into the batter for 1 minute until lightly combined. Do not overmix, as the chunks of frozen berries, if using, add lovely pops of flavour to the cake. If using fresh berries, press them directly into the top of the cake batter to create a lovely effect.
8. Spread the batter evenly between the dishes. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the cake is firm and springs back when gently pressed. Let cool in the pan before serving. Store in an airtight container on the countertop for 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Makes 16 servings.