Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake

This, dare I say, healthy dessert will easily satisfy any sweet tooth and fill your home with the aroma of warm pumpkin spices this winter.  It is free of refined sugar and flour, yet it is so decadent that no one will ever believe it's grain-free.  So this holiday season, prepare to have your cake and eat it too!

My sister, Veronika, introduced me to this recipe, which can be made into muffins, a simple loaf, or in my case, a bundt cake.  If you don’t have a pumpkin spice mix, you may substitute with 2 tsp cinnamon and ½ tsp ground nutmeg.

2 cups almond butter
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
2 1/2 Tbsp pumpkin spice mix
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp baking soda
½ cups dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 F.  
Mix all ingredients together and pour into a well-greased and floured (use a GF flour mix) bundt cake or loaf pan.  Bake for 45 – 50 minutes, until a knife comes out clean.  For muffins, decrease baking time to about 30 minutes.  Enjoy!

Meringue Gelato Cake

Here’s a perfect dessert – quick, easy and delicious, on a warm summer night.  This is a frozen version of Eton mess, a tradition English dessert of crumbled meringue, whipped cream and strawberries.  I kept it pretty simple and served it with fresh fruit, however there are many variations to this basic recipe.  Your imagination is the limit, when it comes to what you can add to the gelato base: any fresh fruit or berries, shaved chocolate, cacao nibs, nuts, coconut flakes, etc.  For the garnish you can drizzle it with a chocolate sauce, fruit coulis or fruit compote.

1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 Tbsp rum
5 - 6 oz meringue cookies (store bought or homemade)
8 oz fresh fruit/berries of choice

Whip the cream until thick but still soft.  Add the rum and fold into the cream.  Crumble the meringue cookies and fold these in as well.  Add any other ingredients if desired.  Pack the mixture into a loaf pan lined with plastic wrap, pressing it down with a spatula.  Cover and freeze until solid, preferably overnight.  To serve, pull the ice-cream brick out of the pan, unwrap and place onto a serving platter.  Garnish with fresh berries, slice to serve.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

If you’re a chocolate lover like me, it doesn’t get any better than this.  Here is a rich, dense and fudgy cake that is quite simple to make and it’s gluten-free.  As always, use high-quality ingredients whenever available and affordable. This recipe is adopted from At Home with Madame Chic by Jennifer Scott.

4 oz. bittersweet chocolate
½ cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar, unrefined/organic
3 large eggs, free range/organic
½ cup unsweetened organic cocoa powder, sifted

Preheat oven to 375 F.
Line the bottom of a round baking pan (I used a 7’) with parchment paper.  Grease sides of the pan and top of parchment paper with butter or coconut oil. 
Chop the chocolate into small pieces.  In a double broiler, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring constantly until smooth.  Remove the top of the double broiler and whisk the sugar into the chocolate mixture.  Let cool slightly.  Whisk eggs into the mixture.  Sift the cocoa power and whisk until combined.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for about 25 minutes.  Let the cake cool in the pan and then invert onto a serving dish.  Garnish with favorite berries and serve.

Orange-Cream Chocolate Cake Log

I made this roll for Sunday lunch this past weekend and it turned out great!  I am not a big baker but found this to be quick and easy to make.  I would definitely recommend letting the cake sit in the fridge 1-2 days to allow it to moisten, before serving.  It makes for a delicious end to a holiday meal and a beautiful presentation.  Have a Merry Christmas everyone!

Cake:
4 eggs, free-range, organic
½ cup sugar, unrefined, organic
½ cup organic spelt flour
3 Tbsp. organic cocoa powder

Filling:
1 ¼ cups heavy whipping cream
3 Tbsp. powdered sugar, more for garnish
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp orange zest
1 tsp orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier

Preheat the oven to 375 F.
In a large bowl beat together eggs and sugar until thick.  Sift in the flour and cocoa power, folding in gently until well blended.  Pour the batter into a rimmed baking pan lined with buttered parchment paper.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove cake from the oven, place a sheet of clean parchment paper on top and roll the cake into a log, while still warm.  Let cool to room temperature.
In a clean, dry bowl beat the heavy cream and sugar on high speed until stiff.  Add the vanilla extract, orange zest and liqueur, combining well.  Unroll the cooled cake and spread cream evenly over the top.  Roll the cake back up in the same direction.  Transfer to a serving platter, garnish with powdered sugar and orange slices.   

Liver Crepe Cake

Today I present you with another favorite liver recipe.  Layered liver cake is part of my national Ukrainian cuisine, however I was first introduced to it by my mother-in-law.  It is not a dish typically made in the part of Ukraine that my family is from, so perhaps it is a regional cuisine. 

There are many different ways of making layered liver cake.  I was a bit overwhelmed by all the variations but decided to experiment with a few of them. 

I definitely recommend beef vs. chicken liver for this recipe.  It’s my personal preference; I think it just simply tastes better.  Most of the recipes call for some flour, but I decided to use soaked buckwheat instead.  You can even forgo the buckwheat altogether and still end up with good liver crepes, however I enjoy the flavor the buckwheat adds.  The carrot and onion filling is optional as well and can be omitted to save time.  But let's be honest, carrots and liver go together so well, that it would just be a shame to leave them out. 

The dill can either be used as garnish, like I have done, and/or added directly to the aioli.  To avoid a dry cake, don’t skimp on the mayo.  Some of it will get absorbed into the crepes as the cake sets.  Cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley, green onion, crumbled egg yolk, shredded hard cheese, and olives are just a few more ideas for garnish.  I have also included my favorite homemade mayo recipe from Butter Believer to create the aioli.

Liver Cake

¾ to 1 lb. beef liver (grass fed preferred)
2 raw eggs
½ cup half & half (or milk)
½ cup unroasted whole buckwheat, soaked overnight in water and rinsed clean
2 tsp sea salt
2 onions, thinly sliced or minced
2 carrots, grated
2 – 3 garlic cloves, crushed
½ cup mayonnaise (homemade preferred, recipe included)
Butter
Fresh dill weed, chopped finely
Cucumbers, sliced halves

Wash the liver in a bowl of room temperature water.  Place the liver, eggs, buckwheat, half & half, and sea salt into a blender.  Blend into a smooth, batter consistency.  Melt a pat of butter in a pan over medium heat.  Pour a thin layer of batter onto the pan, forming a thin crepe.  Cook for a few minutes on each side until golden brown.  Repeat with the rest of the batter.  Let cool slightly.

In the meantime, sauté the carrots and onions in butter, until soft and mix crushed garlic into the mayo.

To put the cake together, place a liver crepe onto a serving dish, evenly spread with about ½ - 1 tablespoons of the aioli and top with about ½ tablespoon of the carrot/onion mixture.  Cover with the next crepe and repeat.  Spread the top crepe with mayo and garnish with fresh dill weed and cucumbers.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferable overnight.  Cut into wedges and serve cold.

Coconut Oil Mayo

1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
Juice of ½ small lemon
½ tsp sea salt
½ cup olive oil
½ cup coconut oil

In a blender mix the eggs, yolks, mustard, lemon juice, and sea salt.  Melt the coconut oil over very low heat.  Slowly pour the melted coconut oil, followed by the olive oil, into the blender while running it at a low speed.  This will allow the mixture to emulsify and thicken.

Traditionally liver cake is served as an appetizer, however with a green salad it can also make the perfect lunch.  Although not a traditional Easter dish, it might look impressive on your table this weekend!

Rejoice! He is risen!  Hope you have a blessed Easter weekend, friends!