Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bread

One day a friend sent me a Snapchat of her peanut butter bread.  It looked so good I decided to bake one too!  I took the idea of the pumpkin spice bundt cake posted in December, replaced the almond butter with peanut and omitted the pumpkin spices.  Just to note, you can’t taste the pumpkin puree; it’s just there to give the bread bulk and make it moist.  I have seen recipes use bananas or zucchini to achieve the same results.

Since we are on the topic, I wanted to mention a few things about peanuts and peanut butter. These products are high in omega-6 fatty acids which, if consumer in a higher than recommended ration to omega-3 fatty acids, increase the risk of inflammatory diseases.  Also, peanuts are technically not nuts, which grow on trees, but in fact are legumes.  They grow in the ground, which makes them susceptible to toxic mold, which is believed by some to be the cause of peanut allergies.  They are also one of the crops that are heavily sprayed with pesticide.  Finally, many commercial peanut butters are made with unhealthy trans-fats, added sugars, and other unnecessary ingredients.  I do not say all this to discourage peanut butter consumption, but simply to help you choose the highest quality product.  So, when buying peanut butter, be sure to read the label.  Ideally it should only contain one ingredient: peanuts. Also always buy certified organic and look for Valencia or Jungle peanut variety, which are less likely to contain toxic mold.

2 cups organic peanut butter
2 cups pumpkin puree
2 eggs, beaten
¼ cup coconut sugar or 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
½ - 1 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients together and pour into a well-greased or lined loaf pan.  
Bake for 50 – 60 minutes, until an inserted knife comes out clean.  

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!

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!

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

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.   

Gluten-Free Chocolate Strawberry Mascarpone Cake

This cake is amazing.  It is flour-less, gluten-free, rich, moist and delicious.  It only requires a few minutes to prep, bakes quickly, and is easy to assemble.  Garnished with a few fresh berries, it makes for an impressive and beautiful presentation for any special event.  

I first tried this cake when my sister-in-law, Elena, brought it over for a dinner party.  I knew right away I wanted the recipe.  I made this cake for a summer barbecue last week and it was a hit.  The recipe is adopted from the original by Passionate About Baking.  I've already had several requests for the recipe, so here it is.

Chocolate Cake (2 - 8” layers)
7 eggs, separated
½ cup sugar, unrefined, organic
4 oz. dark chocolate, melted
½ Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. hot water

Balsamic Strawberries
1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled and roughly diced
6 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp. sugar, unrefined, organic

½ cup heavy cream, chilled
6 oz. mascarpone, chilled
2 Tbsp. sugar, unrefined organic

Chocolate Cake
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line base and sides of two 8” cake tins.
In a large bowl whip the 7 egg whites until stiff.
In another bowl, beat the 7 yolks with the sugar until mousse-like, approximately 5-7 minutes on high.
Beat in the vanilla extract, when whisk in the melted chocolate and hot water into the yolk mixture.
Gently fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture.
Divide between two tins.  
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until slightly firm to touch.
Cool completely in tins.

Balsamic Strawberries (make ahead and cool)
Bring balsamic vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Reduce heat to low and simmer until vinegar thickens, 5 – 10 minutes.
Stir in strawberries and sugar.  Bring to boil.  
Reduce heat and simmer until strawberries have released their juices and softened, about 5 minutes.

Whip all ingredients to stiff peaks just prior to assembling cake.

Place one cake layer on the serving platter.
Top with a few tablespoons of balsamic strawberries followed by the whipped filling.
Add more balsamic strawberries.
Place the second cake layer over the filling and gently press into place.
Chill for at least an hour or overnight.
Garnish with fresh fruit.  Serve chilled.