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Chocolate Birthday Cake with Ganache Frosting (& Freezer Fudge Byproduct!)

I'm still very much a Paleo girl living in a predominantly non-Paleo world. In this part of the world (by which I refer to the real world in my geographical proximity as opposed to cyber world within fingertip proximity), living a Paleo lifestyle is just not that common. I'd go so far as to say rare.

Chocolate Birthday Cake with Ganache Frosting
 This week marked the birthday of someone super special to me and, breaking my rule of never imposing my Paleo guidelines on family birthday cakes, I decided it was time to test the waters. Alongside my desire to create a healthful cake for my family, my seflish ulterior motive was that I also wanted to be able to join in the cake-eating fun for once.

This week also marked the very first vegetables being harvested from our first attempt at a veggie patch - beetroot! So naturally I had to incorporate it. It lends a beautiful depth of colour as well as making sure the end result is not dry.

The cake itself though chocolatey is not overly sweet (one of the main criticisms from the non-Paleo tastebuds) but I find the sweet ganache frosting balances this out nicely. I recommend adding the optional coconut palm sugar for those accustomed to a sweeter cake.

On the subject of the ganache frosting (which is a fairly standard paleo ganache recipe), this is actually a relatively time-consuming part of the recipe (2 hours) so I highly advise allowing adequate time for this!

I discovered that any leftover ganache frozen in silicone chocolate moulds makes absolutely delicious and highly convincing Freezer Fudge (needs to be stored in the freezer) - a happy byproduct making the 2 hours of cooking well worth it! The added advantage is it helps with portion control as this ganache is highly likely to be a 'food without brakes'!

Freezer Fudge

The alternative option is to slice the cake in half horizontally when baked and cooled and sandwich an extra layer of ganache in the middle. There won't be any left for Freezer Fudge in this case.

I decorated the ganache with melted coconut butter swirled through, before topping with a few No-Nut Cocoa Mint Energy Bites (I left out the mint for this recipe), a scattering of flaked almonds and freeze dried strawberries. Feel free to decorate with whatever your special birthday someone likes best! x

Chocolate Birthday Cake with Ganache Frosting (& Freezer Fudge Byproduct!)
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free

Makes 1 cake (serves 10-12)

Chocolate Birthday Cake with Ganache Frosting

2 1/2 cups (250g) almond flour
1/4 cup (25g) coconut flour
3/4 cup (75g) raw cacao powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 medium raw beetroot, peeled and roughly chopped (100g)
4 medium eggs
1/4 cup (4 tbsp) coconut oil, melted
1 cup (240ml) coconut milk
3 tbsp honey or maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
optional: 1/3 cup (65g) coconut palm sugar

Ganache Frosting:
1 can (400ml) full fat coconut milk
2 1/2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup (4 tbsp) raw cacao powder

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees celsius (350 degrees farenheit).
2. Line a round cake tin with baking parchment or lightly grease with coconut oil. I used a 19cm diameter tin - a smaller diameter will yield a taller cake - useful if you are cutting it in half horizontally to make a sandwich).
3. In a large mixing bowl combine almond flour, coconut flour, cacao powder, bicarb of soda, baking powder and salt (and coconut sugar if using).
4. In a high speed blender (I use a Nutribullet) blend together beetroot, eggs, coconut milk, honey/ maple syrup, vanilla and melted coconut oil until smooth and bright pink.
5. Pour pink 'smoothie' into bowl of dry ingredients and mix to combine well.
6. Pour cake mix into prepared tin and bake in preheated oven for approx 35 minutes, or until skewer inserted comes out clean.
7. Allow to cool slightly before removing from tin and transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
8. To make the ganache frosting, bring coconut milk and honey or maple syrup to a boil in a saucepan before turning heat down to a gentle simmer. Continue to simmer without a lid, stirring occasionally for 1.5-2hrs, or until the milk has darkened in colour and thickened in consistency. It should easily coat the back of a wooden spoon and look the colour of milky tea.
9. Stir in cacao powder and vanilla until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before using to decorate cake. Ganache will thicken further as it cools.

Ganache Frosting - try not to eat it all straight from the pan!
10. Spread ganache on top of cake (and in between if cutting cake in half to make a sandwich). Decorate as preferred.
11. Freeze any leftover ganache in chocolate silicone moulds to make Freezer Fudge.


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