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My BIG FAT Grain Free Life: Pumpkin Spice Cake with Chocolate Ganache (grain free, dairy free, refined sugar free)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Chocolate Ganache (grain free, dairy free, refined sugar free)

This Pumpkin Spice Cake has become a family favorite of ours, especially of our girlie (for whom we began the grain free and mostly SCD lifestyle). We've served it to friends and family and have gotten rave reviews so far.

I began baking this cake in a traditional aluminum bundt pan which took about 55-60 minutes to bake. I am trying to replace aluminum baking pans one by one, so I recently bought a Princess House bundt pan from Replacements, Ltd.  I've found this pan bakes up a cake in 35-45 minutes, so please adjust your baking time accordingly.

My first exposure to grain free baking came through Kelly Brozyna of The Spunky Coconut - author of two wonderful cookbooks, The Spunky Coconut Cookbook and The Spunky Coconut Grain Free Baked Goods and Desserts.  This is my version of a grain free cake using cooked white navy beans in place of flour.

As far as the ganache goes - it's a long story and I won't bore you to death.  Here's the shortened version:  In preparation for Thanksgiving, I have tried - to no avail (yet) - to perfect my beloved pecan pie recipe with adjustments to accomodate our diet.  What have I learned?  It's difficult to substitute one cup of brown sugar and one cup of maple syrup with healthy ingredients without it tasting....well, different. I've lived in the south long enough to know that pecan pie needs to be saweet - sticky saweet - syrupy saweet.  I'll keep at the drawing board in hopes of perfecting it by Christmas - but I'm not making any promises. 

Anyhoo, I make a chocolate sauce to serve with my pecan pie....because... well, we like gilding lilies around here.  The original recipe is one part melted chocolate mixed with one part heavy cream.  On a whim, I thought I'd try my hand at making it dairy free (in the hopes it would make the failed attempts at pecan pie taste better).  At least we came up with one winner!   (phew)

I hope you enjoy! 

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Chocolate Ganache (grain free, dairy free, refined sugar free) 

3 cups cooked white navy beans (soaked 24 hours, cooked about 2 hours and drained)
6 jumbo eggs
1 cup honey
3 tablespoons vanilla
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup coconut oil 

3/4 cup blanched almond flour (I use Honeyville)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon

For Ganache:
1 1/2 cups Enjoy Life chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups cashew milk 

Preheat oven to 325F.  Grease and flour bundt pan. (I use almond flour.)  

In food processor, process beans, eggs, honey, vanilla, apple cider vinegar and coconut oil.  Scrape sides and process again until smooth. 

Meanwhile, in separate bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients.   

Add dry ingredients to wet and pulse to combine.  Scrape down and pulse again. 

Pour into prepared pan and tap pan on counter to remove air bubbles. 

Bake according to above instructions and your baking pan. 

To make ganache:  
In a  double boiler, melt chocolate chips.  Add cashew milk and stir constantly until well mixed and smooth.  (Mixture will start off with "flecks" of chocolate and then become smooth.) 

Remove top of double boiler and allow to cool.  Mixture will thicken some as it cools.   

Leftovers can be refrigerated and end up becoming a thick frosting-like ganache.  It can be reheated at this point or whisked and used as a frosting.  (As soon as I can come up with a decent grain free vanilla cake, I'm going to frost it with this....mmmmmm.)


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At November 21, 2011 at 3:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

So no pumpkin, just the pumpkin pie spice?

At November 21, 2011 at 3:58 PM , Blogger Jen said...

Nope - no pumpkin in this one. Just the spice.

At February 12, 2012 at 9:48 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This may be a silly question, but is it three cups of navy beans when they are all dry before they are soaked, or is it three cups after they have plumped up that we use in this recipe? Can't wait to try this one. :)

At February 12, 2012 at 10:48 AM , Blogger Jen said...

No question is silly - It's actually three cups of already soaked and cooked beans (drained after cooking). I don't serve this with the chocolate sauce - I need to take another photo of it. We love to eat this cake as dessert, or even as a breakfast cake. I hope you enjoy! Let me know if you have any other questions.


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