This isn’t just a chocolate cake, it is the most important desert of the family! I discovered the original version (a natural grain-free chocolate cake, with a soft and moist sugar-filled inside) when I was just 17. My fiancée, the world most difficult chocolate cake expert, has never found a better recipe than mine, including at top notch french restaurants. Since I am following a Paleo/Primal lifestyle I am much more aware of minimising the amount of refined sugar intake. Therefore, I adapted the original recipe and I’m giving you three versions of it: 100% paleo and ovo-vegetarian / primal / grain-free (the original version). All the photos are of the paleo version. No matter if you choose to make the healthy of the decadent version, I’m sure you will love this cake!
50gr cocoa butter; 45gr coconut butter; 90gr almond meal; 55gr non-sweetened cocoa; 40ml cognac OR water; 6 Medjoul dates + 75-90ml maple syrup; 4 egg yolks; 5 egg whites
PRIMAL / GRAIN-FREE ingredients:
150gr butter; 125gr almond meal; 150gr dark chocolate; 25gr non-sweetened cocoa; 30ml water; 6 Medjoul dates + 75-90ml maple syrup OR 250gr cane sugar / muscovado sugar ; 4 eggs, separated; optional: 1 tea-spoon of vanilla essence and 1 shot glass (4cl) of strong alcohol such as cognac, triple sec etc.
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C, traditional mode, not fan-forced.
2.a. PALEO version: Gently melt the butter. In a separate bowl, mix in the almond meal, the cocoa, the pitted and crushed dates, the cognac and the maple syrup (you can dose it according to your taste buds, some like it darker, others sweeter). Add the butters and when the batter cooled incorporate the egg yolks stirring vigorously. In a clean bowl beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Using a spatula, add the egg-white mixture gradually to the chocolate mixture (in at least three batches) and gently fold it in. You want to keep as much air as possible in the batter.
2.b. PRIMAL/GRAIN FREE version: Gently melt your butter and the chocolate (you can do a bain-marie for instance). In a separate bowl mix the almond meal, the cocoa, the water, the dates and the maple syrup OR the cane/muscovado sugar. If you choose to use them, this is the time to add the cognac/triple sec and the vanilla extract. Add the melted butter, the chocolate and mix well. Wait a minute for the batter to no longer be warm and add the egg yolks (you don’t want them to cook already). In a separate and clean bowl beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Using a spatula, add the egg-white mixture gradually to the chocolate mixture (in at least three batches) and gently fold it in. Yet again, you want to keep as much air as possible in the batter.
3. Pour everything in a heavily buttered cake pan (here I used IKEA’s Drömmar) and pop it in the oven for 45-50 minutes. After it is cooked and small cracks start forming on the surface, take it out of the oven and let it cool for 15 minutes before flipping it on a serving plate. Often, i like to use the silicone/ceramic mould from Lekue (the one normally used for cheesecakes) because the base is also a very good serving plate and there is no need for flipping. Anything works really…
BONUS: For the decoration I melted a little white chocolate that I then mixed with 1 tea-spoon of Matcha green tea. I filled small silicone rose mould and then popped it in the fridge for an hour. Wait for the cake to be completely cooled before adding any chocolate flowers. ENJOY!!!