I’m not a big sweets eater, as many of my readers and forum acquaintances know. But my husband IS! And since he’s Type 2 diabetic, I do try to fix him low-carb treats so he won’t go and buy the awful junk at the grocery store and bakery that is laden with flour and sugar. This dessert I created for his Valentine’s Day treat some years back and thought I’d share it again since Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.
The basic chocolate cake batter in this recipe is actually not my recipe. My inspiration was a recipe posted by a wonderful cook on LowCarbFriends forums named Gwen, known there as “The Chicken Lady”. This cake is a testimonial to her incredible cooking skills. I’m very pleased with this chocolate cake! And I can’t say that about many low-carb chocolate cakes I’ve tried. Despite it looking sinfully rich, it was very light. I have made no changes to her original cake recipe. :)
I did bake my cake in ONE 9″ round cake (wax-paper lined) cake pan that is unusually deep (2½”) and the cake rose nearly to the top! It would bake OK in two standard shallow 9″ cake pans also, but reduce the cooking time if you make that pan change. You’ll have more trouble slicing it into 4 layers, and might prefer to just do a two-layer final cake instead of three. Or you could bake the cake in a wax-paper lined stew pot/dutch oven. That has worked for me many a time. This cake is not suitable until the berries rung of the Atkins OWL carb reintroduction ladder. Due to the artificial sweeteners and dairy, this dessert is not be suitable for Paleo-Primal followers without considerable modification.
VARIATION: Substitute raspberries for the strawberries.
This cake is fairly carb pricey, but if you can’t afford the carbs, you could cut it into 12 pieces. That’s a wee bit better. This should be considered a very special occasion treat because it IS so carb pricey. Be sure if substituting other than liquid sweeteners, to add in those carbs!
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4 c. almond flour
liquid sweetener to equal 2 c. sugar
½ c. granular erythritol (or equivalent of 1/3 cup of sugar)
4 pkts. stevia (equivalent for 8 tsp. sugar)
½ c. cup cocoa powder
2 t. baking powder
2 t. baking soda
½ t. salt
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1/3 c. butter or coconut oil, melted
4 eggs, beaten
1 c. sour cream
2½ c. heavy cream, whipped
Pinch (less than 1/16 tsp.) glucomannan powder, dusted over cream as you whip it (optional, to help firm up the whipped cream)
14 oz. frozen whole strawberries, thawed and drained of juice, chopped
1 c. fresh strawberries, chopped (or 1 c. more frozen berries, or use all fresh berries)
Sweetener of choice to taste
DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350º. Mix and beat the wet cake ingredients in a large mixing bowl. If your almond flour isn’t room temperature, make it so and press out any lumps. Measure and add in all dry ingredients to the bowl and stir well. Line your cake pan(s) with waxed paper or parchment. Grease the sides of the pan(s) well. Pour batter into pan spreading it evenly with a rubber spatula. Tap pan on counter to eliminate air pockets and pop into 350º oven. Bake for about 60 minutes if using one, very deep pan like I did. If using two 1″ x 9″ round cake pans, they will cook much faster, in about 25-30 minutes or so. Toothpick test the center. It should come out clean and dry when the the cake is done. Completely cool before attempting to tip cake out onto a board to cut it into layers. This cake can also be made in a rectangular 9 x 13″ pan, cut in half and each half then sliced laterally to form 4 layers (reserve 1 layer for another use as you only need 3 layers for this cake). All sorts of possibilities with that cake size.
While cake is in the oven, make the frosting: Whip the cream until thick. Run the berries through a food processor (or chop coarsely) for a few seconds, but leave them coarse. Fold the berries into the whipped cream. Dust the pinch of glucomannan powder over the mixture slowly, folding after each addition, until all of it has been incorporated. Taste for sweetness and add your favorite sweetener to taste. Chill frosting until cake is totally cool.
Next cut the cake layers: I sliced the completely cooled cake very carefully with a long-bladed knife, using a piece of cardboard covered with foil to gently slide each layer onto to set aside while I filled/frosted the final creation. This cake has a firm texture and is not as crumbly as some almond flour cakes. All good, but you still need to be careful, as even firm cakes can break.
Place about 1¼ c. of the frosting on the bottom layer of the cake. Spread evenly with a rubber spatula, going almost to the edges. Place the second layer of cake gently on the top and press slightly. Put another 1¼ c. frosting on this layer and spread it out evenly. Place the top cake layer on the stack, press slightly and spread all remaining frosting on the top and sides. OPTIONAL GARNISH: Decorate the top of your cake with fresh strawberry slices, a few strawberry leaves or perhaps a sliced and “fanned out” single strawberry at the center. Chill in the refrigerator with plastic wrap on top until ready to cut and serve.
This cake was simply DELICIOUS and I will definitely be making it again! My thanks to The Chicken Lady for her wonderful chocolate cake recipe. It truly made my Valentines treat a success!
CONFESSION TIME: The reason I used both frozen and fresh berries in the topping is I only had one 14 oz. bag of the frozen diced unsweetened berries in my freezer. I thought that would make enough frosting. But 1½ c. cream and those berries didn’t make enough frosting to frost the sides of the cake! So I had to whip up a little more frosting real quick with another cup of cream and berries, so the last batch of frosting had to be made with what fresh berries I had on hand.
NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 10 servings, using the sweeteners specified, each serving contains:
57.8 g fat
20.4 g carbs, 7.05 g fiber, 13.35 g NET CARBS (17.0 carbs, 5.87 fiber, 11.12 NC if cut into 12 slices)
15.2 g protein
521 mg sodium