This heavenly, moist, and light gluten- and dairy-free cake gleans just the right amount of natural sweetness from the dates and berry sauce, or coulis in French parlance. Made by grinding up blanched almonds, almond flour infuses baked goods with high amounts of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. When baking with such wheat-free flours, it’s best to separate the eggs and whip the whites to produce a lighter, cakelike end product. For clean-cut cake wedges, try dipping the knife in hot water before cutting each slice. The slices are best served warm.
1 cup (250 mL) pitted dates
1/2 cup (125 mL) natural cocoa powder
1/2 cup (125 mL) brewed coffee, hot
1 1/2 cups (350 mL) almond flour
1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon
1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
2 large free-range eggs, separated
1/3 cup (80 mL) melted coconut oil or other oil of choice
2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla extract or chocolate extract
1 cup (250 mL) fresh or frozen (thawed) raspberries
2 tsp (10 mL) honey
2 tsp (10 mL) lemon juice
Soak pitted dates in 1 cup (250 mL) boiling water for 15 minutes. Blend dates and soaking water in blender until smooth. Place cocoa powder and hot coffee in large heatproof bowl, stir to combine, and set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Line bottom of 9 in (23 cm) springform pan or round cake pan with parchment paper and lightly grease sides.
In large mixing bowl, stir together almond flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Stir date paste, egg yolks, oil, and vanilla extract or chocolate extract into the cocoa-coffee mixture. Add cocoa mixture to almond flour mixture and stir gently until combined.
Using electric mixer or whisk, whip egg whites until soft peaks form. Stir about one-quarter of egg whites into batter and then gently fold in remaining egg whites.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 33 minutes, or until sides are set and centre on top looks slightly damp. Let cool for 10 minutes on wire rack before cutting.
To make coulis, combine raspberries, honey, lemon juice, and 2 Tbsp (30 mL) water in blender, and purée until smooth. Strain through fine-mesh strainer, pressing with wooden spoon or spatula to remove seeds.
Serve slices of cake drizzled with coulis.
Each serving contains: 308 calories; 8 g protein; 22 g total fat (9 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 28 g total carbohydrates (17 g sugars, 7 g fibre); 171 mg sodium
source: "Sweets for Your Sweetheart", alive #376, February 2014
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