Monday, October 27, 2014

Epic Chocolate Caramel Layer Cake - an indulgent grain free, gluten free, dairy free Birthday cake

Epic! Yes this was an epic creation. I spent just about all day Sunday creating and making most of the elements for this cake. It was a real labour of love. It was my daughters 26th Birthday on the Monday and her friends are my favourite's when it comes to enjoying and appreciating my healthy alternative creations for her birthdays. I've been doing them for the girls for at least the last 8 years and it's been a total joy. I always get requests for her 21st birthday cake which unfortunately I just threw together and never wrote down the recipe so I now make sure I measure and note anything that may be a winner. Well blogging has also taught me the importance of keeping track of these things as well. I have at least 4 large note books packed to the brim with recipes I've put together. I'm in the process of putting together my first little eBook which has some of my raw tarts recipes in it. It's just a start, I have soooo many ideas for books that I want to do. I just need to get this one done so I know what I'm doing then I think I will be on a roll. 

I'm also at a very exiting, life changing, scary, sad, emotional and adventurous time in my life. My last child finishes school in just under 2 weeks time then heads overseas for a month to have an amazing holiday with his brother and sister. They are going to road trip America. They will celebrate his 18th birthday, Vegas, the coast, the mountains, snowboarding and just generally being locals for a little while as they have a base in Montana in a country home and a car to use to get them to the snow, the national parks and Costco! haha, I do hope they go and check out Trader Joes for me, I've heard so much about it and would love to know what it's like. 

Each element of this cake is a great recipe just by itself but putting them all together was heaps of fun. I sure hope you have a go at this, if you do make sure you let me know through Facebook or Instagram. 

Chocolate Layer Celebration Cake

Chocolate Hazelnut Brownie


1 cup whole hazelnuts
1 cup almonds
1 1/2 - 2 cups coconut sugar (if your a sweet tooth use 2) 
1 cup dried coconut
1/3 cup chia seeds 1/3 cup goji berries
1/3 cup raw cacao nibs
2 1/2 tbs cacao powder - I always use raw cacao
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla powder
1 tsp Maca – optional
2 tsp bi-carb soda
1/2 cup coconut, olive or rice bran oil (don’t use rice bran oil if Paleo)
4 free range eggs


Preheat oven to 180oc and line or grease a 17cm round or quick release cheesecake tin.
Add the hazelnut and almonds to a blender or food processor and blend until fine meal then add to a large mixing bowl with the coconut sugar and dried coconut.
Add the chia, goji berries and cacao nibs to the same blender and blend until very fine but not too long that it starts to get sticky from the goji berries. Add this to the mixing bowl with the cacao powder, cinnamon, vanilla, Maca, bi-carb and stir to combine making sure that  there are no lumps and the powders have been evenly distributed amongst the mix especially the bi-carb.
Make a well in the centre then add the oil and the eggs and stir them through until you have a thick dough. Turn mixture into the cake tin and tap on the bench to make it level. 
Bake for 30 minutes then turn temperature down to 150oc for approximately 15-20 minutes checking to make sure the top does not burn and it doesn’t overcook. Let cool before removing from cake tin.
Allow to cool completely before slicing in half horizontally then put aside while you prepare the rest of the elements.  It will have sunk in the middle so calculate where you need to cut it so that you don’t just cut a ring off the top. You may only get about a 1-2cm slice from the bottom but that’s ok as it will make a nice base for the cake.

Chocolate Banana Cake


1 1/3 cups fine blanched almond meal
1 cup coconut sugar
1 large tbs coconut flour
2 ½ tbs raw cacao powder
1 tsp vanilla powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 free range eggs
1 ripe banana
1/3 cup coconut oil – soft or melted


Preheat oven to 180oc and line or grease the same cake tin you used for the Brownie.
Add all of the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir to combine and evenly distribute.
Blend the eggs, banana and coconut oil until smooth then make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients to add the wet mix. Fold the wet ingredients thoroughly to create a thick batter. 
Once it is fully mixed pour into the cake tin then bake for 30-40 minutes or until it bounces back when lightly pressed or a skewer come out dry.
Let cool before removing from the cake tin.
Set aside until ready to put it all together.

Blueberry Walnut Crumble


½ cup walnuts
cup sunflower seeds
cup dried coconut
cup coconut sugar
cup pitted dates
½ tsp vanilla powder
¼ cup dried blueberries


Preheat oven to 160oc and line a baking try with non-stick baking paper.

Add all dry ingredients except the blueberries to a food processor or blender and blend until you get a fine dry meal. Turn into a mixing bowl with  the dried blueberries. Melt the maple syrup and coconut oil together then mix it into the dry ingredients with finger tips until evenly distributed. 
Pour the tray and spread out evenly to cook for 20-30 minutes. Every 10 minutes stir a fork through the mix to separate it and fold the edges in so that they don’t burn. 
Once slightly browned remove from the oven then let cool for 10 minutes before stirring the fork through again to separate it and create a loose crumble. Once it cools completely it will get crunchier. Once completely cool store in an airtight container until needed.  

NOTE: It needs to be crumbled before it cools or it will become too firm.

Chocolate Coated Caramel Balls


Caramel ball

1 cup pitted dates
1 cup dried coconut
1 tsp Lacuma
1 tsp mesquite
½ tsp vanilla powder or paste

Chocolate fudge coating

1 cup almonds
1 cup pitted dates
½ cup sultanas or raisins
½ cup sunflower seeds
2 tbs raw cocoa powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp vanilla powder or paste
Extra coconut for rolling


Caramel Ball

Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until fine and fudgy then roll into 1 ½ cm balls, put aside while you prepare the coating

Chocolate Fudge Coating

Add all ingredients to a high speed blender or food processor and blend until fudgy. This can take and while and you may have to stop and redistribute the mix to help the blender. Keep going on the highest speed until the oils start to release and it is fudge. Place a large table spoon of the mix into the palm of your hand and flatten it out so that you can place a caramel ball in the centre then wrap the fudge around it sealing the edge and rolling it into a nice even ball. Roll in extra coconut and store in a container until needed.

Chocolate Avocado Mousse


1 cup raw cashews
1 cup pitted dates
1 large ripe avocado
½ cup coconut cream – I used Nakula coconut cream
2 tbs raw cacao powder
½ tsp vanilla powder or paste
2 – 4 tbs maple syrup – if needed (I used them)


Soak cashews in a generous amount of water overnight. Add the dates to a bowl and fill the water to about 2/3 then press them down until they are all covered and soak overnight next to the cashews.
Rinse and drain the cashew but keep the date water.  Add all ingredients minus as much date water you can keep aside and the maple syrup to a high speed blender and blend until super smooth and creamy with no lumps or gritty bits. If it seems to dry add the rest of the date water and or maple syrup to taste and consistency.

Place into a jug or bowl ready for creating your masterpiece.

Cashew Cream


½ cup soaked cashew
½ cup soaked pitted dates – just cover with water as per mousse.


Blend the 2 ingredients together until super smooth and creamy. If you need a large amount for you blender then do up a double batch. It stores well in a piping bag or sealed jar in the fridge to be use for other recipes or creations.


Follow this recipe


Place the bottom layer of the brownie onto a serving plate then spread with the chocolate avocado mousse. Place the Chocolate Banana Cake on top then spread more chocolate avocado mousse over the cake and evenly space fresh or frozen blueberries in the mouse. Place the top layer of the brownie over the blueberries then fill the centre, top and sides with the rest of the chocolate avocado mousse.
Gently place the Caramel Chocolate Balls around the perimeter of the cake pressing them into the mousse gently so that they are secure. Fill the center with the blueberry Crunch and a few extra fresh or frozen blueberries.

Pipe the Cashew Cream between the balls which will also help to secure them then pipe little rosettes around the base leaving enough room for a blueberry between each one.

When serving drizzle each piece with a generous drizzle of the caramel.

Served here with the caramel sauce.

Remember I have a special request, If you make this PLEASE take a photo and share it on my Karenluvslife facebook page. I would so love to see it. If your an instagramer then please tag me there, my ig account is luvinglifewholefoods, Can't wait :-) 

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I am not a doctor, registered dietitian or fitness expert. The purpose of my blog is to share my experiences with food, fitness and life and hopefully to inspire you. All content provided on my blog is for informational purposes only. I make no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. Karen



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