RECIPE: Paleo Chocolate Cake. This recipe is on page 336 of The Art of Mead Tasting and Food Pairing
Equipment: Spring-form pan, baking parchment paper, double boiler or a saucepan fitted with a metal mixing bowl
This recipe is: Paleo, Gluten-free, Dairy–free (if you substitute coconut oil for butter)
Note: This is a luxurious, no-compromises, spectacular flourless chocolate cake. Don’t be scared off just because it’s good for you!
Time 1 hour 20 min
Hands-on 30 min
Yields One cake, about 8-12 servings
Cooking spray (such as PamTM)
1/2 cup water or mead – feel free to use mead flavored with chili peppers, cherry, orange, raspberry, be creative!
1/2 cup white granulated sugar (or use coconut sugar or date sugar)
8 oz 100%-cacao unsweetened chocolate
8 oz 56%-cacao bakers chocolate
1 cup (2 sticks) best-quality butter (or use coconut oil)
1 Tbsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
8 large eggs or 12 small eggs
For garnish: cocoa powder, fresh berries, candied orange peel, or orange slices
1. Pre-heat the oven to 325 °F. Position one oven rack in the lowest position, and place a 13x9x2-inch pan or roasting pan filled with water. Or put your pizza stone on the lowest shelf. This mass helps the cake to cook evenly. Position a second oven rack one notch above the pan or stone.
2. Assemble your spring-form pan, spray bottom and sides with cooking spray, and line with a cut-to-fit circle of baking parchment. Set aside.
3. Fill the bottom of your double boiler with water, and bring to a boil. In the top of your double boiler, heat and stir the water or mead plus sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Then add the chocolate plus the butter or coconut oil, whisking occasionally until melted and smooth. Add the salt and vanilla, and remove from heat.
4. Meanwhile, in the largest bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs for at least five or up to ten minutes, until light in color, very fluffy, and approximately tripled in volume. Remove from the stand mixer.
5. Using a rubber spatula to stir gently, pour the chocolate mixture very slowly into the eggs, stirring to incorporate the chocolate before adding more.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared spring-form pan. Bake about 45 to 50 minutes, until the cake has risen, the edges are set, and the center is no longer a liquid but also not yet firm. Cool completely in the pan, and then refrigerate.
7. To remove the cake from the pan, run a knife around the sides, and then dip the bottom and sides of the pan in boiling or very hot tap water (either in your clean sink, or in a large pan).
Pairing Suggestion I: Pair any chocolate dessert with an exceptional capsumel, such as Beso Exotico from The Colony Meadery, Allentown, Pennsylvania; or Pirate’s Blood from Wild Blossom Meadery, Chicago, Illinois; or Capsumel from Moonstruck Meadery, Bellevue, Nebraska. There are many more fine capsumels out there; look for full-bodied, sweet, wine-style capsumels for this pairing.
Pairing Suggestion II: Pair any chocolate dessert with a full-bodied, high-alcohol berry melomel, such as anything from Schramm’s Meads, Ferndale, Michigan; Moonlight Meadery, Londonderry, New Hampshire; or Chateau Lorane, Lorane, Oregon. Garnish with fresh berries.
Pairing Suggestion III: Before pouring into the springform pan, stir in the finely-grated zest of one organic orange and one teaspoon orange extract. Garnish with candied orange peel and a slice of fresh orange, and pair with an orange melomel or traditional mead. Pair with Orange Mead from Honeymoon Meadery, Bellingham, Washington; Chocolate Dessert Pyment/Orange from Kuhnhenn Brewing, Warren, Michigan; or Rose-Cardamom mead from Hierophant Meadery, Mead, Washington.