Christmas Blessings In July, Part 2: Grain-Free, Gluten-Free Peppermint Bark Cakes

grain-free peppermint bard cakes 2A couple of days ago, I posted a recipe for the gluten-free peppermint bark cakes I made for my mother-in-law’s surprise Christmas-in-July 75th birthday celebration. I used grain flours in that recipe, so that the texture would be more familiar to those attending the party who are not used to the sometimes different texture of gluten-free foods. Personally, however, I use gluten-free nut and seed flours much more often than I do gluten-free grain flours these days. I believe grain-free flours are more dense with vitamins, good fats, and other nutrients. Even though dessert is, well, dessert, I see no reason why it shouldn’t be as healthy as dessert as can be while still being delicious (which means loaded with whole fat butter, raw sugar, and cocoa!). I remade the cakes yesterday, using almond, cashew, and coconut flours. It tasted every bit as delicious as the cakes I made with the rice, sorghum, and tapioca flours. I did make a little adjustment to the recipe, to accommodate the extra fat in the almond / cashew flours. I reduced the amount of coconut oil by 2 oz. Other than that, I used the same recipe I developed for the original cakes I made for my mother-in-law’s birthday party.

These cakes are rich and flavorful, and the texture is tender. This batter expanded more than the the gluten-free grain flour version, so the cups in the pan should be filled only about 1/2 full rather than 2/3, which worked well for the gluten-free grain-flour version.

Grain-Free, Gluten-Free Peppermint Bark Cakes

Makes 30 – 34 individual cakes

Cakes:grain-free peppermint bark cakes 3

4 oz organic butter, softened
2oz virgin coconut oil
600 g raw sugar
6 eggs
2 egg yolks
2 tsp Star Kay White pure chocolate extract (or other excellent quality brand pure chocolate extract
187.5 g Blanched, finely ground almond flour
62.5 g Finely ground cashew flour
62.5 g Finely ground coconut flour
62.5 g Valrhona (or other excellent quality brand) Dutched cocoa powder
3 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
1 ½ cups water

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Spray Wilton mini fluted pans with coconut or other healthy cooking oil
-In a large bowl, cream together the butter, coconut oil, and sugar until light and fluffy.
-Add eggs, two at a time, and beat well after each addition.
-Add the two egg yolks, and beat well.
-Add the extract, beat well.
-In another bowl, stir together all the dry ingredients until well blended.
-Add a third of the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, and a third of the water, beating after each addition and alternating between dry ingredients and water.
-Let the batter rest for twenty minutes, to allow the flours to absorb the moisture.
– Pour evenly into prepared fluted cups, filling each about 1/2 full.
-Bake for 10 – 12 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into a cake.
-Remove from pans and cool on wire cooling racks.

White Chocolate Peppermint Glaze

1 cup heavy whipped cream
8 oz El Rey white chocolate discs or other quality white chocolate(NOT white chocolate baking pieces or
coating), chopped
3 tsp (or to taste) pure peppermint extract
2 – 3 tbls sifted powdered sugar (or enough to make the glaze the right consistency for drizzling over the cakes)
Finely crushed peppermint candy (I used Mini Twists Crushed Peppermint Candy, found on the baking
aisles of most stores.)

-In a heavy pan, bring the whipped cream nearly to a boil.
-Remove from heat and add the white chocolate. Let the chocolate sit in the hot cream to soften, then whisk or stir mixture until smooth. Add peppermint extract. Stir until smooth.
-Add enough sifted powdered sugar to make the glaze the right consistency for drizzling.
-Place parchment paper under the cooling racks on which the cakes sit, to catch the glaze that drips down from the cakes.
-Using a spoon, drizzle the white chocolate peppermint glaze over the tops of the cakes.
-Immediately lightly sprinkle the crushed peppermint candy over the tops of the cakes.

*The amount of peppermint extract you add depends really upon your taste. If you use El Ray white chocolate, you’ll need to add a bit more peppermint extract to overcome the chocolate’s natural earthy flavor. I used three teaspoons, tasting after the addition of each teaspoon, to get the intensity of peppermint I wanted: noticeable but not overwhelming.

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