Friday, August 9, 2013

Paleo Chocolate Cake with Ganache with a Paleo Nutella Mousse Recipe

gluten free chocolate cake
Inspiration comes in all shapes and flavors
I stumbled upon this cafe in Orlando called the "Drunken Monkey" and with a name like that how can you not go in, right?!

I was just amazed that they had all these desserts for people on special diets-- vegan, vegetarian, gluten free.... yada yada. It was like my own little corner of heaven!

Doesn't it look yummy?!

So, of course, after I got home I was so inspired to make something delicious and paleo that isn't traditionally "healthy" and included chocolate.

Lots and lots of chocolate.

How about some Paleo Nutella, y'all!

Oh, and cake. ::wink::
Paleo Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Ingredients for Hazelnut spread
What You Need:
  • 1 c Hazelnuts (preferred organic)
  • 1/2-3/4 c Coconut milk (depends on how moussy you want it)
  • 1/4 c Cacao Powder (not cocoa powder-- this stuff is better!)
  • 1/4 c Maple Syrup
  • 2 TBSP Coconut oil
  • 1/2 TBSP Coconut Sugar
  • 1/3 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch of Salt (as desired)
Preheat oven to 375F

Soak the hazelnuts over night and in the morning rinse them, dry them and toss them in the oven for 12-14 minutes to dry them out. They should be fragrant, and slightly toasted when you take them out of the oven.

After you let them cool down a bit (this is the tedious part) peel off the skins. The skins should peel right off, but you have to do each individual nut. ::yawn::

After you have peeled them, then you can put them in the food processor. I try to blend them for a few minutes until they look pretty smooth, then I add the coconut milk and cocao powder, then blend it again.

Next I add all the other ingredients and pulse a few times to get everything mixed together.

hazelnut spread DIY nutellaIt is all done! It's texture is a mousse, so it's different than the typical nutella, but it's super yummy!

As for the taste, it will be a little bit more nutty and less sweet than the original store bought version. You can always increase the coconut sugar or the maple syrup to make it a bit sweeter, but personally I like it this way. The cocao powder is great in this recipe because it doesn't leave the bitter aftertaste that cocoa powder does which makes me soooo happy.

It's great as a snack to spread on apples or bananas! Yum!! And I freely admit that I enjoyed more than a few strawberries dipped into this stuff.


If you want something decadent (and I do) you will want to keep reading…

The Man's Paleo Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Cake
Chocolate Cake with Hazelnut spread

Sometimes men have good ideas and rarely they have great ideas, but on this day The Man had an amazing idea.

After I made the nutella, he said, "Sherri, wouldn't this be good on that chocolate cake you made the other day? Like a mousse cake?" My brain immediately went, "Oh, hellz yeah it would!" And then he uttered something profound, "And mayyybbbeee some paleo chocolate ganache?"

Life changing moment.

Paleo chocolate ganache. Yes, please. Now.

So I decided to try a few things and this is what I came up with. The base of the cake is adapted from my favorite cookbook of all times, Primal Cravings, but the rest is all me, baby. I hope you like it!

What You Need:
I only grabbed two eggs for the picture! Oops! 
1/4 c Coconut flour
1/3 c Flour Tapioca
3 1/2 TBSP Cacao Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
4 Eggs
1/2 c Earth Balance Butter, Melted (dairy free option-- can substitute regular butter)
4.4 oz Organic, unsweetened Apple Sauce (the entire individual serving container)
1/2 c Coconut Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Lots and lots of Dark Chocolate chips
3/4-1 Pint of Organic Strawberries (optional)

1 cup of Dark Chocolate chips
2 TBSP Organic Palm Shortening
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
chocolate ganache (paleo)

Preheat oven to 350F

Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl (flours, cacao powder, and baking soda)

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and butter, then incorporate the coconut sugar, applesauce and vanilla extract.

Fold in the chocolate chips. Let it sit for about 5 minutes so the batter can thicken.

Place the batter in a tart pan or a spring form pan-- something that you can easily remove the cake from.

Cook for 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Let the cake cool completely and then top it with enough hazelnut spread (which has been chilled) to coat the entire cake with mousse. Place in the refrigerated for about 20-30 minutes.

Making gluten free hazelnut nutella strawberry cake

After the cake is chilled completely, you can make the ganache

On a double boiler, melt the palm shortening and chocolate, stirring often. When smooth and all chocolate is melted, take it off the heat, and grab the cake from the refrigerator. Remove the side wall from the tart pan or springform pan (leave the bottom part) and place it on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper and then pour the ganache over top the cake.

It is easiest if you put the strawberries on AFTER the ganache, but I did it backwards so it would look prettier for the above photo.

It was hard. Don't do it.

Stick it back in the fridge for at least half and hour before devouring!

Yum!! I recommend that you store it in the fridge!

Paleo chocolate cake with ganache and strawberries

The cake part is quite mild, but when you bite into a chocolate chip... mmmmm!! Heaven! The Nutella Mousse is creamy and adds a bit of a sweet, nutty flavor while the ganache.. oh, the ganache!! It's very chocolatey and has the perfect amount of give. My favorite bite though is one that has the strawberries because it just pairs so perfectly with all the flavors in the cake. The Man says this WILL be a staple in house. I, for once, agree.

If you want to read more about Cocao and it's amazing health benefits, check out this posting from Ribas with Love

And don't forget to check out this amazing 4 ingredient chocolate treat from my friend Running on Good and Paleo Chocolate Jello from Cheerfully Imperfect.


  1. Ganache, hazelnut, strawberries...I don't usually crave sweets in the morning, but your pictures are making me hungry! You should FedEx me a slice, cause if I made this cake I'd eat it all myself! #notjoking

    1. Haha! You crack me up!! I would definitely do that, but I might have to wrestle it out of the arms of my boyfriend! He eats this entire cake in 1 day!! Ridiculous. :)

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