If you read day 29 of my blog you know that during my 30-day primal/paleo challenge I was enticed, seduced and ultimately fell in love with a sweet treat introduced by a friend of mine, paleo gingerbread.
If you haven’t read day 29 – then get on it!
The seduction itself occurred on day 21, but I was too in lust and love with the dessert to bring myself to post about my forbidden love and treachery.
I admit, weeks after I ate that wonderful paleo gingerbread that my ‘almost always’ paleo friend made for me, I thought perhaps I had just imagined the goodness of it given I was in the middle of a tempting feast of sugar (dinner party) and was in day 21 of a 30 day paleo challenge.
So when the challenge finished, and I along with fellow challenges were invited by Primal Junction, to join a celebration, I thought I too would try my hand at making the gingerbread goodness, and see if a) I was a good as cook as my friend and b) if it really was three slice worthy and that good.
So I pulled up the original recipe, and just as my friend did for me that day made a few modifications. The modified list of must have’s is below –
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 2/3 cup coconut nectar
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp. organic vanilla extract or vanilla bean (I have used both)
- 3 cups almond flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder (gluten free)
- 1/2 tsp. cardamom
- 2 tsp. ground ginger
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
Now the recipe we had, said stern words like follow the ingredients exactly, and make sure you do everything just as I have blah blah blah, and while I very much appreciate the author had taken the time to experiment and find a great paleo option for us all, there were adjustments to be made.
For instance the original recipe called for 2/3 cup blackstrap molasses, which we substituted for coconut nectar, and also for maple extract, which we left out completely. The first time I made these I also omitted the baking soda (by mistake) but it didn’t seam to matter and I didn’t have cloves so just added in extra cinnamon. So basically, you can just work through the spices to your taste and don’t get too hung up about it.
And best of all, its very easy to make.
Simply combine the eggs, coconut nectar, coconut oil and vanilla and beat well until its combined.
While your kitchen aid is churning that goodness, combine the rest of the dry ingredients in another bowl and mix with a spoon so it is combined.
While your blades are still churning, add the dry ingredients to the wet slowly, until it is combined and mixed well.
Now the recipe I had also was very particular about cooking this in a glass greased dish, 13×9. I used a metal non-stick square loaf pan that I greased with a coconut oil. On one occasion, because I was scared it wouldn’t come out cleanly; I also used baking paper to line the tin. Again don’t get too hung up about what you cook it in – but it does effect cooking times.
Choose your tin/pan/dish and spread the batter in evenly as best you can.
Bake in your pre-heated oven at 180 degrees and cook for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to about 110 for another 30 minutes. Personally, my tin takes a little longer at this temperature so keep checking and don’t stress out if you need to keep the oven hot for a little while longer.
I also found this temperature and time often did not darken the cake enough, so would crank up the heat again to get a nice dark colour. You know its cooked inside if your poker/prodder/toothpick comes out clean, so if you do like a darker colour you might like to do the same. Word of caution however, this baby tans quickly so keep your eye on it or your brown will soon turn to black….
Once cooked, let the cake cool enough that you can safety take it out of your pan, but not completely or it might get stuck.
If possible try to let it cool completely before cutting – more harsh words from the original recipe author – although again the first time I made this I was running late and cut it as steam was rising from it, and it still got rave reviews.
So, back to my original questions.
A) Was I as good a cook as my friend? – No. Her colour was better, and its always nicer when someone makes it for you.
B) Was the paleo gingerbread cake as good as I thought it was? Yes. It was snaffled up by most of the challenge celebrators and the recipe was asked for. Even my sugar loving family and Great Baker Gma complemented it the second time I made it for a family dinner.
The only problem with this little puppy is its so easy to make and eat, you will end up doing both WAY too much!
- The Primal Challenge Day 29 (staceyfmason.wordpress.com)