What is it about celebration that calls for a big, sumptuous dessert? When we first started eating a more natural diet, celebrations were hard: how could we balance our love for whole, nutritious foods with the fact that celebrations tend to involve refined sugar and butter? At the time, I was also recovering from a gall bladder surgery that made it hard for me to digest fats, especially butter. Eating a cake or cookie would usually end in a stomach ache, or worse.
Over time, we’ve grown to realize the power of moderation and the special-ness that comes from only using rich ingredients occasionally (luckily my body has gradually learned how to digest them again). Treated with care, these ingredients can be a celebratory treat. It’s only when we become emotionally attached that they have power over us to dominate our minds and physiques.
Of course, we’ve put our “whole foods” spin on a decadent flourless chocolate cake by including almonds for protein and nutrients, using honey instead of added refined sugar (to compliment the sugar in the chocolate), and creating modest individual portions. It’s also a gluten-free dessert if that’s something you’re looking for. We’ve created these cakes as a recipe for two in honor of an upcoming celebration — Valentine’s Day! Look for our full Valentine’s Day menu later this week.
Another celebration? My birthday; I’ll be 32 tomorrow. As I’ve grown into my 30’s, birthdays have become a much simpler affair. Today, I’m mainly thankful to be alive, and surrounded by beautiful, wonderful, loving and life-giving people. It’s nearly 5 years since I was diagnosed with leukemia, and as positive and pain-free as my treatment has been, it’s made life that much dearer. Readers, know that every comment and kind vote of support has been a light to me.
We hope you enjoy this in whatever celebration you find yourself, be it a birthday, anniversary, life-event, or any special day!
Note: These cakes taste even better with a high-quality chocolate. We used our current favorite: Guittard’s Akoma Extra Semisweet Chips, which are also Fair Trade certified!Print
This recipe can easily be doubled to make enough for 4.
- ½ cup raw almonds (or almond meal)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons honey
- ⅓ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 egg
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 1 pinch cayenne
- 2 5-ounce ramekins
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- If using whole almonds, grind the almonds very finely in a food processor until the texture is light and fluffy.
- In a glass measuring cup or bowl, add 3 tablespoons butter, 3 tablespoons honey, and 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips. Microwave for 10 seconds intervals, stirring after each, until fully combined. (Alternatively, use the stovetop method to melt the chocolate and stir in the butter and honey until fully combined.)
- In a medium large bowl, beat one egg with a whisk. Then add 1/2 cup of the almond meal, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, 1 pinch of kosher salt, 1 pinch of cayenne pepper, and the chocolate mixture and stir to combine.
- Butter two 5-ounce ramekins. Pour in the batter, and bake for 35 minutes until a toothpick comes out nearly clean.
About the Authors
Cookbook Author and writer
Sonja Overhiser is author and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious, and a recipe developer and healthy & sustainable food advocate behind the award-nominated food blog A Couple Cooks.
Cookbook Author and photographer
Alex Overhiser is photographer and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best new cookbooks” by Bon Appetit, and a recipe developer, photographer, and technical expert at A Couple Cooks.