It felt like Spring outside, despite being mid December. That's typical for central Chile, where it feels like Spring most of the year. I was on the Island of Chiloé, which is dotted with brightly colored houses built on stilts, adding to the springy feel. The hostel I stayed at had a big kitchen which was shared among the nine other guests. Something about that kitchen brought us together, a group of seemingly random people, and with in a few days we were planning a "family" Christmas dinner.
The spread included dishes inspired from everyone's home: English Sausages, bacon wrapped dates, Chilean-style salads, and mushroom risotto. There was mulled wine, a lot of it, followed by a trivia game and this Chocolate Cardamom Cake.
Cardamom is a spice that offers both fragrance and warmth. It adds an aromatic touch to this bread that makes it fitting for springtime, and a coziness that makes it work amongst other rich dishes. This bread has a soft crumb but is not crumbly--a necessary distinction when talking about grain-free loaves. Drizzled with chocolate icing, it's more like cake than bread. It's rich and suitable as a decadent dessert, but also easy to make and works for casual last-minute gatherings. Ever since that Chilean Holiday, I've had this cake in the back of my mind.
Paleo Chocolate & Cardamom Cake
1 cup almond flour
2 tablespoons arrowroot flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoon cocoa
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons honey
1/3 cup coconut milk, canned, full fat
Paleo Chocolate Icing
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon cocoa butter (coconut oil will also work)
1 teaspoon honey (optional)
2 tablespoons full-fat coconut milk
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flours, baking powder, salt, cocoa, cardamom). Ensure that all of the coconut flour is mixed in, and no clumps remain.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, eggs, coconut milk, and vanilla until fully incorporated. Fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture, working with a spatula until a batter forms.
4. Grease a glass bread pan with a bit of coconut oil or avocado oil. Spread the batter in an even layer on the pan. Place in center of the oven, and bake for 35-40 minute, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle.
5. Remove the loaf from the oven and set on a rack to cool. While it cools, melt the ingredients for the icing together in a small sauce pan or bowl, whisking until fully incorporated. Once mixed, allow to cool for a few minutes. Drizzle icing over cooled cake. Slice and serve.