Gluten Free Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

This was a new recipe for me. I have heard of olive oil cake before, but never tried it. It was definitely a different type of cake. Kind of like a cross between a regular ‘box’ cake and a flourless cake. It was both dense and light and really moist. I didn’t find the olive oil to be overwhelming, but the chocolate made it very rich. I actually decided to freeze one of the 9-inch rounds (this recipe yields two) because I knew there was no way to get through a double layer cake that is this rich. I would definitely make this again, but only if I knew there were going to be a lot of people around to eat it.

I topped the cake with a mocha ganache and served it with vanilla whipped cream and some raspberry coulis. 

Gluten Free Chocolate Olive Oil Cake (adapted from BetterBatter.org)

  • 3 cups All Purpose Flour (I used Better Batter)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 7 tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cold water
  1. Preheat the oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
  2. With mixer at low speed, beat in oil, vinegar, vanilla and water; beat until smooth.
  3. Pour the mixture into two 9-inch pans coated with butter and dusted with more (gluten free) flour.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  5. Put the cake pans on cooling racks and cool for 15 to 20 minutes before removing the cakes from the pans to cool completely.

Mocha Ganache

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup/8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I just used chocolate chips)
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

In a heavy sauce pan, bring the cream almost to a boil. Add in chocolate chips and espresso powder. Remove from heat and stir until all the chocolate is melted. Allow to cool slightly before using.

Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Cheesecake (Gluten Free!)

Today is my birthday! This is my all-time favorite dessert.

Now, I’ll let you all in on a little secret. I am not really a fan of chocolate, or of dessert in general, except when it comes to this cheesecake. I love this cheesecake. Mama CC has made it for my birthday every year we have been in the same country since I was in middle school. I have been very wary of sharing the recipe and have only made it for a few select people in the past. I don’t want anyone else messing with my favorite dessert. But honestly, it’s just too good not to share. It’s ridiculously rich. This is probably the richest cheesecake you will ever try. That is why I tried to make mini cheesecakes of it. I thought it would help stagger the richness of the cheesecake. You really can’t have more than a sliver of it at a time. So mini cheesecakes seemed like a natural solution. Mini cheesecakes were brilliant in their inception, but not so much in their execution. They were just way too much work. But they did benefit from the smaller portion; you really only need two or three bites to be satisfied.

Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Cheesecake
Yields 1-9 inch cheesecake

Chocolate Graham Crust: 

In medium bowl, stir together crumbs, sugar, cocoa and butter.  Mix well.  Press into bottom and halfway up side of a 9-inch springform pan. 

Cheesecake:

  • Chocolate Graham Crust
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) of cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup good cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  1. Prepare Graham Crust.  Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar, cocoa and 1 teaspoon vanilla until smooth.  Add eggs, beat until blended.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Pour into prepared crust.
  3. Bake 20 minutes.  Remove from oven to wire rack, cool 15 minutes.  Increase over temperature to 425 degrees.
  4. In a small bowl stir together sour cream, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and remaining 1 tablespoon vanilla, mix until smooth.  Spread over  baked filling.  Bake for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven to wire rack.  With a knife immediately loosen case from side of pan.  Cool completely; remove from pan.  Refrigerate several hours or overnight until completely cold.  Serves 10 – 12!

Transylvanian Truffles

I’m not quite sure what these have to do with Transylvania, but we’ll just go with it. Transylvania is actually quite awesome. I lived there for a week once. It’s a long story, but just trust me when I say it was great and there are not vampires lurking around every corner.

If you are having an adult halloween party, I would recommend slipping some hazelnut liqueur, like Frangelico, into the mix.

Transylvanian Truffles (from myrecipes.com)

  • 1 pound bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, for coating truffles, optional
  • 3 dozen miniature Halloween sugar decorations or toasted hazelnuts, optional
  1. Place chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. In a small, heavy saucepan, bring cream to a boil and pour over chocolate, whisking until melted and smooth. Cool slightly. Whisk in chocolate-hazelnut spread until combined. Let cool completely, then refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours or overnight
  2. Using a teaspoon, scoop out a 1- to 1 1/2 -inch nugget. Use your hands to quickly roll it into a ball; transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Continue with remaining mixture. (If balls become too soft, refrigerate for a few minutes.) If using, roll truffles in cocoa to coat. Gently press a sugar decoration or toasted hazelnut into top of each truffle, if desired. Cover and refrigerate until firm. (Refrigerate unadorned truffles in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature before decorating with candy or nuts. Refrigerate truffles again before serving.)

Gluten-Free 7 Layer Bars!

There is just something about a seven layer bar, even if you don’t particularly care for all the ingredients (I’m looking at you coconut and chocolate…), but when you put them together, it’s just magical. I think the most important selling point of the seven layer bar is the graham cracker crust. I am not a fan of desserts normally, but when I think of desserts that I do like, they all have one thing in common, graham cracker crusts.

I will admit that when I was making these gluten free, I was a bit worried about the crust. Most of my gluten-free adaptation failures have come in the baked goods category. Getting the right balance is much trickier when it comes to sweet dishes. For the sake of time and ease we ended up using Kinnikinnick Graham Style Crumbs and you couldn’t even tell the difference! After looking at the box and seeing the that first ingredient was pea starch or flour, I thought that the crust would end up having some weird bean-y texture or taste kinda of off with the rest of the 7 layer ingredients. The bars turned out perfectly!

Gluten-Free Seven Layer Bar (adapted from this recipe)

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chunks
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/3 cups shredded coconut
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
  2. Place butter in 13 x 9 inch pan and melt in oven. Swirl to coat bottom and sides with butter.
  3. Spread crumbs evenly over bottom of pan. Layer chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and nuts over crumbs. Pour condensed milk over nuts. Sprinkle coconut over condensed milk.
  4. Bake until edges are golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool.
  5. Slice into squares, serve and enjoy!