It’s a pretty well known fact that chocolate has great nutritional value. If this is new to you, then you’ve been missing out! I’m not talking about the sugar induced, milk product, such as a Hershey’s bar. But real, pure cocoa, such as cocoa powder, is packed with potent antioxidants, called polyphenols. These healthful molecules are also found in dark berries and black tea. And they’re known to help the heart and possibly prevent cancer. In addition, we’ve seen the growing evidence that a daily dose of the bean may help reduce blood pressure, and lower body weight. In a new report, scientists are offering an explanation for just why cocoa powder may be good for the heart and waistline. The magic may reside in our microbes. Bare with me, a little science about to occur.
According to John Finey, who conducted the report at Louisiana State University, he states:
“But there’s one major problem with many polyphenols: They’re so large that they don’t get absorbed into the blood. That’s where the critters in your gut can help out”
The microbes break down the polyphenols into smaller molecules that are more likely to make it across the gut into the blood. Those compounds are the good ones that help reduce inflammation and stress in the blood vessels. Still with me? Good. Then, the microbes continue on and break down the fiber into short fatty chain acids, which get absorbed and can have an effect on satiety. Finley and his team have to confirm their results in real digestive tracts. “The next step is to give people cocoa powder and see if we can find these metabolites in the blood,” he says. But for now, don’t hesitate to indulge your gut bacteria with a few squares of extra dark chocolate each day… who’s going to argue with that? Not me.
When it comes to dessert. Everyone has their favorites. Some people LOVE pie, why others would rather have a big chocolatey brownie. Preferably, a square of dark chocolate usually does the trick for me. Or, a nice warm cookie. Mmmm. I’m not a big fan of ice cream #lactoseproblems… brownies, I could give or take em, and pies are good if its the holidays. But, if you wanna treat me, literally, give me a flour-less chocolate cake. Or, just a bite. I’d say I’m a chocoholic. Could be worst things, right? I do love the combination of its bitter-sweet richness.
Often, paleoizing recipes can be difficult. But desserts are pretty simple– sugar is sugar no matter how you spin it. Flour-less chocolate cake is intimidating just by it’s name. Chocolate cake.. without flour? How could it be?! But really, its probably one of the more simple desserts you could create. And ya know, I’m all about simplicity. Along with it’s simplicity, you can get creative with the toppings that go on it. Infusing different flavors of orange, lavender, raspberry, lemon, or textures with various nuts such as macadamia, almond, pecan… all so delicious you’ll have a hard time choosing! Also, you can serve this dish warm with your choice of ice cream, think salted caramel- YUM! Or, dollop some coconut whipped cream and finish with sprinkled cocoa powder. Dressed it up however you like!
- 12 ounces semisweet diary free chocolate,chopped (I use Enjoy Life Chocolate Chunks)
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted grassfed butter or ghee
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 6 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups coconut sugar
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 2-inch spring form pan or individual dishes (as I did) with coconut oil.
- Melt chocolate and butter by putting the chocolate and butter in a double boiler, or in a heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with an inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl on the pan without touching the water. Stir occasionally until melted.
- Beat the eggs and sugar with a standing or handheld mixer until light and thickened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Fold the melted chocolate into the whipped eggs until evenly combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out wet but not gooey, about 45 minutes to an hour. Remove cake from the oven and cool on a rack.
- When ready to serve remove ring from spring form mold or serve as is!
- Dust cake with cocoa powder or topping of choice. Serve with whipped coconut cream or ice cream if desired.