Orange and chocolate are a match made in heaven!
They are my absolute favorite flavor combination!
When I heard that Caitlin from Grass Fed Girl, her husband, Chef Nabil Boumrar, and Diane from Balanced Bites were publishing a Mediterranean Paleo cookbook, I quickly pre-ordered it. I was so excited about this book because I love the flavors of the Mediterranean AND because I have been following both of these authors’ blogs for a long time I knew it would be fantastic!
Mediterranean Paleo does not disappoint!
I’ve been cooking through some of the recipes like Easy Cinnamon & Ginger Granola, Cinnamon and Spice Pancakes, and Creamy Cilantro Salmon. All are wonderful! I have all the ingredients ready to make the cover recipe, Chicken and Olive Tanjine this week. Some of the other incredible recipes in this book include falafel, pita bread, moussaka, hummus, and biscotti. They are all recreated to be Paleo-friendly.
There are also instructions for ingredient swaps for every recipe for those that are on a low FODMAP, lower carb, SCD, or GAPS diets. Even the AIP (autoimmune protocol) is represented!
Some of the best features of Mediterranean Paleo are the over 150 Paleo-inspired recipes that were inspired by Chef Nabil’s family in Algeria. The dishes are full of the flavors of the Mediterranean coast and use spices and fresh herbs plentifully throughout.
Since you know what a huge fan I am of meal plans you will be happy to know that there are two 30-day meal plans in this book to help you in your paleo journey as well as six menu plans for special occasions like Mother’s Day, etc.
I asked Caitlin which recipe I could review and when she said I could pick any one, I jumped on the chance to make the Flourless Chocolate Cake. Chocolate cake is my favorite and I’ve been dying to have a recipe on my blog for an amazing one. This is it!
This cake is dense and fudge-like. It’s made with high quality dark chocolate and contains no grains, no dairy (unless you use butter), and no refined sugar.
The star of the show is the orange. It adds just what this cake needs to be elegant and exquisite. The recipe calls for orange blossom water. Be careful of the brand you choose because many contain propylene glycol and you don’t want to be eating that. I accidentally bought a bad brand so I used a little fresh squeezed orange juice instead.
The quality of the chocolate is super important too. I used this organic dark chocolate from Tropical Traditions. It’s perfect!
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, ghee, or coconut oil, for greasing the cake pan
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, for dusting the cake pan
- 11 ounces dark chocolate (80% cacao), roughly chopped
- 1 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (gluten-free)
- 3/4 cup maple syrup or honey
- 1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water (I used freshly squeezed orange juice)
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 6 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 6 ounces chocolate
- honey to taste
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with fat and dust it with cocoa powder.
- Melt the chocolate a coconut oil in a double boiler, use a heatproof glass mixing bowl over a saucepan filled with a few cups of water, making sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl. Remove the bowl from the heat when the chocolate is fully melted.
- Stir in the vanilla, maple syrup, orange blossom water, orange zest, 2 tablespoons of water, and the salt. One by one, whisk the eggs into the chocolate mixture until completely incorporated.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan.
- Fill a large baking dish with 1/2 inch of water and place the cake pan into the baking dish. Place the cake pan and baking dish in the oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the cake is set.
- Remove the cake pan from the water bath and let the cake cool in the pan at room temperature for about an hour. Tip the cake out onto a platter. Drizzle with chocolate dip (made by melting the honey and chocolate in double boiler), if using, slice, and serve. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
This cake is so velvety smooth and creamy. It melts in your mouth and leaves you wanting more, but because it’s so rich, a little will plenty!
Get your copy of Mediterranean Paleo here, and happy cooking!
Be nourished. Be happy.