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August 30, 2012 by Leanne Vogel November 8, 2017These last couple of days have been nourishing, relaxing and full of balance, a nice change from the stress and anxiety that was rocking our lives as we prepared for the move. All of our things were loaded onto the moving truck successfully, our visit with my parents has been fabulous, I’ve had time to read, and I’m getting the opportunity to treat myself to loads of naps… always a good thing. Today’s guest recipe was meticulously created by Cara, the insanely talented photographer and recipe developer behind Cara’s Cravings. Not only has Cara taught herself everything she knows about photography, but she also contributes recipes to Clean Eating Magazine, how cool is that? You can check out her noteworthy, clean eating recipes here if you’re interested. Cara is treating us to something very special today – a moist coconut-flour chocolate cake with vegan salted caramel sauce, raw cashew cannoli cream filling, all wrapped in a velvety and rich chocolate frosting. Oh, and did I mention it’s grain-free and dairy-free? Way to go, Cara! This year for my birthday, I decided to do something really special. Not only am I having my cake and eating it too – but I’m also sharing it with you! As soon as Leanne invited me to write a guest post, I immediately knew I’d be challenging myself with a decadent, gluten-free and clean treat, just like the ones she makes that always have me drooling on the keyboard. You guys like dessert, don’t you? I thought so. By the way, I’m Cara and I’ve been writing my blog, Cara’s Cravings, for over 5 years now. I think that makes me great-grandma in blogging years. Over the years, my cooking style has evolved from “let’s just get something semi-healthy adapted from Cooking Light on the table” to developing my own recipes that are clean (very little or no processed ingredients), wholesome and nutritious, and of course, delicious. I like my recipes to serve as a reminder that healthy food need not be boring. My faves? Chocolate, pumpkin, and goat cheese. Eggplant, salmon, kale. Eggs, chickpeas, pickles… yep, it’s a really long list. But for this indulgence I decided to focus just on the first, and perhaps my greatest love: chocolate. Four days before my birthday last week, I was *thisclose* to asking my hubby to order my favorite cake from our favorite local bakery: a Chocolate Caramel Cannoli Cake. Layers of moist chocolate cake soaked in caramel, filled with tangy cannoli cream filling and covered in rich chocolate icing, this cake just screams special occasion, doesn’t it? We had it as our wedding cake, and it has made an appearance for many family birthday parties since then. FAQ: What DO you eat? Answer: Just about everything. I have a habit of confusing people, especially close friends and family, who observe that much of what I’ve been blogging the past year or so has been gluten-free and dairy-free. I do not have an intolerance to either of these, but I try to keep them out of the things I make at home, most of the time. For me it’s related to having everything in moderation, and finding alternative ingredients that are nutritious, clean, and fun to work with! …just in case you’re wondering why I was going to order this cake in the first place. And then I decided, a project was in order. Rather than buy the cake, I wanted to re-create it myself, in gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free form. Why? Because I could make it so nutritious that I wouldn’t feel bad about eating it. And more importantly? It would be fun! I scoured my previous recipes, internet inspiration, and new ideas tucked away in my brain to come up with a moist coconut-flour chocolate cake, vegan salted caramel sauce, raw cashew cannoli cream filling, and an entirely original, velvety and rich chocolate frosting recipe made of… well, I’ll just let you wait and see. It’s kind of a shocker ;) At first glance, this cake might seem like a lot to tackle, but there’s good news: all the pieces can be prepared a day or two ahead of time, so you can spread out the work (which honestly, is not too much at all.) And the best part? It’s so worth it in the end. I invited over a good friend who is gluten-free and dairy-free, and she not only proclaimed this cake “award winning” but started dreaming up the e-book I will supposedly write containing mix-and-match cakes, fillings and frosting to build the perfect layer cake. When I offered to maker her one for her birthday, she said, “well why not my half birthday? and three-quarter birthday?” I mean, not to brag or anything. But it was really that good. Similarly, I don’t plan to wait until my next birthday to let this celebration cake grace my kitchen again. Next Tuesday sounds like a perfectly good day to eat cake, doesn’t it?
HI! I’M LEANNE
Nutrition educator + keto enthusiast. I want to live in a world where every woman loves her body, nourishing fats are enjoyed at every meal, and the word “restriction” isn’t in the dictionary.