October 14, 2014

Fall Chocolate Pumpkin Cake-S

You know how you'll be all geared up to try a new recipe you find online, and you totally get set on making a treat right now only discover you are missing at least one, if not more, major ingredient?

Well, that is kind of the story of my life.  But if I let it affect me then I'd never try anything new.  I've learned that adapting and just giving things a go tend to be how I learn best.
Yes, I hate to waste ingredients, but usually the results are at least edible, and if I learn something about the whole process then I am usually good.

I was all geared up to make an amazing coffee cake.  I don't often make treats or sweets as they just aren't my thing, but was in the mood for a little, sweet snack.
I get out the flax seed to grind.  I have just enough coconut flour.  But there are no almonds to grind for flour and I don't buy almond meal as a rule due to price.

So I actively pull out my seed and nut stash and it is kind of bare.  Like really bare.

The one thing that I do find is pumpkin seeds.  Pepitas.
I quickly google them and find very little information on their use, but what I do find mentions them as a good substitution for almond meal.

Pumpkin meal is gluten free and is a true seed so those with nut allergies may use it.
It is low in carbs with a very low glycemic index and high in fiber  It is higher in protein than many flours, and the fat content makes it a definite S ingredient.
It is heavier when mealed and the texture is very similar to almond flour with the main outstanding feature being its green color.
It should not be used as a thickener as it doesn't have the same absorption that many grain and bean flours have.
I also buy the seeds in bulk locally and the price is about 1/3 of what bulk almonds cost.  With the trend in gluten/allergy-free baking increasing, I'm sure the prices will go up.
I buy the whole seeds in bulk, and as I do with most seeds due to their oil content, and grind them as needed.

After the success of the coffee cake, I was inspired to make a sweeter cake.
With the green color of the pumpkin meal I thought chocolate would be a good choice.  And pumpkin seed meal just naturally seemed to call out for pumpkin.

It is also a big day at my house when everyone likes the same one food.  It doesn't happen as there is always a dissenter it seems.  The Fall Chocolate Pumpkin Cake was enjoyed by all, adults, teen, tween and toddler too.

In the directions I'm showing the amount ground, but since I start and measure whole/pre-ground, I'm giving those amounts as well.

Fall Chocolate Pumpkin Cake-S

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine dry ingredients:
1-1/4 cup ground pumpkin seed meal (3/4 cup whole.  I did 1/4 cup each grind)
1/3 cup ground flax seed meal (3 TBSP whole)
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
2/3 cup stevia baking blend (I use one that measures twice the sweetness of sugar.  As stevias can vary in formulation, check to make sure yours is in the right ball park.  My recipe would be equivalent to 1-1/3 cup of sugar)
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Mix dry well to integrate.
Make a well in the center and add wet ingredients.
3 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup coconut oil
15 oz can of pumpkin

Stir all ingredients together.  It will take a bit to really make sure it is mixed well.
Let it sit for a few minutes to let the moisture soak into the flour.
Grease the pan you choose.  This makes a 9x13 pan, or you can split it and make muffins or a smaller loaf.
This will not rise much when cooking so you won't have the smooth muffin tops if you go that route.

Bake mini muffins for 15-18 minutes.
A small loaf bakes for 30 minutes.
A 9x13 pan will take 35-38 minutes to bake.
It should feel firm to the touch and not too springy.

I like to frost these rich treats with a cream cheese frosting:
8 oz lower fat cream cheese
dash of pure stevia concentrate
a dash of nutmeg

Beat with mixer till fluffy.  Serve on the side or frost.

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