In three years there have been three states we’ve called home. Nine jobs between the two of us. Eight epic camping trips. Tons of risks, hardships, new experiences, life lessons, and a crazy amount of joy. We got engaged and planned our wedding unemployed. Found jobs and a place to live mere weeks before the ceremony, and have been living life similarly ever since. Its been one leap of faith after another, and I wouldn’t have it any other way with this guy.
We spent the day doing things each of us love. For me is was Pablo’s on 6th for coffee, walking around a Christmas tree lot even though we already have one, and a nice chilly walk through this park (where we also saw this!). Followed by what Scott loves, going out to eat, the moooovies, and a combined love – walking all of downtown to see the Christmas lights cause man does Denver know how to light up it’s city. So because our anniversary (technically it was yesterday, December 4th) and my half birthday just so happen to land on the same day (coincidence?) I bring you cake. Chocolate cake. And peppermint ganache that is peppermint patty status + coconut ribbons, cause pretty.
The best part about this cake? It is made perfectly sweet using only maple syrup. It is so moist and fluffy without lacking in richness. It won’t give you a sugar headache or leave you feeling hollow, and is just perfect this time of year topped in a light layer of peppermint ganache. Those coconut ribbons aren’t just for looks either, the taste and texture take the whole cake up a notch. Getting the fresh shavings packaged in an airtight bag verses the stale, flavorless ones in the bulk bins will make a huge difference. For pan size variations and an alternative frosting, see “tid-bits” below!
Ps. I know this was a sweet week – veggie loaded dishes coming your way next week, promise!
Tid-bits: This cake can be baked in a few different pans. If using 4 mini loaf pans, 2 six-inch cake pans, or 1 nine-inch cake pan, the baking time should be 30 minutes. If baking in one large 9×5 loaf pan it will take longer, say around 45 minutes. Check with a toothpick in the center, if it comes out clean the cake is done. Also, wanting to avoid all processed sugar by skipping the small amount in the ganache? Skip the ganache all together – this cake is freaking fantastic without it I kid you not. Pair it with a cold glass of almond milk and you’re set. Or you can mix together 1/2 cup creamy peanut/almond butter, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, and a pinch of cinnamon on the stove and pour over as well. Super bang-a-rang.
1/2 cup oat flour
3/4 cup light spelt flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup warm water
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate
1/4 cup plain almond milk
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
Shredded coconut, ribbon cut, for topping
Preheat your oven to 350F. In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix well. Add in the wet ingredients and whisk well until the mixture is clump free and smooth. Transfer the batter to your chosen baking pan/s (see comment above under “tid-bits”) that are either lined with parchment or greased with coconut oil, and bake for 30 to 45 minutes depending on which pans you chose. Let the cake fully cool in the pans on a wire cooling rack before removing and topping with ganache.
Place the chopped dark chocolate (or dark chocolate mini chocolate chips) in a small glass bowl. Bring the almond milk to a simmer on the stove in a small sauce pan, then pour over the chocolate. Add the peppermint extract, and whisk until smooth. Pour over the cake and top with shredded coconut ribbons.
You can eat the ganache-topped cake right away, but dang is it good if you give it a little while to set. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. The cake is the most moist (say that five times fast) if eaten within 2 days.