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Flourless Chocolate Cake recipe (+ my Trim Healthy Mama version)

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Last Friday evening, a few of us gals stole away from the homeschool conference to spend the evening at . She served us delicious homemade mochas and the most

I’d heard rumblings of here and there on the internet, but I’d never actually tried it. And now that I have, I understand why everyone has raved about it.

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It’s heavenly. And I knew I had to make it for my family because I was sure they’d love it, too.

However, you know me, I had to . 🙂 I was determined to make it on plan with my Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, so I made a few changes.

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 4.03.37 PMHere’s how I changed it up:

And, because you know that life doesn’t look all Pinterest-y and perfect at our house, here’s a peek into my real-life, baking session pictures:

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I was so proud of myself for coming up with this double boiler alternative. In fact, I even considered that I should do a post about making do with what you have when you don’t own a double boiler.

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And, um, then I actually used said makeshift “double boiler”. Let me tell you, this is not a good idea. Water boiled out everywhere. Everywhere. Gratefully, it was just water or it would have been a huge mess!

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I made these right before dinner, so there was also a crock pot of meat sitting out some mashed sweet potatoes. And my computer balanced on the edge of the countertop so I could refer to the recipe.

{Now that I look at this picture and see how close my computer and phone were to the boiling over mess, it’s a miracle they didn’t get soaked. I can just see that Frugal Fail post… in an effort to make do without a double boiler, I ruin both my computer and my phone. Yes, I am very grateful they were spared!}

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This little guy was eager to help out!

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I realized that when you need to whisk 5 eggs in one at a time and you’re in the middle of helping kiddos with various things and answering questions and, yes, even breaking up one argument, it’s a good thing to keep the eggs in the carton and to start with a full carton. Otherwise, I would have lost track of how many I’d put in at least three different times!

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You mean you don’t have a sink full of dishes like this while you’re cooking??

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The aftermath. Yikes! I definitely wouldn’t win an award for being a Neat Cook!

Jesse was so kind to offer to clean up the kitchen after dinner. I went upstairs and laid down for a 10 minute nap… that ended up turning into a 3-hour nap! I woke up at midnight with my s still in and full makeup still on… whoops! Guess I was just a little bit tired!

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The final product was a winner recipe. The kids loved it. I loved it. And — score! — Jesse loved it. I believe this might be my first Trim Healthy Mama dessert recipe that got rave reviews from everyone.

It was worth the double broiler overflow incident and the messy kitchen. Well, I’m not so sure on the messy kitchen part. You’d have to ask Jesse about that. I was sound asleep dreaming of chocolate or something else pleasant like that! 🙂

Have you tried any new recipes this week? Any winners I should try, too? Tell us in the comments!

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  • MomofTwoPreciousGirls says:

    That is how I melt chocolate…a makeshift double boiler! It can work…I usually use the same pits of a set with the larger saucepan on the bottom and the next size smaller as the boiler. I fill the bottom with the water then put the smaller (with the contents in it) on top to make sure the water won’t come out. You really just need the bottom to touch. So you don’t need a ton of water. Try it again and you will get it right!!

  • Lisa says:

    Yummy!! I’m a little confused about the ‘melt the butter and chocolate’ bit, though. (And the need for a double-broiler.) Did you use chocolate chips instead of cocoa powder, as the recipe calls for? Or do you really need a double-broiler to melt the butter? Or am I missing something?


  • Esther says:

    Um, fyi, your pan set up is a double “boiler” not “broiler”. You boil on the stove and broil in the oven. But I know you knew that 🙂

    • Jo says:

      Oh goodness… see this is why I should never, ever consider writing a cookbook?!? And this is why I don’t own said double boiler either. It’s a wonder anything ever turns out in my kitchen! 🙂

      Just fixed that typo!

      • Steph says:

        You can also substitute a clear glass mixing bowl that sits entirely on the saucepan for the double boiler. I have an ancient Revere double boiler that I can never find when I am baking. This method is a safer (and less messy!) substitute.

  • Lana says:

    Two years ago hubby and I had this at a restaurant in the NC mountains and paid about $5 a slice. It was worth every penny since it was a special outing but it sure will be great to make this at home! Thanks!

  • Amber says:

    Pot de cremes from the pionner woman. The easiest and most decadent chocolate dessert I’ve ever made. It’s just a bag of chocolate chips, 4 room temperature eggs, 8 oz extremely hot coffee, a tsp of vanilla and a pinch of salt. It’s made in the vitamix then I poured it in a homemade oreo cookie crust. AMAZING!!!

  • lori says:

    What is the white powdered stuff you topped it with? Surely it’s not confectioner’s sugar as that would not be THM friendly.

  • says:

    Thank you for posting both versions. I’m not a fan of cake except for flourless chocolate cake, which I adore. I’ve only had it restaurants–I really love it with a dollop of whipped cream on top, oh my goodness 🙂 But I’m going to have to try to make it for sure now.

    p.s. speaking of recipes, when will Brigette start doing recipe posts again? It seems like it’s been eons. Her recipes are always a home run in my household.

    • Jo says:

      Let me know if you try it!

      I *think* Brigette’s going to be doing a bread recipe soon. Life has been really full for her recently so she’s not had a lot of extra time, but I’m hopeful she’ll be able to start sharing recipes again in the future.

  • Jessica says:

    This looks delicious!
    Thanks for adding the note about xylitol not being safe for pets! Being in the veterinary profession, cases of dogs getting into baked goods containing xylitol or a bag or bottle of xylitol are becoming more common.

  • Kim says:

    I usually microwave instead of double boil.. or I put a metal cookie cutter or ball of tin foil in the pot so the inside pot has something to rest on as I do not own a double boiler either 😀 Thanks for keeping it real!

  • Sommer says:

    This looks amazing! One question though – Would you use 7oz. of chocolate in addition to the cocoa powder or in place of it?

  • says:

    If you have a glass bowl, that will work better as the top of your double boiler, instead of a pot. That way you can see what is going on in the bottom pot and lift it if you need to before it boils over. 🙂

    I am not a gourmet either, but I have figured that one out. 🙂

  • Joanne Peterson says:

    We tried Moroccan Chicken from the website Once Upon A Chef. It is marinated chicken breast with spices, garlic, and olive oil for a few hours. Then it’s supposed to be grilled. It was too cold outside to grill, so I broiled the marinated chicken breasts. Let it rest, and thin sliced it. Fabulous! Even my 4 and 5 year old’s liked it and they are picky. They kept asking for more. We agree it is a keeper and needs to go on rotation. We’re thinking this will be even better when it is grilled on the grill. I am looking for super simple and flavorful recipes these days and it fits the bill!

  • Danielle B says:

    Ha! Glad I’m not the only one! I’ve tried to do better about printing recipes out bc I’ve had so many close calls with our iPad (a gift from my husband’s workplace). Also too, I tend to get distracted with other stuff on the iPad and lose my place too often. I’d love to be able to do more “multi-tasking” things, but I actually found I slow way down and get less done. I just get distracted too easily. 🙂

    The cake looks delicious! You did a great job! I found a recipe from the Great Depression using really cheap ingredients that’s similar to this one. Now I have the motivation to try it- finally!

  • Kristen Bukowski says:

    Why is it called “flour-less” if the recipe contains flour?

  • Kolby Nordine says:

    Thanks for posting this recipe. That sure was some yummy cake! That evening was one of my favorite parts about that weekend! Thank you for being such a wonderful listener and encourager.

  • says:

    I love the idea of this recipe, but please be very cautious when using xylitol. This is not a natural sweetener, and in order to hydrogenate this product, nickle is often used to do so. In addition, there have been several recent studies linking it to increased amounts of ovarian polyps, yeast infections, and though it can be produced from birch trees, it’s cheaper to create this substitute using GMO, specifcally corn cobs. I think I’ll be trying Stevia instead.

    • Christine says:

      Though I am not familiar with these particular health problems I agree this is not a natural substitute.

      • says:

        I read about these concerns in Prevention Magazine, in Women’s Health, and the Duke Medical Center findings (I am on a prescribed PCOS insulin-resistance diet and read studies often as a result), cautions women against this sweetener for those with PCOS.

  • Jessie says:

    I use a glass bowl on top and a saucepan on bottom. You don’t want water or vapors to get into the chocolate or it could seize up. Also you don’t want the boiling water to touch the bottom of the top pan or bowl, the idea is a slow, gentle melt. Hope this helps.

  • Esther says:

    I don’t have Xylitol — could I use Stevia or Splenda instead? How much do you think I need to use? 1 1/3 c. seems like A LOT!

    • Jo says:

      You could try… I’m not sure if the consistency of Stevia would work and haven’t used Splenda before. Let us know if you try it!

  • Stephanie S says:

    A very easy and safe double boiler is putting a glass bowl over a pot of boiling water. The bowl should fit into the pot, but not come in with the water that is boiling. It doesn’t take much heat to keep the water boiling. Be careful because the glass bowl gets VERY hot. Hope this is a help!

  • says:

    Wow, this looks delicious! I am going to have to try it soon.

  • Catherine says:

    Hi, the best substitute for a double boiler is to place a mixing bowl on top of the sauce pan which holds the water. Just make sure the bowl is stainless or glass not plastic. Works great. Also the bowl should be larger in diameter than the pan so it is stable.

    Take care and thanks for all you do.

  • Kelly D says:

    I have always used a Pyrex mixing bowl on top of a saucepan in place of a double boiler. I love it because the bowl has no corners for food stick in.

  • says:

    This sounds great! I may try to modify it myself to make it fruit sweetened. Yum!

    This week I made a Grain-Free Spiced Breakfast Bread that was very simple to prepare and tasted great. You can find the recipe here:

  • Lee-Anne Scott says:

    When you use a double boiler (which I don’t own an official one either. You should boil the water and then turn it off. You shouldn’t keep heating the water. If it cools down turn it on the lowest setting only until it is warm again. I finally learned how to do it after many boil over attempts. Now my mom and sister just use an electric skillet as it keeps the temperature more regulated.

  • janet says:

    When do you add the xylitol?

    • Jo says:

      It’s the sweetener that I mention to add in the recipe — right after you melt the chocolate and butter together. I hope that helps!

  • Hollynn Kidwell says:

    I love that you are doing the Trim Healthy Mama eating. I look forward to seeing more recipes from there that you have tried and I could incorporate into my menu.

  • Danielle says:

    We just recently discovered these flourless, date-sweetened brownie recipe that is a huge hit in our house. My kids call them the healthy brownies. I usually use slightly more dates than the recipe calls for though.

  • Christine says:

    Be careful using an extreme amount of xylitol. Too much causes major stomach discomfort in some people. I’m one of them and so is my son.

  • Emily says:

    Made this today, eating a piece right now, oh my goodness is it good!!!! This just earned the place of my fav THM friendly desert! THANK YOU! 🙂

    Ps i used about 3/4 cup trvuia blend from the gwens nest blog i believe which made it REALLY sweet.

  • Mary says:

    I used about 3/4 cup of monk fruit extract and a ripened banana in place of the Xylitol and it came out well. I could have used less actually.

    This coconut flour sponge cake is another one our my favorite grain free recipes and my husband didn’t even know it had coconut flour in it!

  • says:

    Created this recipe for supper and it was big hit at our house!

  • Yda says:

    Love this recipe, I wanted to try it soon since my husband and daughter loves eating desserts and I can’t resist to chocolate (I was allergic to until I was a teenager.)
    This week I tried Sweet potato black beans enchiladas, it was delicious and really inexpensive. I served with rice.

    • sara says:

      When you made the sweet potato black bean enchiladas…were they THM approved?? and if so, please share how you adapted them:)Thanks, I’m a
      newbie and just learning

  • Karen B says:

    I made this tonight and loved it! I used coconut sugar and it worked great! This will go into the regular dessert rotation and will definately be made for company! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Rosalyn says:

    Several people commented that they use a glass bowl resting on top of a kettle as a makeshift double boiler. I do that too, and to keep it from boiling over I stick a fork/table knife between the kettle and the glass bowl to give the steam a way to escape. This way works very well and I don’t think I’ve ever had it boil over. But I know how it is…you start something in the kitchen then the children need something, or you get distracted…and life happens! I’m a messy cook too, so your kitchen looked familiar! 🙂 And thanks for the recipe! I want to try it soon!

  • says:

    Ohhhh I’ve never baked with xylitol but now I’m curious! I basically quit eating sugar so I’ve been skipping desserts entirely, which isn’t a huge deal for me but it would be nice to have options. 🙂

    • Jo says:

      Have you ever used coconut sugar? I haven’t, but I’ve heard good things about it, too. And a commenter said she tried it in this recipe and it worked. So that’s another option.

      Thanks for the AMAZING recipe!

      • Lindsey Swinborne says:

        I can’t thank you enough for posting about your THM journey. I have lost nearly 25# on it and love it! Desserts were hard for me at first. I found that adding coconut palm sugar makes them taste better to me, and I continue to lose weight in spite of my daily desserts. Here is my favorite current THM dessert:

        The Ultimate Cookies

        •1 egg
        *1/3 c. softened butter
        •2 tsp. vanilla
        •¼ tsp. caramel extract
        *1/2 c. 2 T. coconut palm sugar.
        •1 c. almond flour
        •2 T coconut flour
        •1½ tsp. baking powder
        •½ tsp. baking soda
        •2/3 of a Ghiradelli 60% cocoa baking bar, chopped into chunks
        •1/3 C. chopped macadamia nuts
        Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes. Let cool 7 minutes before removing from baking stone and enjoying.
        A dance party for your taste buds!

        I also make a mean brownie and some delicious snickerdoodles topped with stevia-sweetened cream cheese and strawberries.

        • Jo says:

          Oh! I’m SO, SO happy that you’re loving THM! And way to go on losing 25 pounds! That’s incredible! Did you take before and after pictures?? I want to see them!

          This recipe looks amazing! I put in on my calendar to make next week. I’ve never tried coconut palm sugar and am excited to see how I like it!

  • says:

    Is this considered an E, S, or FP?

  • Sandy Holmes says:

    Amber, Do you cook that decadent chocolate dessert or simply chill it after it is poured in the Oreo crust? If you cook it, what are the details? Thanks

  • paula says:

    Thanks for the recipe! I can’t wait to try it. I may substitute the xyloitol for stevia. I am finding in my new food plan that anything ending in “itol” causes bloating.

  • says:

    Oh my! This looks more like a brownie than cake.. and sooo looking forward to trying it!

  • Deb R. says:

    This is in the oven right now but let me just say — this is the first lick-the-bowl worthy dessert I’ve made in months. If the final product is half as good after baking, it will still be amazing. In fact, I thought to myself, “Why bake it? Just eat it out of the bowl.”

  • says:

    Is one AND one – third cup xylitol really the correct measurement? I made this the other night and thought it sounded like a lot, but decided to follow the recipe. It was so sweet it was almost not edible. Is it suppose to be like that? Or am I just crazy? Lol.

  • Blake says:

    Can I make this with THM baking blend and gentle sweet and use the same measurements listed in the recipe?

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