Moist. Chewy. Sweet. Creamy. Just a bit crunchy. 12 layers of chocolate, hazelnut, and coconut.
I see you salivating over there at the thought of this indulgent cake. If you’re missing decadent desserts, this one will surely satisfy every last ounce of your craving. Whether you’re gluten, grain, refined sugar, and/or dairy-free, you can still enjoy a slice of heaven.
What lead me to this magical combination of crepe, chocolate, hazelnut, and coconut?
As many of you may or may not know, there is a very popular community on Facebook called Just Eat Real Food. The matriarch of this nearly 300,000 fan-strong page is Joanne, one of my biggest helps in promoting Yes to Yummy. I don’t know how she does it—she posts a new recipe almost every hour! In addition to managing all of these tasty creations, she discusses hot-button food issues (GMOs, dairy, nuts, and the like) and answers questions from thousands of curious and confused eaters. If there’s one person in the food world who I truly admire, it’s her.
Last week, while brainstorming new recipe ideas, Joanne sent me a link to this beauty and asked me to create a paleo-friendly version. I took a quick look and immediately thought, “Why not?” I’m always up for a challenge, and I’m very happy I took on this one.
On a side note, when I categorize desserts as “paleo,” it’s really for the search engine’s sake, not because I consider them perfectly “paleo.” In my opinion, eating a “paleo-fied” treat is a healthier choice than a traditional gluten-sugar-and-dairy filled one, but it’s still a dessert and is not the ideal picture of health. You shouldn’t be eating this every day at every meal—you should be saving it for a special occasion when you want dessert but don’t want to feel sick or guilty. Have a small portion and really savor the experience. Treats aren’t really treats when you eat them all the time, right?
It was a long afternoon, but I was so proud of the masterpiece I created. My parents enjoyed it quite a bit, I think—my mom kept on saying how it was one of the best desserts I had ever made. You’re going to need some patience if you decide to tackle this one, too, but I promise it’s worth it.
The first part of this recipe is to make the chocolate crepes.
You’re going to need eggs, lots of ‘em: six, to be exact. Crack them in a large bowl and whisk until light yellow and just a bit bubbly, about a minute.
Once whisked, add in 1 cup of full-fat coconut milk, 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract, and 2 tablespoons of raw coconut nectar OR raw honey OR maple syrup. Feel free to reduce the sweetener slightly, if you’d like. Continue whisking until everything is completely combined, about a minute longer.
Now it’s time for the dry ingredients: sift in 1/4 cup each of coconut flour and good quality cocoa powder. Don’t skip the sifting—you’ll wind up with icky clumps and it’ll look disgusting. Whisk until homogeneous with no specks remaining and set the batter aside.
Grease a non-stick 8, 9, or 10-inch skillet with a little bit of coconut oil and heat over medium. When the skillet is nice and hot, gently pour in 1/4 cup of the batter and swirl around the pan using swivel motions and the rim of the measuring cup. Let the crepe cook until the bottom is beginning to brown and the top is slightly dry, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Using a BIG flipper, gently slide under the crepe and quickly turn it over. Your first and second crepes will be awkward looking. As you get better and your pan really heats up, cooking and flipping will become much easier. Promise!
Cook until the other side of the crepe is beginning to brown, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Place a sandwich press or other heavy object on top of the crepe to prevent it from puffing up to much and helping to keep it thin.
Once your crepe has finished cooking, transfer it to a plate and let it chill out a bit while you pour in the batter for the next one. While the second crepe cooks, cut a piece of parchment paper and move the first crepe on top of it.
This was my first crepe. It was…OK.
Keep repeating the process until you have no more batter remaining. I made a dozen crepes, but the number you’ll end up with will depend on how big your pan is and how much batter you use.
Let the crepes cool to room temperature while you make the fillings: PATELLA (paleo nutella) and COCONUT CREAM.
Just look at this madness. It’s gooey, it’s chocolaty, it’s oh-so…nutella-y.
If you’ve gone on the internet, there’s no doubt you’ve experienced nutella madness. Even Pusheen the Cat agrees that nutella is pretty much one of the greatest concoctions ever invented.
Unlike store-bought nutella, this PATELLA has no weird oils, no fake vanilla flavoring, no dairy, and no refined sugars. It’s still super tasty, and no one will notice the difference.
To begin, melt 10 ounces of dairy-free chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life) in a small saucepan over low heat. Give it a stir with a spatula every few minutes to ensure that nothing burns to a crisp.
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse 8 ounces of hazelnuts until the texture of peanut butter, about two minutes. A lot of people add extra oil to help the nuts blend faster, but they don’t need it! Just have patience.
Once the hazelnuts are buttery, add in the melted chocolate, 1 cup of full-fat coconut milk, 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract, and 1-2 tablespoons of coconut nectar OR raw honey OR maple syrup, if you’d like your PATELLA to be extra sweet. Gently pulse everything together until just combined, about 30 seconds to a minute longer. Don’t over-mix, or your PATELLA will become playdough!
Scoop everything into a big jar and set aside until assembly time. I see you with that spoon. Put it down.
This coconut cream is stupidly easy. All that you have to do is put a can of full-fat coconut milk in the fridge overnight, then open it upside-down the next day and pour off the water. Scoop what’s left behind into the bowl of a stand mixer, and whip on high until nice and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
To assemble, spread on a good dollop of PATELLA followed by a petite scoop of coconut cream on top of a crepe, then place another crepe. Keep on going until you’ve reached your final layer.
For extra prettiness, top it all off with a big dusting of cocoa powder and a large handful of toasted coconut flakes. Step back and admire the
monster masterpiece you have created!
What’s a dream dessert that you’d like to have re-created paleo-style? Leave me a comment on Facebook and let me know!