Spiced Chocolate & Coconut Cake

    MAKES: 13 servings
    PREPARATION TIME: 20 minutes
    COOKING TIME: 2 to 3 hours + cooling
    This cake is based on a Czech cake called pernik. Its unique mixture of warming spices makes it very special, and while it’s usually baked in the oven, I think its texture actually improves when it’s prepared in a slow cooker.

    2 tablespoons (16 g/0.6 oz) ground cinnamon
    1 tablespoon (5 g/0.2 oz) ground ginger
    11/2 teaspoons ground cloves
    11/2 teaspoons ground allspice
    1 teaspoon ground coriander
    1/2 teaspoon star anise powder
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder
    1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
    1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1 cup (120 g/4.2 oz) coconut flour
    11/4 cups (100 g/3.5 oz) ground walnuts, pecans, or sunflower seeds
    3/4 cup (150 g/5.3 oz) granulated erythritol or Swerve
    1/2 cup (43 g/1.5 oz) cacao powder
    1 tablespoon (7 g/0.3 oz) gelatin powder
    1 tablespoon (12 g/0.4 oz) gluten-free baking powder
    1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon (13 g/0.5 oz) pernik spice mix
    1 cup (240 ml) coconut milk, at room temperature
    1/2 cup (114 g/4 oz) butter or coconut oil, melted
    6 large eggs, at room temperature
    1 tablespoon (6 g/0.2 oz) freshly grated lemon or orange zest, or 1 teaspoon sugar-free lemon or orange extract
    Optional: few drops of liquid stevia
    3.5 ounces (100 g) dark chocolate (minimum 85% cacao)
    1/2 teaspoon pernik spice mix
    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (90 ml) coconut milk or heavy whipping cream
    3 tablespoons (43 g/1.5 oz) butter or coconut oil
    1 cup (75 g/2.7 oz) unsweetened shredded coconut

    Line the slow cooker with heavy-duty parchment paper (see tips for reduced condensation, shown here). Preheat the cooker to low. Prepare the spice mix by combining all the ingredients. (Store the leftover spice mix in an airtight container.)
    In a bowl, mix all the dry ingredients for the cake: coconut flour, ground walnuts, erythritol, cacao powder, gelatin, baking powder, and 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon (13 g/0.5 oz) of the prepared spice mix. In a mixer, process the coconut milk, melted butter, eggs, lemon zest, and optionally a few drops of stevia. Slowly sift in the prepared dry mixture until well combined.
    Transfer the dough to the slow cooker and spread it evenly with a spatula. Cover and cook on low for 2 to 3 hours, until set. When done, remove the lid and let the cake cool for several hours.
    Prepare the topping. Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a bowl with the spice mix. Heat the cream and butter over medium heat. When hot, pour over the chocolate. Mix until smooth and creamy. Pour on top of the cake, sprinkle with the shredded coconut, and let it sit for 1 to 2 hours. Grab the parchment paper to remove the cake from the slow cooker and slice (see here for tips). Place in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 6 months. Any leftover pernik spice mix should be stored in an airtight container for up to a year.
    Nutrition facts per serving:
    Total carbs: 11.5 g / Fiber: 5.3 g / Net carbs: 6.2 g / Protein: 9.4 g / Fat: 28.2 g / Energy: 325 kcal
    Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (8%), protein (12%), fat (80%)