when primal meets vegan: "cake balls"

Yesterday it was my friend's birthday. We were going to do a get together with drinks and desserts. I really wanted to make him something specific he wanted, but he just kept being all real, talking about how my presence was enough, blah blah blah.
THIS GUY. 7 years ago.
ANYWAY, I decided I would try to make something vegan in addition to being primal for my vegan friend. This is what he looks like, also 7 years ago. Yeah, dad's gonna be so upset with me.

Sorry, dad. The only reason I added these photos is because I conveniently had them in a desktop folder to share when I recently copied them off my external hard drive.
You would think vegan combined with primal basically means to eat leaves and some tree bark. But you, my dear, are incorrect, it does not! So I was searching for recipes. A lot. Because I didn't have a lot of time to experiment. I had, maybe, an hour to figure something out before my pre-party plans began (not involving drinking, by the way, who do you think I am?). It was getting really challenging, so I decided to take a simple vegan recipe and just primalize it. Yeah I just made that word up. I found this chocolate cake recipe that looked fairly simple. So I went for it. It came out really yummy smelling and tasting (my mouth might be burnt). Then shit got crazy. They fell apart. It was messy. It's a funny story which you should ask me about when you see me next (in real life). Normally I curl up in a ball and cry until I'm dehydrated when things like this happen to me in the kitchen because I'm really perfect and never do anything wrong (oh haaayyy sarcasm). I was like, well, my options are to serve people cupcakes they can't even hold, let alone pick up, or serve cake crumbs in a bowl with a community spoon. I came up with something better: cake balls. I've never made these stupid things before, because they're trendy and silly, and a smaller, stupider version of cup cakes. No offense. Actually, take offense, I don't really mind--I don't like cupcakes. And I know I've cursed myself for life, cupcakes are out to get me, and every time I make them something goes wrong ever since I went around preaching how much I hate them. ANYWAY, back to cake balls. I pulled out my stand mixer to whip up some vegan/primal frosting (yeah, whip up, like it's that easy to make frosting primal AND vegan). I realized I didn't have, like, anything, to make this frosting with. But, thankfully I'm perfect, and genius (and rich), because I decided nut butter would work out super well. The still warm chocolate chunks in the cake, combined with peanut butter, made a fantastic glue to hold together these super rich vegan AND primal cake balls!

Spiced chocolate vegan primal peanut butter cake balls

Mistake Spiced Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake Balls
(Vegan and primal subs)

1 1/2 c flour of choice (AP for just vegan, or almond for primal)
1 c granulated sugar of choice (I used sucanat)
1/4 c raw 100% cacao powder (or cocoa)
1 t baking soda (check your labels for corn if primal)
1 t cinnamon (optional)
1/4 t ginger (optional)
1/4 t cloves (optional)
1/2 t nutmeg (optional)
1/8 t cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 t sea salt
1/3 c coconut oil (you can sub any oil if you're unconcerned)
1 t vanilla extract
1 t balsamic vinegar
1 c water
1/2 c chunks/chips of dark chocolate (check labels for dairy, whey and casein if vegan)
1/2 c, give or take, nut butter

Oven at 350. You know the drill. Prep about 10 muffin tins.

Melt your coconut oil in a medium size mixing bowl. Add the vanilla extract, balsamic vinegar, and water. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, sweetener, cacao, baking soda, spices, and salt. Sift if you find it necessary.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Add the chocolate chunks. If you are using a substitute flour, you can mix as much as you want, but if you used AP flour, mix just until combined.

Portion into muffins tins (I got 10 cupcakes out of this). Bake for 20-25 minutes. Alternatively, you could use a cake pan or loaf pan. A 9x5 loaf pan would probably take about 45 minutes. Your call, batman.

Let the cake cool for at least 15 minutes and experience the amazing crumbling action that is this disastrous cake. Actually, I'm sure you could pull this off in a cake pan or loaf pan as a real cake if you let it cool completely and didn't care about presentation. Also, if you aren't vegan, throw an egg in there if you're going for real cake and not balls.

Now, I was short on time, so I mixed my ball batter together while the ingredients were still warm which created a dense, smooth cake ball. If you had time, and wanted lighter, more cake-like balls, I would recommend cooling the crumbles for as long as you can, preferably overnight, and mixing lightly.

Throw the peanut butter in there. Mix it all up. Use a disher to form portions, then roll in your hands. Store in the fridge, or alternatively, freeze, then let sit for about 10 minutes before dipping in melted chocolate.


Biscuits (Primal/Paleo)

This morning, I woke up thinking about attempting samoa cookies primally. I was going to do some preliminary research to concoct my own recipe, but a quick google search yielded a recipe on Pinterest. Then I spent way too much time looking at Primal recipes on Pinterest. I really wanted to make some fig newtons for hubs, but didn't have one of the ingredients. Things evolved and I decided satisfying my baking urge at 10am would be better (somehow) if it could at least be called breakfast. Then I spent a long time looking at more recipes of scones and muffins. I came across a few biscuit recipes and decided biscuit sandwiches with runny eggs and crisp bacon sounded good. It didn't quite turn out that way... but delicious, nonetheless. I used a recipe from Elana's Pantry. The only things I changed were halving it, using almond meal instead of flour, maple syrup instead of agave nectar, and real butter.

Almond flour primal biscuits

Primal Biscuits

1 1/4 c blanched almond meal (make your own)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 Tablespoons butter, cold
1 egg

1 teaspoon maple syrup or sweetener of choice

Primal biscuits made with almond flourI made some almond meal in the food processor (and woke hubs up), then whisked it together with the salt and baking soda. I mixed the egg up in a separate bowl, plopped the egg and syrup in, then added the dry ingredients. I used a fork to mash the butter into the almond meal until things were combined, but specks of butter were still visible. 

I rolled it out to about an inch thickness between two silicone baking mats, then cut the biscuits. Be careful when you transfer them, they are pretty delicate with the meal. Into a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes. 

This only made about 3 biscuits for me. They were pretty delicate, and not suitable for my original intention of using them to make little breakfast sandwiches. Instead, we had them alongside eggs and bacon. They were delicious! I think next time I'd try using maybe 1/2 cup of coconut flour in lieu of some of the almond meal. They seemed kind of scone-like, which was the best of both worlds for me.

Primal almond flour biscuits with bacon and scrambled eggs