Easy Black and White Cake – Almost Paleo!

black and white chocolate cake

I don’t know about you but I eat chocolate when I am stressed. Because duh, chocolates solves half of the world’s problems. Maybe. Almost. In my case, at least. I found this very easy recipe from one of my favorite gluten-free (I should say wheat free because it sounds less fanatical) recipe creators, Elana of Elana’s Pantry dot com.

It’s very easy to make, basically just mix and bake, like most of her recipes are. This one is almost Paleo as it uses no wheat flour and sugar but has white chocolate chips so it’s not entirely great for someone who’s trying to lose weight (me!) but it’s a good weekend treat when I miss chocolate cake. It is hands down less evil and because it’s made from almond flour rather than wheat flour, I don’t have to worry about the carb load and the roller coaster of blood sugar spikes. It’s also very filling so I can’t eat two small portions at one time.

[yumprint-recipe id=’3′]There you go! The next time you have a chocolate cake craving, try this. My family loves this (except for Benjamin who is allergic to nuts). Yummy and so easy, a definite win in my book! 

Almond flour chocolate cake

Almond flour Chocolate Cake

Almond flour chocolate cake

We had a lovely weekend last week and I thought, what better way to celebrate it but by baking a chocolate cake. Because even if you’re watching your diet, there are times that you just need a chocolate cake. Like nothing else would do.

Chocolate cake, mmm.

This chocolate cake doesn’t involve wheat flour and has only 4 main ingredients. Put down those eyebrows, this doesn’t taste like burned card board! It actually tastes like real cake and would be great to cook once in a while for a weekend treat. Put in the fact that this is gluten-free gives it an extra oomph in my books. 

This is basically a mix and bake cake. It’s very easy – don’t take my word on it, make it yourself to see what I’m talking about. (I got this recipe from Elana Amsterdam’s book, The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook).

Here’s the recipe:

[yumprint-recipe id=’2′]chocolate cake with marshmallow frosting

Many are asking, “why are you going gluten-free if you’re not diagnosed with celiac?!”. My answer is, this is not just about gluten. This is about the other stuff that’s in wheat that creates compromises our wellness. And how a high carb diet is a major contributor to obesity and other autoimmune diseases. I have read the books, Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis and Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter – it is easier to stop eating wheat and grains when you know the real, scientific reason why.

I won’t ask you to jump into this gluten-free bandwagon but even if you’re not a diagnosed celiac, it’s undeniable looking at the rate of obesity and diabetics on the rise how consuming carbohydrates (highly glycemic food that raise blood sugar, and wheat raises blood sugar, not to mention stimulates your appetite so you crave for more) is contributing to health woes and medical expenses of many people.

I could go on and on but to make the preachy statement short, I feel better without wheat in my diet. I won’t convince people what and what not to eat, it’s just that, this way of eating is better for me.

So, all that serious talk aside, dive in to that chocolate cake! You can even make a fluffy Marshmallow frosting using just 2 egg whites and 1/2 cup agave nectar. Double the recipe to make a layer cake.

Have a great weekend!

Region specific Kit Kat

Why the Kitkat is big in Japan

Kit Kat in Japan

Would you believe, Nestle introduced more than 200 KitKat varieties in Japan? Why the fad, you ask?

The term ‘Kit Kat’ has become a part of the Japanese exam-preparation time lexicon. High school and university students across Japan have been buying up the chocolate bar like there’s no tomorrow. The reason? The word ‘Kit-Kat’ in Japanese sounds ‘kitto-katto’, morphed into ‘kitto katsu’, which can be translated as ‘definite win’, or, in classroom lingo, ‘I will pass my exams’.

Kit Kats have thus become edible lucky charms and are very popular during exam season.

Basic flavors include the original chocolate, strawberry, white chocolate and green tea. And then there are these Mind blowing flavors such as  apple cider vinegar, sweet corn, blood orange, soy sauce (!) and wasabi (!!), among others. Actually, there are many different Kit Kat flavors available all across Japan – some are only available for a limited time and each region has their own specialties like Fuji Apple flavor from Nagano Prefecture and purple yam flavor from Okinawa, just to name a few.

Region specific Kit Kat

I thought there’d be shop somewhere in Tokyo that sells these limited regional Kit Kats so I have made it my mission to try and find as many varieties as I can while there. Because yeah, me and my addiction to chocolate + my despicable self-control or the lack of it!

Well, I was surprised to find out that local convenient stores do not stock Kit Kats other than the usual chocolate and I was told in souvenir shop stores around train stations that they are not stocking it because it is summer – when Japan gets too hot and air condition setting is limited due to the Cool Biz Campaign to conserve energy (and more so after the Fukushima Nuclear Plant failure).

I only found 4 varieties at the Duty Free shop at Narita airport: Green tea, Strawberry, Cherry blossom + green tea and Blueberry Cheesecake, a limited edition Kit Kat to celebrate Mt. Fuji being accepted as one of UNESCO’s heritage sites.


Lame, hey if you consider there are more than 200 varieties. I was aiming to get the region-specific ones but alas, it seems I have to travel all over Japan to get it or watch out for that special time when Nestle sells these on a limited time, I bet, during the exam season?

Here’s a Pinterest board dedicated to Japanese Kit Kats

Top Photo Credit


Anyway, I hope you aren’t tired of my travel feature about Japan yet. I still have so many stories to tell! I’ll spend the next few days writing about it since not so much is happening in my life here in Dubai right now except for the usual work and then home and then watching Glee and Dr. Who episodes with the children after dinner. We’re late to jump into the Dr. Who bandwagon but we’re surely glad we found it! Pristine is too excited to watch the next episode after the current one ends.

Also, I’m going to wrap up each week of our stay there with a photos-only post, mostly photos – I know I can’t help but throw in a descriptive line here and there!

Be still my heart, something’s in my drawer

A colleague of mine announced last week that he’ll be transferred to another city. Two years into this company, I haven’t come across any other employee who is as hard working and dedicated as he is. If you’re living and working in Dubai, you know what I mean. He must be the only guy who keeps his word and mean when he say he’ll get the work done tomorrow. With him, there’s no saying of another “tomorrow” when tomorrow comes.

With that I feel he deserves something special in my book especially if the company or the boss never even bothered to have a farewell party. I bought a box of chocolates for him and signed a card thanking him for all the help he’s extended to me this past two years. The little bag with the box of Cadbury Dairy Milk (a favorite among Indians, I heard) was ready yesterday.

I was waiting for the perfect timing to give it to him but 6 pm came and he was still working like he’s still going to come to office again the next day. I learned that he is, indeed, not going anywhere YET. His transfer is on hold, till further notice! (classic Dubai system, really)

I don’t like the sight of a box of chocolates within my arm’s reach! I’ve hid it in my drawer so I can forget it and don’t succumb to it but alas, now that I’ve written it…

What do you think will be the fate of the Cadbury’s hiding in my desk?