Challenge accepted!

Gluten and lactose free carrot cake (with NO REFINED sugar) with dark chocolate ganache:

yeld: 4 cake tins 9 inches each

  • 450 ml vegetable oil
  • 400 plain GF flour (Dove brand)
  • 2 sp bic. Soda
  • 550 coconut sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 generous tsp of all spices or cinnamon/nutmeg/clove (powder) mixed together
  • 550 grated carrots
  • 150 walnuts


  • 3 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 2 cups coconut milk


PREHEAT THE OVEN: 170* C x 45 minutes.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl.

Do the same for the wet ingredients and when well blended, mix with the dry. You’ll have batter consistency.

Pour the batter in the greased tins and bake for 45 minutes.


Bring to boil the milk and pour it over the chocolate chips. Combine thoroughly until smooth .

Pour over the cold cake and decorate as you desire. For this cake I opted for fresh roses : I covered the stem with a straw (it must be longer than the stem, so the flower doesn’t touch the cake) and insert it in the cake

And now some narrative:

I was hired for a private dinner, a birthday. The husband wanted to make his wife’s birthday memorable. After spending the day at the SPA, the hubby wanted for her wife a special dinner with a real chef in the house.

The first contact from him was: “I’d like you to cook for us, but my wife is gluten and lactose intollerant and she doesn’t use refined sugar. Sorry it all seems a bit complicated…

He was apologetic with me and he is not the only one. Every time I have a client (for dinners or for my cookery classes) that is intolerant to some ingredient, he/she feels like they have to apologize with me.

And I am always surprised they do: I am a chef, my only mission is to prepare something that you will truly enjoy, no matter how complicated and restrictive is your diet. The more difficult, the more challenged I feel and..hell no! You don’t need to apologize with me. Is the other way around: I thank you for giving me the chance to improve my knowledge about special diets and cook for you something that “WOWs” YOU!

Menu we decided together:

  • Carrot, potatoes and ginger soup
  • Saffron risotto with Hunter chicken and braised Brussel sprouts
  • Carrot and chocolate cake

For the cake I did my researches. But I didn’t know anything about coconut sugar.

Bought it form Costco, I opened the bag and I confess: I was very skeptical.

Tasted: WOW! IT WAS AMAZING! Brown in color and tastes as brown sugar, that was a perfect combination for the carrot cake.

And so now I know that not only is sweet like the regular sugar (1 TBS regular sugar is equal to 1 TBS of coconut sugar) but also has a lower GI index (Glycemic index).

The glucose is broken down more slowly and cause a gradual rise in blood sugar levels over time.

And this is good for your system because cause your blood sugar levels to rise and fall slowly may help you feel fuller for longer. This could help control your appetite and may be useful if you’re trying to lose weight.

Well, yesterday was the BIG day. After a long preparation in my house (for which I got the Pass from the Health and Environment office after their inspection), at 4 o’clock I was finally ready.

This time I wore my black chef jacket: usually I don’t,  because I see people unease when I wear my jacket…. too formal. But this time I did: it was a special occasion for the wife, I wanted her to feel super special.

I couldn’t miss the house: banners with “Happy Birthday” were everywhere around the house…with little nervousness I rang at the door. It’s always a a gamble for a private chef: who is going to open the door? Someone nice, kind, that makes you feel welcome or someone who considers you just a cook?

Well: so far I’ve been always super lucky. And yesterday too. Fantastic young family, two adorable children. The youngest with the chubbiest and cherry red cheeks I ever saw, the eldest (6 years only) so bright and talkative, not afraid to talk with a stranger with a black “strange” Jacket.

The dinner went smoothly, and the wife said something that was music for my hears: I never tried carrot cake with chocolate! Here you are, Mrs Stephen, the recipe as you requested and have a splendid rest of the week with your lovely family.