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Adaptogens for dessert. Gluten free Chaga Masala  Crumble Cake

Who doesn't love a coffee cake? Especially as the cooler months are upon us, the idea of sipping on a cup of coffee and nibbling on coffee cake at any time of the day sounds lovely!

I wanted to experiment with baking, I have always been the one to over or under bake any type of cake, bread, cookies, pies etc. So I don't pride myself on baking, cooking is another thing but I've never had that thing like my friends do, blowing my mind with some of their creations. So I'm stoked that my first ever made from scratch was a hit and my friends loved it! 

I chose to use a decoction of Chaga (the most powerful member of the mycelium kingdom) and make my own Chaga Masala adding other herbs like licorice, burdock and fennel (more listed below in the decoction list of herbs) Chaga is an adaptogenic fungus that has been gaining popularity over the years for its medicinal uses and benefits. But it has been used in folk medicine in Russia, amongst Siberian shamans for centuries as well as in Asia. You can find this charcoal colored fungus growing along the northern latitudes of Poland, Siberia, Russia, Scandinavia, Korea, Japan, U.S. and Canada. Commonly found growing on hosting birch trees. It has been overly wildcrafted and I only source my Chaga from sources that are practicing ethical wildcrafting/harvesting. Like Mountain Rose Herbs 

Some of the medicinal benefits from working with this fungi is immune boosting, supportive to the GI, opening to the respiratory system, strengthening to the lungs and cardiovascular system (lung - heart tonic), protective from free radical damage (anti-aging), stabilizing high blood pressure, regulating high cholesterol, anti-oxidant rich, protective of the liver, anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties, supportive to immune system when undergoing chemotherapy, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, an ally to allergy sufferers, those experiencing inflammation from rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis. 

So you see why it's sought after? David Winston, RH, AHG, Dean of the Center for Herbal Studies in Broadway, New Jersey an herbalist with more than 40 years of experience is convinced that Chaga is the most powerfully anti-cancer medicinal mushroom in existence. 

I started off decocting Chaga (used this to replace coffee), licorice which is 50% more sweeter than sugar, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, black perppercorns, fennel, cloves and burdock. This is the Chaga Masala that replaced the water that was used in the cake. 

For the cake mix I used King Arthur's gluten free baking mix and I added 1 cup of almond flour to it. I don't have any gluten sensitivities, but I do notice how much more tired I feel after having gluten, I also noticed I am a little bit more puffy so to cut on the inflammation I have opt for gluten free foods when I can. 

Getting creative and adding what I was vibing to the cake mix was some yummy cacao nibs that I grounded up, ground cinnamon, Piñon pine cone infused brown sugar and adding flax seed and water as a egg replacement.

Found somewhere in Google land a site that had good replacements when baking and for the equivalent of 1 egg, one that I tried was replacing with ground flax seed. 

1 tbsp ground flax seed to 3 tbsp water will yield one egg. 

The crumble topping was Muesli and rolled oats, raisins, almond flour, cacao, piñon pine cone brown sugar and butter. If you've ever made a crumble share what's your favorite recipe as my exploration in baking has begun. I found so many and all having a variation of difference in prep and bake time. 

To make this even more decadent I added warm Piñon Pine syrup I made recently from piñon pine cones we recently foraged and elderberry syrup that I made   drizzled on top of the cake. 

Adding a little bit of desert medicine to this adaptogenic dessert has me wanting to spend more time playing with the oven and experimenting with other adaptogenic and nourishing allies. 

Green Blessings. 

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