Saturday, July 23, 2016

Chocolate Quinoa Cake [Gluten Free Dairy Free Recipe]

This gluten free chocolate cake stays so moist, and it's so rare to have a cake with just one gluten free flour ingredient. The secret to this cake? Quinoa.

I told this to a ladies organization event - a birthday party actually - and served it just like it wasn't even gluten free. On that day, I was the only one who needed a gluten free or dairy free cake anyway. There were a few vegans in the crowd though. I was so happy to offer something that wasn't going to taste different to my friends, and they raved about it.

The next weekend, I made one for my coworkers, including R who has a tradition with his wife to try chocolate desserts at all the restaurants in the valley. He's even mentioned this cake recently, which makes it clear that it was not forgotten in the eyes of the chocolate connoisseur. 

Now, in the recent months, quinoa has made it clear to me that we don't really get along, but I do love to serve this cake to my gluten free friends. Quinoa can sometimes be what is called a cross-reactive grain, or one that causes a response in the body similar to gluten. That's why oats and I don't play together.

My birthday is also coming up in a few days. Great birthday cake options for the gluten free person in your life include:
Molten Lava Cake for Two
Gingerbread Bundt Cake with Chocolate Ganache
Roasted Banana Cake with Dairy Free Rum Frosting
Candied Lemon Party Cake
Coconut Tea Cake

Chocolate Quinoa Cake
adapted from this recipe
2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa [made from 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup dry quinoa cooked in water]
1/3 cup canned coconut milk
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup coconut oil, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Dairy Free Frosting:

⅓ cup cocoa powder
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup Spectrum Organic Shortening
2 tablespoons coconut milk [from a carton]
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon maple syrup

For the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper and grease the upper sides with coconut oil.

Combine the coconut milk, eggs and vanilla in a blender or food processor. Process just until combined. Add the cooked quinoa and the coconut oil. Blend well until smooth.
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the contents from the blender and mix with a wooden spoon or whisk until combined.
Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake on a rack in the middle position for 28-30 minutes or until a knife or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Invert the cakes onto cooling racks and remove parchment paper.

For the frosting, combine the cocoa powder and powdered sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the other ingredients, while mixing on low until combined. It's that simple - nothing to heat, and you're ready to go!

After frosting the cooled cake, chill the frosted cake in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving to let the frosting set up a bit

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