After one of our good friends was diagnosed with Celiac disease, I had to reform my dessert-making when he comes over for dinner (which is often). Most gluten-free flour is admittedly not great. You can’t just use it in place of regular all-purpose. I have made some fairly dry and crumbly cakes, cookies, and loaves. Luckily I came across this recipe for gluten-free cake which uses quinoa in place of flour. That means it’s healthy, right? If it wasn’t for the 3/4 cup of butter I could get away with making the claim. At any rate, quinoa is really good for you (full of fibre and protein) but its good-for-you qualities are somewhat offset by the saturated fat of the butter. Oh well, it is dessert after all! This cake is a zip to make because most of it is done in the food processor. The recipe for the cake is from the Quinoa 365 cookbook. The frosting is one I have been making for a long time and I have no idea where I first got it.
Set the oven for 350 degrees. Grease 2 round or square pans (either 8 inch or 9 inch works). I have never tried this recipe in one big pan: if you do let me know how it works!
2/3 cup quinoa & 1 1/3 cup of water – bring to a boil in a saucepan, cover and simmer for 10 mins. Turn off heat and leave saucepan on burner for another 10 minutes. Fluff and cool.
Combine: 1/3 cup milk, 4 large eggs, and 1 tsp vanilla extract in a food processor or blender. Add: the quinoa from the saucepan (should equal about 2 cups) and 3/4 cup of butter (make sure it is not straight from the fridge and is softened a bit). Blend until smooth (10-15 seconds-ish) but don’t blend too long or the batter starts to go a bit funny.
Whisk together in a large bowl: 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 cup cocoa powder*, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt. Add contents of the blender to this dry mix and stir until combined.
Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for 40-45 minutes. Use a knife to test if the cake is done. To put together I like to put frosting between the two layers and then frosting on the top too. I like frosting.
* I’m really picky about my cocoa powder. The Camino and Frey’s brand are too light for me. Try to find a nice dark, rich cocoa powder. If it says Dutch processed that is a good sign. My favourite at the moment is the Green & Black’s Organic. It’s expensive but really worth it.
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp corn syrup
4 ounces chocolate (bittersweet, semi-sweet, milk – your preference)
1 tbsp butter
Combine the sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add the chocolate. Add butter when chocolate melts.
I like to chill this icing a little before using it. It is very runny at first!