[Insert long boring preamble here] Various circumstances have come together and inspired me to, finally, share something people have been begging me (begging me) to share for a very long time: my very special chocolate cake recipe. I only make this cake for birthdays and special occasions, and the best bit about it is it is both gluten and dairy free, so can be eaten by many people who would otherwise be left chewing sadly on a dry flapjack. This recipe is not entirely my own – all the best recipes are shared and adapted, after all – it was given to me many years ago by a professional cake maker called Grace, who in turn adapted it from somewhere else. I have since added my own variations, but we still call it Grace’s Chocolate Cake in this house. As you are not in this house, you can call it what you like.
This is a great cake for birthdays, as it comes out fairly flat, so is easy to decorate.
I always turn it upside down to cool anyway, which squashes the slightly bumpy top, and leaves you with the totally flat base to decorate on. This means you can do things like this:
I am assuming some degree of baking knowledge here, but if my lack of precision perturbs you, just ask me questions in the comments. But anyway, without further ado, here is the recipe:
Gluten and dairy free chocolate cake
Makes large round cake. Prep your tin, and put the kettle on (you’ll need instant coffee for the last bit)
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups gluten free flour
1 cup cocoa (fairtrade, obviously)
2tsp baking powder (not always gluten free, so check – use bicarb instead if in doubt)
2 tsp ground allspice (not mixed spice. I mean, mixed spice could be good too, but they’re not the same thing)
1/2 tsp ground cloves
Stir together in large bowl until the sugar breaks up the lumps of cocoa. Then add:
2 eggs (beaten)
3/4 cup soya or other dairy free milk
dash of vanilla
1/2 cup sunflower oil
Beat together (note: if using normal flour, do not over-beat. I am assured you cannot over-beat gluten free flour). Add 3/4 cup *very* strong instant coffee. Stir until completely mixed. The mix will be more like thick batter than cake mix, and this is exactly as it should be. Pour into prepared tin, and bake for approximately 45 mins – I can’t give you a definite answer, so just keep checking it with a skewer. Allow to cool in the tin for a bit before turning it out.
When cool, slice in half horizontally, and fill with this fruit filling (below), or if you love sweet chocolatey goo, chocolate frosting (also below). My son always wants fruit, my daughter always wants chocolate. Or you can fill it with fruit and cover it with chocolate frosting – everyone wins!
Cardamom red fruit compote:
200g mixed frozen berries
1tbsp freshly ground cardamom (Split the pods with your fingernail and pop the seeds out – they should be black and sticky, and will crush very easily in a pestle and mortar. You can use ready ground, but it won’t be the same)
Heat fruit and spice in a pan until the berries are soft, squish with a fork, and pour into a sieve over a bowl. Leave to drain, then spread the fruit over the cake.
125g dairy free marg, softened
1/2 cup cocoa
1tbsp soya/dairy free milk
lots (at least 500g) sieved icing sugar
Mix together until desired consistency is reached.
So there you go. Enjoy! I don’t have any pictures of what this cake looks like on the inside, so you’ll just have to make it yourself to find out 🙂 Let me know how you get on!