Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

This is a gluten free recipe, but it is hardly calorie free, and it is the calories that make this moist chocolate cake so delicious.

I received this recipe from my work sensei, Claudette, who shared it with me after I  experimented with quinoa in my Quinoa and Apple Salad.  That salad was a huge success, so why not try quinoa for a sweet treat?

This recipe heavily relies on the cookbook Quinoa 365: The Everyday Super Food for the ingredients. I highly recommend visiting their website (or better, buying their book) and seeing some other fabulous recipes while learning about the health benefits of quinoa. Of course, surround the quinoa with butter, eggs, and cocoa and I’m no longer sure the health benefits are as fabulous as they should be, but you’ll feel all warm and cozy, loved and hugged when you eat this cake, and that in my book, is worth every single calorie.

You will need the following hardware:

A blender or food processor
Saucepan with lid
2-cake pans – small ones. Not E-Z-Bake Oven small, but about 8″ will do
Parchment paper
Bowl – the size you use to eat popcorn in when PMSy.
Wooden Spoon
Stove top

I’m sure there are other great brands of quinoa, but this is the one I bought back in May when I made the quinoa apple salad. It keeps well!

You will need the following ingredients:

2/3 cup white quinoa
1 1/3 cup water
1/3 cup milk
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Don your favourite apron and then….

Put the water and quinoa in a saucepan, bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and cover. Cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the stove, remove the saucepan and let it sit, covered, another 10 minutes. Fluff quinoa with the fork, and allow it to cool.

Preheat your oven to 350F. Butter two cake pans, round or square, or, live on the edge and butter one round and one square one.  Line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper. This is a step I usually ignore, but this is a sticky cake, and highly recommend you do this.

In a blender or food processor, add your 4 eggs, milk, and vanilla. Whir a few good times to combine. Add the cooled quinoa and butter and blend until really smooth. When you think it’s done, whir a few more times to be sure. As Michael says, “You don’t want bits of quinoa stuck between your teeth when eating cake.”

Mmm. Quinoa batter!

In your big bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt. Add the batter from the blender and mix well with spoon.

Lovely dunes of cocoa powder.

Split the chocolatey batter between the two pans, scraping the bowl empty with the spatula, and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a wooden stick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Remove the cakes from the oven and cool on racks in the pan. Wait until they are completely cool or your will have a crumbly mess to deal with (but the crumbs are delicious, so all is not lost if you lose patience) (not that I would know).

You can ice this cake if you want, but it is dense and sweet enough on its own (to my taste). It is like a fudgey brownie.

The original recipe comes with storage options, but I can absolutely guarantee you won’t have left overs to freeze, or if you do, it won’t last in your freezer up to the recommended 1 month.

Do NOT expect your cake to be this high. One slice looked a little, er, flat. So I stacked two pieces on top of each other.


Quinoa and Apple Salad

Quinoa is a super food. It’s rich with protein, is a good source of fibre, contains essential amino acids, and looks weird. Ergo, it must be good for you.

I tried eating quinoa about a year ago. I boiled some up and ate it plain.  I didn’t feel instantly healthy or impressed.

More recently, I discovered that one of my favourite lunch haunts, Sunterra in Commerce Place here in Edmonton, sells a quinoa and apple salad in their market. I have had it a few times, and it is delicious.

Although buying lunch from Sunterra does not drain the bank account, I said to myself, “I can make this myself”. So I did. And here’s what I came up with:

Quinoa and Apple Salad

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water
Granny smith apple – peeled, seeds removed, and chopped
Corn (canned) (I used a little less than one small tin)
Orange pepper – chopped
Green onions, 3 – sliced thin, include the green bits
Parsley, a handful, chopped fine
Lemon juice (just a few squirts to keep the apples from turning brown)
Dry cranberries (about 1/3 cup)
Chili flakes (a few shakes of the shaker)
Garlic (2 cloves – minced fine)
Mint (I use dried mint leaves – one or two tsp)
1/4 cup white vinegar or white wine vinegar
1/4 cup (a bit less than that) canola oil

Cook one cup quinoa in two cups water per package directions.  Which means put the quinoa and water in a pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover. Leave it alone for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Fluff with fork. Allow to cool.

Meanwhile…  chop your apple and veggies, open the can of corn, squirt your lemon juice and mix it all together with lemon juice, cranberries, chili flakes, and mint.

Then…. make a vinaigrette:  I mixed about 1/4 cup white vinegar with a bit less than a 1/4 cup canola oil. Whisk with salt, pepper, and about 1/2 tsp of sugar. Or to taste.

Mix the cold quinoa, apple, vegetables mix and vinaigrette in a large bowl.

Admire the pretty colours.  Eat.  Feel healthy.