Chocolate cake Gluten free AND dairy free

I don’t usually bake without dairy but a good friend needed a birthday cake for a large event.  It is her birthday, and she is both gluten and dairy free.

This is a modification of a very basic chocolate cake recipe.  Any cake where you whip the butter, sugar, and eggs into a fluffy base will adapt well to gluten free ingredients.  I used coconut oil for this one.  The taste of it with the sugar and eggs was very similar to butter in the same recipe.  The consistency was the same as well.

No gluten free cake will be as light as one made with wheat cake flour.  This one has a nutty flavour and smooth consistency.

2 1/4 cups four bean flour.  mostly garbanzo, some sorghum, some corn starch, tapioca.  I would recommend this mix rather than any one flour.  They each make a different contribution.

1 teaspoon xanthan gum

1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt.  Original recipe said 1/2 but without butter I though the extra was called for.

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

4-6 oz good quality semi sweet chocolate.  I used a 70 % bar meant to be eaten rather than one made to be backed with.  I used 6 oz.  Original recipe called for 4.

1/2 cup hot water

Place water and chocolate in a microwave safe bowl for 2 minutes on defrost or melt together in a double boiler.  Stir until smooth.  Set aside to cool slightly.

1 cup coconut based buttermilk.  I bough some plain coconut ‘yoghurt’ and thinned it with coconut milk.  1/4 c milk to 3/4 c yoghurt. Then I added some lemon juice because it was still very sweet and the point of it is the acidity.

1 teaspoon vanilla.  I never measure vanilla. I like a lot and buy it by the gallon in Mexico.

Mix vanilla in yoghurt mixture. Set aside.

1 cup coconut oil (or butter)

2 cups white sugar

4 eggs

Mix coconut oil and sugar with whisk attachment on high until fluffy.  Oil must be room temp or warmer.  Even melted is better than too cold.  It will stiffen up as you mix it and the eggs can be cold when you add them.  Add eggs one at a time mixing after each addition.  Scrape down the sides at least once before final mixing.

Add chocolate to egg mixture slowly and allow to mix thoroughly.  Mixer on medium.

Turn mixer down to low or stir. Add flour mixture alternately with yoghurt mixture in at least two additions of each.  So, half the yoghurt, half the flour, half yoghurt etc…

I really like silicone baking pans.  But you can also use glass or metal ones.  If they are not silicone, grease and flour the pans.  Either two 9 inch rounds or a 9 x 13 cake pan.

Bake at 350 for  45 minutes.    My cake on the top shelf was done at sooner.  The bottom shelf required another 10.  I have a quite small gas oven.  You can switch them around half way to avoid this problem.


“Grahm” Crackers

These are not entirely unlike gram crackers.  A little less delicate.  Still tasty.

2.5 cups 4 bean flour.  This batch of the mix was  mostly garbanzo.  Some corn starch, some sorghum.  Just a bean flour should work fine.

1.5 cups oat flour.  I use a certified gluten free oat meal and ran it in the food processor until it was a grainy flour.  This is to simulate the gram part.  Using a prepared oat flour would work just as well, if not better.

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

1 teaspoon cinnimon

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.  Set aside.

In a mixing bowl place:

1 cup butter soft

3/4 cup brown sugar. Light or dark

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

Mix with the paddle beater on medium high until light and fluffy. 3-5 minutes  Add flour mix and mix on low until blended.  It is more difficult to make a gf dough tough, so don’t worry too much about over mixing.

You will need a bit more flour for working the dough.  A cup or so. Oat or bean is fine.  I do not recommend using rice flour.  But mostly because I don’t like it.

Mix your dough by hand a bit and see if it comes into a ball easily. If it is too sticky, add flour 1/3 cup at a time until it forms a ball when stirred by hand.  Turn it out on a floured surface and divide into 4 equal parts.

Cut four or five pieces of parchment paper into roughly the size of your baking sheet.

On each piece roll one part of the dough into a rectangle about 9 x 6 inches and about 1/8th inch thick.  You can roll them between two pieces of paper if you want.  Flour the paper and the top of the dough to prevent sticking.  If you decide to trim them up neatly, use the scraps to make a fifth rectangle.

You can score them into cracker shapes at this point if you want.

Stack the papers with the rolled dough on a baking sheet and place in the freezer until firm, about 20 minutes.

Take out one at a time and bake at 350 for 11 minutes or until nicely browned.  Remove and let cool a minute on the sheet then transfer to a rack to cool completely.  Store in an air tight container.  All of this type of cookie will improve greatly after three days stored at room temperature.

I made these just to crumble for a pie crust.  I’ll let you know how that goes.  🙂