Saturday, February 19, 2011

Recipe : Chocolate Cake (Dairy Free)

This recipe comes from Cooking For Isaiah, by Silvana Nardone.  Awesome cookbook.  We aren't a gluten-free family, but if we were, this book would be permanently on my shelf, as she has created a whole book of gluten-free, dairy-free recipes that she tested on her own family.  And they are good.  Some of them, REALLY good.

The only issue I have with this cake is, it really sticks.  So when you prepare the pans, seriously prepare them.  She recommended greasing the pan, lining the bottom with parchment and then greasing the parchment.  Do it.  Otherwise you're left scrambling to figure out what to do with some seriously broken cakes... cookie cutters to the rescue!!  

Anyway, without further ado...

Chocolate Cake with Whipped Chocolate Frosting

2 tbsp instant espresso powder (I used instant decaf coffee powder and it worked all right)
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cold water
2 tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, at room temperature (if you are out of eggs, you can use 6 tbsp mayo here)
2 cups all-purpose flour (gluten-free?  get her cookbook and find her substitute flour blend)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare two 9-inch baking pans.

Whisk together the espresso powder and boiling water in a small bowl; let cool slightly.  Whisk in the cold water, vanilla, oil and eggs.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, sugars, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Whisk the egg mixture into the flour mixture just until combined.  Divide the batter between the prepared pans.  Bake until springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 30 minutes.  Let cool completely in the pans set on wire racks.

Run a knife around the edges of the pans to release the cake.  Invert one cake layer onto a cake plate, flat side facing up.  Spread about 2 cups of the whipped chocolate frosting evenly on top.  Place the remaining cake layer, rounded side up, onto the frosting.  Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting.  Refrigerate for about 30 minutes before serving.

Whipped Chocolate Frosting: Melt 3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips with 1-1/2 cups water.  Stir until smooth, cool to room temperature.  Beat on medium-high speed with an electric mixer until light and whipped, about 12 minutes.  If you overwhip the frosting, add a little water to make it glossy and smooth again.

My variant of this .... break the cakes irreparably because you didn't grease the pans properly.  Find a large cookie cutter in a cute shape.  Cut out mini-cakes and place onto small plates.   Melt one square of semi-sweet chocolate in a small bowl along with about 1/4-cup of water.  Stir with a fork until smooth.  Add 1 tsp vanilla.  Stir in icing sugar a bit at a time until a frosting-like consistency is reached.  Spread on the top of each mini-cake.  Dust with icing sugar and serve.  Smile brightly and keep the family out of the kitchen so they don't see the disaster.   ;o)

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