Friday, April 26, 2013

Gluten and Nut Free, Vegan Fudge Chocolate Cake

       My family is not vegetarian much so vegan.  We are just normal foodies trying to eat healthier.  When my children were diagnosed with multiple food allergies, we have to eliminate eggs, dairy, soy, nuts, peanuts and yes, wheat.  Baking has been a real challenge since I have to come up with recipes that are not only vegan but also gluten, soy and nut free.  Oh I have to specify too that the taste must be close to the "real thing" since the kiddos used to eat the regular kind before and it will be hard to fool them.

         Chocolate Cake is always big in our house.  Pre food allergies, our favorite is Ina Garten's version.  The coffee in her recipe really brings out that deep indulgent chocolate flavor. For a while, we haven't had any of this treat because I have to replace almost everything in the recipe and deep inside I'm scared to make one for it may not turn out as good.  I don't want to be the one to finish a whole cake that's not worth every calorie!

        Then last week I came across Chef Chloe's new Vegan Dessert Cookbook.  Her recipe was quite simple but is not completely gluten free. I tried her recommended gluten free version and the result was quite good.  I didn't stop there though. By now, you all know that delicious food isn't enough.  I have to lessen the fat and sugar content.  Plus I need to sneak in some healthier ingredients. 

       So after a much tinkering, I finally came up with my own chocolate cake.  Since I serve this to the kids, I used decaffeinated coffee granules.  For a grown up version, you can use brewed strong coffee instead of the instant coffee.  You can also add a Tablespoon or two of Kahlua Coffee Liquor to start the party.    

       Since I'm running late, I'll post the recipe for the Creamy Chocolate frosting tomorrow.  If you're super excited to try this though, don't worry, my kids love it as it is. Just drizzle some melted dairy free chocolate and it's a treat.

       Enjoy your weekend!

- Roz


1 3/4 cups gluten free flour mix (you can also use Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour -- 44 oz )
1 1/2 cups turbinado sugar (or any raw sugar)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup coconut oil (you can also use canola or sunflower)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup coconut milk (you can also use almond, rice or flax milk)
1 cup hot water
2 Tbs. instant decaf coffee granules (you can also use regular coffee granules)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease 2 pans (9 inch) or if making cupcakes, line standard muffin pans with paper lines.  This recipe will produce about 24 cupcakes.
2. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and salt.  Set aside.
3. In a small cup, combine coconut milk (other non dairy milk) and apple cider vinegar. Mix well.
4. In a separate cup, dilute coffee granules in hot water. 
5.With an electric mixer, cream the sugar, oil, vanilla and applesauce.
6.Alternately add the flour and coconut milk mixture.  Start and end with the flour.
7. Slowly pour the coffee mixture and mix just until combined. Make sure that you don't over mix.
8. Divide the batter to fill the two pans or when making cupcakes, fill each mold up 2/3 full.
9. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean with a few crumbs.  For cupcakes, bake for 16-20 minutes and do the toothpick test. 
10. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely on a cooling rack before frosting.

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