A scrumptious gluten-free chocolate cake without any hassle
A few weekends ago, my husband and I spent a beautiful weekend away in the mountains. We live in Denver and love admiring the mountain views. But going up another 3,000 feet in elevation and actually being ON the mountain is a whole new ballgame! It was gorgeous! Crisp air, snow on the ground, lovely aspens – we so enjoyed it.
When you go to retreats or to camp, you never really expect good food, right? You think maybe the cookies will be good and hopefully they’ll serve more than one option, but how tasty is the food really going to be? The food we indulged in that weekend blew us away. The cook, Miss Kim, is absolutely amazing! I was inspired to recreate many of her dishes as soon as we returned home. And when she served us a flourless chocolate cake made with quinoa, I was completely sold. Miss Kim generously shared her recipe with me!
While digging into an enormous slice of this one night at the retreat, I had NO idea it was made gluten-free until someone told me – and at that point, I had just a couple bites left! The texture is exactly what you expect to find in a cake: soft, bouncy, and rich. The look is the same, the taste is the same, the texture is the same, why not always make it with quinoa, right?
You will love this frosting because it is so easy to make! Whip together two lovely ingredients (chocolate and heavy cream!!) and you will have a thick, ultra rich, and smooth frosting ready in a jiffy! This frosting also is so forgiving on the cake. There’s no need to hide every line and bump – rustic is a good look! But no matter what it looks like, I guarantee the cake will taste amazing!
This recipe does not have quite the leavening power of cakes full of gluten. So, yes, the layers are a bit thinner. What we sacrifice (just a bit) in height, we gain in perfect texture, taste, and gluten-free-ness! And we like to go about 50/50 with frosting and cake in our house anyway, don’t you too? More frosting is never a bad thing. If you really want a taller cake, simply multiple the recipe by 1.5 and make an extra layer!
Flourless Quinoa Chocolate Cake
Time: 4 hours, 45 minutes active time
For the Cake:
1/3 cup whole milk
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups quinoa, cooked in water and cooled
3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup unsweetened (or dark) cocoa powder
1/2 Tablespoon baking soda
1/2 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the frosting:
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- To make the frosting, warm the cream in a saucepan over medium heat until warm and just before simmering. Then immediately pour the cream over the chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl. Do not stir. Allow the cream to sit for 5 minutes and then stir it all together with a spatula until all of the chocolate has been melted and incorporated. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until chilled (this may take up to 3 hours). Then whip it at medium-high speed with a hand mixer until soft peaks form. You can do this part right before frosting the cake.
- To make the cake, start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of two 8 or 9-inch round cake pans. Cut a piece of parchment paper to line the bottom of each pan.
- In a food processor, blend the milk, eggs, and vanilla for 30 seconds or until completely combined. Add the quinoa (cooked and cooled!) and the butter. Blend until everything is well combined, though the quinoa will not completely break down so the mixture will not be totally smooth. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, stir together the sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until completely combined. Add the quinoa mixture to this bowl and stir together with a wooden spoon or spatula until all the dry mixture has been incorporated.
- Pour half of the batter into each of the two prepared pans. Bake for 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean of crumbs. Allow to cool for 15 minutes in the pans after removing from oven. Then, carefully remove the cakes from the pans (you can invert them onto a plate or cooling racks) and allow to cool completely before frosting.
- To frost the cake, top the bottom layer of the cake with around 1/3 of the frosting. Place the second layer over the first and dollop a large portion of frosting on top. Spread the frosting evenly over the top of the cake and on the sides.
Note: 1 cup dry quinoa makes around 3 cups cooked. You will need to start with around 3/4 cup dry quinoa and cook it in water, not broth. Also, for best results, allow the frosting to set up by chilling the cake for around 2-3 hours in the refrigerator before serving. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
If you try these, I’d love to see the result! Tag your kitchen creations with #mesacookingco so I can admire your beautiful work!
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