This Chocolate Quinoa Cake is gluten and refined sugar free.
I remember right where I stood the day it happened.
The day I met the most delicious chocolate cake I’d ever set taste buds on.
No matter that it was gluten and refined sugar free. That barely even registered as I stood there, crumb-coated fork an inch away from my lips, eyes widened in disbelief…
It was a grey winter’s day. Somewhere in the middle of post-Christmas exhaustion and anticipation of a new decade. A party throwing kind of day.
My own chocolate cake sat safely in the backroom refrigerator, waiting for the evenings festivities as I stood at Sarah’s little white stove, browning chicken thighs. Crisping bacon. Slicing mushrooms and chopping rosemary.
Smoke and steam billowed up to the top of the tall, 100 year old ceiling, my feet bundled up in several layers of socks, scarcely protected from the chill of the ancient ice-cold tiles…tiny hexagons of peach. Periwinkle. Cream. Sapphire. Stone. Stories whispering up from the cracks, recounting countless meals cooked through a centuries worth of seasons.
“I have THE best chocolate cake recipe”…my ears picked up on the sound of Sarah’s mother’s voice ringing through the airy kitchen. Chocolate is a trigger word, I suppose. I’m alert to it. Like a Doe to the cry of her fawn. Like a moth to the flame.
I turned and watched as she described a cake like no other. Made without flour, structured with egg and a handful of quinoa. Praising it’s low sugar content, describing all the little tweaks she had made to it, her silver-threaded curls bouncing, vibrating with a palpable energy.
I resumed my chores at the crack of Sarah’s whip and a few hours later the house began to fill with the smell of chicken fricassee.
Suddenly, right at that dip between mid-day and dusk, a chocolate cake appeared on the table. Like a bit of magic preformed by a fairy godmother, if the fairy godmothers name was Caroline and she had brought along one of her famous cakes upon her return for the party. Just for me to try.
I wasn’t expecting the deep, rich, almost black color of the cake layers. A crumb lighter, yet more moist than any standard chocolate cake I’d tried in memory. A ganache as smooth as silk. I’d imagine I could toss that cake up in the air and it would float down, like goose feathers mocking the pull of gravity.
She wondered out loud if I really did like the cake. I licked the plate clean and held up the gleaming porcelain as proof – it truly was the best chocolate cake I’d ever tasted.
Magic grown from tiny seeds, turned to chocolate drenched poetry.
The cake is small. 6 inches. And it has every right to be. Little and powerful, it can feed a crowd of 12 without batting an eye, so rich it is.
I x’d the recipe by 2.5 to get the tall cake that you see pictured here.
If you make it and love it, I’d love to hear!
More reasons to make a gluten-free chocolate cake:
- FOR THE CAKE:
- 1 cup Quinoa(cooked)
- 2 large Eggs
- ½ cup Unsalted Butter, melted
- ⅛ cup Milk (plant based milks work great)
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- ¾ cup Coconut Palm Sugar
- ½ cup Dark Cocoa Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- ¾ teaspoon Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
- FOR THE GANACHE:
- 1 cup Chocolate Chips(preferably 60% cacao content or higher)
- ¾ cup Heavy Cream (coconut cream can also be used)
- FOR THE CAKE:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees f.
- Grease the sides of two 6" round baking pans and line the bottoms with circles of parchment paper.
- Place the quinoa, eggs, melted butter, milk, and vanilla in a high speed blender and process on high speed until smooth - quinoa should be undetectable.
- Add the sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda to the blender and process just until combined.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans.
- Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely. Remove from pans, peel off parchment, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours, or until chilled.
- FOR THE GANACHE:
- Place the chocolate in a bowl.
- Heat the cream in a saucepan over medium high heat until it begins to steam. Pour over the chocolate and let sit for two minutes. Whisk until all of the chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Let sit for 30 minutes to firm up a bit.
- Unwrap cake layers. Place on layer on a plate and spread a bit of ganache evenly across the top. Place the second cake layer on top of the first and use the remaining ganache to frost the top and sides of the cake.
- Serve in slices cut with a hot, wet knife for cleanest cuts.
- Keep refrigerated. Will keep, covered, for up to a week.