Friday, 28 October 2011

Best ever easy gluten free chocolate cake

For thirty years our standard family celebration cake was a giant devils food cake from the Cordon Bleu series of cook books.  I used to make multiple tiers in my fifteen inch pizza tins - think of the immense chocolate cake in the movie Matilda.  My copy of the book is annotated with notes on how many times to multiply the recipe to feed sixty, how many times the recipe can be increased before the batter won't fit in the food mixer, and spattered with lots of bits of chocolaty dough (now, of course, a hazard).

I realised I hadn't written up this recipe on the blog.  I looked for it today for another family party tomorrow. Our books are all in heaps as we have had builders doing some repairs to the library walls - a sudden panic when I thought I wouldn't be able to track the recipe down.

2x 8 inch / 20cm cake tins.  Ideally these should have loose bottoms to make turning out easy. Grease tins and line base with non-stick baking paper.

Set oven to 170C / 160C fan

175g flour (40% urid, 40% tapioca, 20% cornmeal)
25g ground almond (optional, helps with richness and keeping)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
285 g sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
125 soft baking margarine (or softened butter)
210ml water
60g cocoa

Sift/whisk flours, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda together
Beat sugar and margarine together until light and fluffy
Mix cocoa and water together
Add eggs to sugar mixture, beating well
Add cocoa mixture and flour to sugar/egg mixture - add a bit of one, mix well, then a bit of the other, and so on until all incorporated
Beat until even texture and colour

Pour into prepared tins.  Bake for about thirty minutes at 170C/160C fan.  When baked, turn out onto cooling racks and remove the lining paper from the base.  Leave to cool completely before icing.

Many icings will be good with this.  I usually make a partially cooked one I invented because I was too lazy to spend time beating butter and icing sugar together.  It sets well to a soft fudgy texture, making the cake a little tidier to eat than a normal butter cream.

Icing Ingredients
75g butter
50ml water
30g cocoa
450g icing sugar

Icing method
Melt butter with water in a saucepan
sieve icing sugar and cocoa.  Add to water/butter mixture and stir until thoroughly mixed.  Sandwich cakes together with some of the icing and then use the rest to cover the top and sides.  If you like a fugdy look to the icing let it cool slightly before putting on the top of the cake.  For a glossy finish make sure the icing is hot and pour it on the cake.  If it seems too thick to do this easily add a little water to the icing.

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