Monday, August 31, 2015

God at work VII (and gluten-free chocolate cake)

I am thankful to God because we had a good weekend.

Jon's birthday was Thursday, and we took him out for dinner.   But on Saturday, we had a little birthday barbecue with some friends from church.  We ate hamburgers, hot dogs, brats, potato salad, coleslaw, beans, fresh veggies, guacamole, and gluten-free chocolate cake.  Jon said he wanted me to be able to share in the cake; I thought that was terrifically sweet of him.  More about the cake (and the recipe) in a minute.  We also played Dominion, a new game we learned while we were on vacation at the beach.

On Sunday, Jon came home with us after church and we feasted on the leftovers from the barbecue.  Then we went shopping for birthday shoes for him.  It was a very nice day.

And... about the cake.  Even though Jon had expressed that he wanted me to be able to eat it too, I was planning on going easy and fixing him a boxed mix.  I was sure I had one.  However, in the end, the only boxed mix in the pantry was Red Velvet, and although Red Velvet is okay, it isn't anyone's favorite, and I didn't want to serve it on his birthday.

I decided that it would be less work to make a scratch cake than to go to the store again.

This may or may not have been true.


As I thought through my scratch options, I realized that if I mixed up a cake from scratch, I might as well go for gluten-free.  Then I remembered that I had a bunch of almond flour that I'd ordered through Amazon and hadn't yet opened.

I looked at "gluten-free chocolate cakes" online, but they all looked flat and dense, like brownies.  If I wanted birthday brownies, I'd make birthday brownies.  I wanted birthday cake.  So I made up my own recipe, prayed, went forth...

And it was really good!  God blessed my efforts, my weekend, and my birthday boy.

The cake.  Frosted.

The cake.  Decorated.

The cake.  Cut.  
Note the traditional, cakey texture.  
It was fluffy and moist, lightly nutty because of the almond flour, 
absolutely delectable to me, as I have not had real cake since forever.

I warned our guests with a disclaimer that this cake was gluten-free.  They loved the cake and said they never would have known it was gluten-free if I had not told them.  They also commented that they enjoyed the almond kick from the almond flour.

Gluten-free Chocolate Cake

1 cup almond flour
1 cup oat flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 and 1/3 cups butter, softened
1 cup sugar (use organic if you think it matters)
4 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
2/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa powder
1 and 2/3 cups plain kefir (or buttermilk) 

Prepare two 9 inch layer pans. (I line the bottoms with waxed paper or parchment paper, and grease the sides.)  Prepare an extra (smaller) pan, because you will have some extra batter.  Preheat oven to 350.

Measure the almond flour, oat flour, coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl.  Whisk together thoroughly.  (You really should sift these together, but there are lumps too big to pass through a sifter in some of these flours, so if you sift, plan to tip the lumpy parts out of the top of the sifter and mix back in after you've incorporated the salt and leavening.)

Beat the softened butter with your electric mixer.  Beat in the sugar, and the eggs, one by one.  Add the vanilla and cocoa powder.  Beat well.

Beat the flours into the butter-egg mixture, a little at a time.  When you are adding the last portion of the flour mixture, also pour in the kefir.  Mix thoroughly and portion into pans.  This batter will not rise as much as regular cake batter, but it will rise.  Fill pans about 3/4 full and put the extra batter into the extra pan you have prepared.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.  Remove the small cake, and bake the two layers for 5-10 more minutes.

I was glad for the extra little cake, because it allowed me to taste-test my product before serving it to my guests.  Shawn and I ate it right down.

(Also, in case you are interested...)

Chocolate Frosting

    1/2 cup butter
    2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
    3 cups powdered sugar
    1/3 cup milk
    2 tsp vanilla extract

Melt butter in microwave in a glass measuring cup.  Stir in cocoa.  Add powdered sugar to cocoa mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring thoroughly after each addition, until you have added 1&1/2 cups.  Turn into mixing bowl and use an electric mixer to beat in the rest of the sugar, the vanilla, and the milk.


Priscilla said...

Sounds delicious! Audra texted us from college to tell us that neither of her roommates like chocolate. I texted her back saying, "Well...I guess that means you won't have to share."

Gloria H. said...

A yummy looking cake, Ruth! How creative and adventurous you are! It's not easy baking GF, and I wouldn't have a clue how to make up a recipe. You obviously bake more than I do. Since we have 2 celiacs in our family, I'll be using this recipe sometime. Congratulations and thanks.

Ruthie said...

I always say, there are some things that you shouldn't try to teach anyone to like, because it's always nice to have more for those who appreciate them. They include chocolate, asparagus and guacamole.

I hope you like the recipe!