I was thinking of naming this ‘the chocolate cake you’d bring to a family lunch with Aunty Sheryl and your dairy intolerant cousin in one room,’ but that’s a little lengthy, and perhaps a bit offensive to Aunty Sheryl. To me, this cake tastes like my memory of Coles cake (fellow ‘strayans, you know) which is basically all I can ask of a chocolate cake. It’s moist, springy, chocolate-y, and also gluten free, dairy free, and FODMAP friendly. It’s also just generally very reminiscent of that no-frills, delicious and wholesome chocolate cake you may or may not recall, depending on how long you’ve been gluten free or FODMAP>
There are two options for icing: chocolate buttercream, and a chocolate olive oil icing. I realised it would be somewhat pointless to include solely a buttercream recipe for a dairy free cake, although the buttercream is my preferred option. Butter is actually v low in lactose, so while it’s not dairy free, it is FODMAP friendly.
FOR THE CHOCOLATE CAKE:
- 1/2 cup quinoa flour (55g)
- 1/2 cup white rice flour (65g)
- 1/4 cup tapioca flour (30g)
- 1 cup good quality cocoa (110g)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (also known as bi-carb soda)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (100g)
- 1/2 cup white sugar (100g)
- 1/2 cup natural coconut yoghurt (natural as in not sweetened)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup milk of choice (I used lactose free and almond to success)
- 2 teaspoons vinegar (I used white and apple cider to success)
- 4 tablespoons freshly brewed espresso
- 4 eggs
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, line and grease a and sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Normally I think sifting is heinously cumbersome but it truly is necessary with cocoa. Ottolenghi suggests, in his book Sweet, to sieve cocoa together with sugar or something else, to stop it from sticking to itself. Just thought you might like to know.
- In a small bowl, add the vinegar to the milk, to make buttermilk. This will help give the cake oompf.
- Add all the wet ingredients to the dry, and use a whisk to thoroughly combine them, until no pesky cocoa lumps remain. Pour the mixture into the greased and lined tin, and cook for 30-40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out mostly clean. I found all of my trials needed close to the 40 minute mark, but our ovens may (/absolutely do) differ.
- While the cake is cooking, it’s time to make your icing of choice. Whichever you choose (buttercream) use a hand mixer to beat the ingredients until they magically become a thick, smooth, icing consistency. I like to both add salt and top with salt – it makes the chocolate flavour more intense, and disguises some of the olive oil taste in the dairy free option.
- When the cake is ready, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool completely before icing, so the icing doesn’t melt. Spread the icing liberally atop, sprinkle with sea salt flakes, and pass a slice to Aunty Sheryl.
- Use good quality, dutch processed cocoa. Because I test recipes constantly, I had told myself it wasn’t worth buying the more expensive cocoa, but it absolutely is. I tested the same cake with generic brand cocoa and dutch processed, and the results have sworn me off cheap cocoa for life. Let them do the same for you.
- I always used 700gm eggs. In Australia they are called extra large, but to me they’re just decent sized eggs.
- Make sure you’re using fine white rice flour – the one sold in a box in Australia isn’t remotely fine enough. There’s generally packets for sale in the health food aisle, or you can buy in bulk at a bulk store and save the unnecessary plastic.
- You could try using a butter alternative for the buttercream recipe, although I haven’t yet. Add 100g and work up slowly – they have a distinct taste, so try to use as little as possible for a buttercream your Aunty could be fooled by.