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Archive for October 10th, 2009

Chilly Day, Warm Cake (Recipe)

Saturday, October 10th, 2009


No Wheat, Please

I keep finding new friends who (like me) can not eat wheat successfully, for any number of reasons. This makes me more inspired to post the recipes I’ve evolved over my years of doing without wheat, corn, and many-many-many other ingredients.

Thursday night for dinner we ate fresh mustard greens, sauteed with onion and protein-embellished with particularly smooth and creamy chickpeas. It was tasty but we did not make any rice, pasta, or quinoa to go with it as we might typically do.

cakerecipesheetSo it was time for a warm treat straight out of the oven. I don’t like frosting (and powdered sugar typically contains cornstarch, which is no good for me). Instead, I topped the warm cake with freshly whipped cream (brown sugar, not white) and a few tiny chocolate chips on it.

Recipe History

This recipe evolved from a WWII ration-era cake recipe from King Arthur Flour company. Unfortunately, their flour is wheat and I can’t use it. (If you can, their website has many recipes.)

Their no-egg recipe was a good place to start, anyway. I’ve evolved it over the years to make things stick together better, without using wheat. I also removed a few ingredients I can’t have, changed a measurement or two, just basically tweaked it until it felt “just right,” as Goldilocks would say.

An internet/knitting friend told me about this recipe in 2002. I’ve been refining it ever since. There are many ways to make it work, but this is the one I use most often.

Buckwheat is this Wheat-Free Baker’s Friend

I use a lot of buckwheat in my baking, which is not at all related to wheat regardless of the name. It has no gluten, so it’s perfect for celiac persons as well as wheat-sensitive folks like me.

The brand of buckwheat flour makes a difference, as they are all milled to different textures, from sand-coarse to fine powder. I usually use Arrowhead Mills, which has a close texture to all-purpose wheat flour and is excellent for substituting in “ordinary” recipes.

Here’s my recipe:

Warm-the-Heart No-Wheat Chocolate Cake

1-1/2 cup Arrowhead Mills buckwheat flour (could sub Hodgson mills, not Bob’s which is too coarse… need powdery texture instead)

1 cup brown sugar (can sub white, brown is stickier… good in wheat-free baking)

1/4 cup baking cocoa powder, unsweetened (not drink mix)

1 tsp baking soda plus 1/2 tsp unbuffered vitamin c crystals,
1-1/2 tsp baking powder (many contain cornstarch)

OPTIONAL: 2 Tbsp powdered goat milk (adds protein and body to cake, no flavor, I almost always add this)

6 Tbsp oil (I used olive, use what you have)

1 cup water

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a 10″ deep dish glass pie plate, place all dry ingredients and blend well with fork or wire whisk. Small lumps of brown sugar will remain.

Add oil and water, mix until all dry ingredients are wet but no longer than absolutely necessary.

Place in preheated oven for 30 minutes. (If you have substituted any ingredients, the baking time may change.) Done when toothpick placed in center comes out clean.

Cool 5 minutes if you can stand to wait that long. Top with whipped cream or ice cream if you can tolerate dairy, maybe Rice Dream or Soy Delicious if not (read ingredient labels carefully if you are food-sensitive). Or your own favorite topping, of course!

This cake holds together well enough to be finger food with a napkin to catch a few crumbs. Not bad for no wheat, eggs or xanthan gum!