Friday, September 9, 2011

Dairy Free Spelt Chocolate Cake

Here's a little bit about myself and my family.

I am the oldest of two, however I am a middle child. My older sister passed away when she was barely 5 months old. The thought of this, was always very sad, but since becoming a mum, it is absolutely heartbreaking, and I can never think of her without shedding a few tears for my dear mum, and the hell that it must have been to lose a beautiful child like Gaby.

My younger sister Carolina, has three beautiful children. Two boys and a girl. They are all gifted in their own way (aren't all kids?) and I love them with all my heart.

Recently, after reading "The Unhealthy Truth", I started to suspect that my youngest nephew, may have an intolerance to dairy. His skin has been rough and itchy for as long as I can remember. Years ago, I thought it was that he was simply sensitive to the chemicals in the bath products that we tend to use for babies, but after buying him organic baby products, and that having no effect, I realised that THAT was not what was causing his skin condition.

As I said, after reading that book I started to suspect that he may be intolerant to diary. I suggested to my sister that she try to put in him a dairy free diet for a little while, and see if that improved his condition. Within days, his skin cleared up and he was no longer itchy. Now if he eats anything with dairy in it, he starts to get itchy straight away. He can see the effects right away.

Now his birthday is coming up, and because I have made him cakes for his birthday since he was born (last year I bought him cupcakes, sue me!! I was pregnant ;) ) I need to come up with a dairy free recipe for his cake.

He asked for a Spongebob Squarepants cake, so I was going to make something 3d. For that I needed a cake that was firm, so decided to convert my dark chocolate mud cake into something dairy free. I went totally overboard with the replacements, and replaced almost everything, the chocolate for chocolate liquor, the sugar for Agave, the flour for coconut flour, the butter for coconut oil and the milk for rice milk. Needless to say, it was not a success at all!! The cake came out crumbly, and it wouldn't have been useful for a 3d cake, let alone something that kids would want to eat. It was far too rich too, not overly sweet, but certainly overly chocolatey.

But that failure did not discourage me. I found a recipe on the ALL RECIPES website for a Basic Chocolate cake, which just happens to be vegan. I used half of the recipe, and did some further conversions so I could also eat it, and to replace part of the sugar to make it a little more nutritious.
Here is my version of the recipe.

205gms white spelt flour
100gms coconut sugar
120gms raw organic sugar
15gms cocoa
7gms baking powder (gluten free)
70gms sunflower oil
20gms Apple Cider Vinegar
250gms Rice Milk
1tsp vanilla extract (I used my homemade stuff :) )

  • Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  •  Prepare a 20cm ring pan by brushing it with oil, and dusting it with spelt flour or cocoa.
  • Whisk together all the dry ingredients, then sift them into another bowl. You may find lumps in your sieve from the coconut sugar, and/or the cocoa. Break these up between your fingers, and continue sifting. Make sure that the only thing left in your sieve are large coconut sugar granules, break up anything else between your fingers. Place the granules into the dry mix, and whisk in.
  • Place all wet ingredients in a jug, and whisk together.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk until well combined. Do not over mix.
  • Pour into your prepared pan, and bake for approximately 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. I use wooden skewers, as the metal ones tend to lie about when the cake is cooked. Can't trust those guys!!!!
  • Allow cake to cool for about 10 minutes in the pan, and then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Ice and enjoy. It is moist and deeeeeeelicious!!!!
Peanut Butter Icing
100gms dairy free chocolate
100gms smooth peanut butter
85gms pure icing sugar

  • Chop chocolate and place in a bowl with the peanut butter. I used Macro Organic Peanut butter which you can buy at Woolworths. It is a runny type of peanut butter so it worked really well for this recipe.
  • Place your bowl over another bowl with boiling hot water in it. You can start this process when you put your cake in the oven, so you can leave it for a while, (around 15 minutes). When you return your chocolate should be melted. Mix it in with the peanut butter, you will get a ganache of sorts :)
  • Sift icing sugar into the chocolate mix, and incorporate completely.
  • DO NOT taste this at this stage, or you may find that you will not have enough left over to ice the cake.
  • Ice your cake, and only AFTER you've finished, give yourself permission to lick the spoon ;)

Apologies for the lack of pictures, I forgot to photograph this, and only remembered when there was only crumbs of the cake left. I will take a picture next time I bake this. I am planning on replacing all the sugar with coconut sugar, I didn't do it this time because I only had 150 or so grams left of the stuff ;)
Future Tweaks
  1. Use only coconut sugar
  2. Reduce amount of sugar used
  3. Increase amount of chocolate
  4. Use coconut oil instead of sunflower oil


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