You know when things just work. You know when you have an idea, but you “umm” and “ahh” about whether or not to give it a whirl. But then you do, and you’re so glad you did? Well, this is one of those times. I developed a lovely cake that I used to make quite a lot in the cafe quite a lot as well as for celebration cake orders. It was my Peruvian Chocolate Cake. Sometimes I made it as a Choc-Orange Cake or a Choc-Mint Cake. No matter how you varied it, it was always a lovely moist, gooey, rich, satisfying chocolate cake. But, the final cake was a bit hit and miss. Sometimes it rose well and held its rise and shape. And other times it ended up a sunken, lumpy looking mess. Tasted amazing, but not great for counter presentation.
I know the reasoning behind this variance. Whenever you use whole fruit or whole grains (be they cooked or sprouted) in a recipe – you’re inviting a difficult to control variable that will have an impact on the resultant cake.
There are always factors that will affect the outcome of cakes: the size, freshness, temperature of the eggs; the temperature of the butter/liquids; the quality (age, starch/protein content, grind) of your flour(s) and raising agents; the temperature of your oven; the cooking time. And of course, the recipe itself plays a huge role. Does it use weight or cups? Is it a tried and tested recipe, or just something that someone’s kinda guessed at. And then there’s baker’s folly: how well you did you or did you not follow the recipe. All these things can and will impact of the final product.
Add into the mix the use of whole fruits and grains – especially gluten free grains where each grain/seed brings to the table a swag of different hydration levels, absorbency rates, different starch and protein components, different textures, and gelling and cooling points. The list is endless. I don’t mean to freak you out and put you off baking ever again. I’m just trying to give you some reasons why sometimes your cakes might work and other times they flop. However, in saying this, I don’t think that an ugly looking cake is a deal breaker. At the end of the day, we might eat with our eyes, but we savour with our tongues and remember with our tummies.
So without further ado, I give you the Sprouted Quinoa Chocolate Cake. It might not win a beauty pageant, but it’s sure win friends with its rich, chocolately flavours and satisfying in-mouth feel. Take it up a notch by serving it with a strawberry-nana ice cream – and you’ll have everybody asking for seconds. But the crowning beauty of this cake is that it’s refined sugar free and low fat. Plus you can reduce the amount of maple syrup and/or oil you include to suit your dietary requirements.
Happy baking and please let me know what you think by adding a comment or sharing on FB or Instagram.
SPROUTED QUINOA CHOCOLATE CAKE
200g sprouted quinoa – drained
100g rice mylk (or mylk of choice)
80g EVOO (olive oil)
100g maple syrup
50g brown or coconut sugar (optional)
1 Tbsp vanilla essence
1 tsp vinegar
½ bi carb soda
1 ½ baking powder
80g almond meal (or sunflower seed meal or meal of choice)
Set your oven to 180oC
Blitz quinoa in a Vitamix (or high powered blender) with the mylk of choice until smooth. Add remaining liquid ingredients and blitz. Add in dry ingredients and mix until combined. Give your blender a bit of help, by stopping and scraping down the sides. Don’t overmix.
Pour your ingredients into small muffin papers or divide your mixture into two x 18cm tins. It’s better to cook thinner cakes and sandwich them together with a agar agar jelly filling or strawberry-cashew cream.
Cook muffins for 20 – 25mins. Larger cakes will take between 30 and 45mins, depending upon your oven and the thickness of your cakes. A little sticky batter on your skewer is no problem, as the cake is quite gooey, and you’re only marrying the ingredients together – there’s not egg to cook.
Allow to cool before removing from tins. These cakes are usually quite delicate, so refrigerate overnight or until fully cooled. Handle quickly, but gently when sandwiching together. A very large spatula can be useful in these situations.
Strawberry-nana Ice Cream
2 x fresh large bananas with a big handful of frozen strawberries.
2 x frozen large bananas with a big handful of fresh strawberries.
Serve immediately. And ENJOY!