I’m relatively new to gluten-free cooking. For the longest time I considered it a passing fad like Atkins diet. Then it happened. At the time I had a 20-pound bag of wheat flour delivered every month through a subscribe-and-safe program on amazon. But somehow I missed a month. Some people would just go to a store and buy flour, not me. I decided to use it as an opportunity to spend more time playing with buckwheat, rice and quinoa flours taking up a whole shelf in my fridge. As month rolled to a close I was struck by a realization: one whole month has gone by without a single episode of migraine. It was the longest migraine-free stretch in the history of my life (with the exception of pregnancies. I don’t get migraines when I’m pregnant). I started googling and found many websites tooting the link between migraines and gluten. It still didn’t explain why it is ok to eat wheat bread when I’m pregnant but not ok when I’m not. But there are more than one cause of migraines. If I can reduce the frequency and duration by cutting out gluten, I’m totally for it.
Thus, in a short time the necessity of gluten-free cooking was established and I directed my creative energies into exploring a new way of cooking. I like a good challenge. It also helps to go down a wrong aisle in a supermarket. That’s where I came upon Glutino: gluten free all purpose flour. It’s supposed to be just like all purpose flour, but without wheat or other gluten flours. Ingredients listed: rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, pea hill fiber, acacia gum, and rice protein. I figured chocolate cake is a safe way to start baking with Glutino since all that sugar and frosting will cover up anything that is off in a taste department. I’m glad to report that it worked really well indeed. What is more, Glutino seems to be a great substitute for regular flour in many recipes that I’ve tried since.
This recipe is based loosely on Add a Pinch recipe. I cut out coffee, increased cocoa powder and added a cup of chocolate. I also replaced regular flour with gluten-free flour and baked in 8-inch cake pans.
2 cups Glutino gluten-free all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup boiling water
Chocolate Frosting (recipe below)
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare two 8-inch cake pans by laying them with parchment paper, and spraying them with baking spray.
2. Get a large bowl and a large spoon. Add all ingredients in the order listed one by one (except chocolate chips) and stirring each until combined. If you have little helpers, they can stir it for you as you add ingredients.
3. You might want to do this step yourself. Add a cup of boiling water and beat it well with you spoon for a few seconds to make bubbles. The idea is to add air to the batter.
4. Throw in a cup of chocolate chips and immediately pour into two cake pans.
5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool while you are making the Chocolate Frosting.
I’m using a standard chocolate frosting recipe that I’ve been using for years. If I have to take a guess, I would say Betty Crocker cookbook was probably an inspiration here. I’ve learned a lot about cooking from Betty Crocker cookbooks!
8 oz cream cheese
4 Tbsp butter
2 cups* confectioners sugar
2/3 cups good quality cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
* Note: I’m using only 2 cups of confectioners sugar in this recipe because it’s enough for my kids, but if I was making this cake for adult company I would definitely go for 3 cups. With two cups of sugar it tastes more like chocolate cream cheese than anything else.
1. I like to soften cream cheese and butter before use by leaving them out for a few hours. But today I just put them in a microwave for 30 seconds.
2. In a food processor (or using an electrical hand mixer) beat together all the ingredients until smooth.
Frost the cakes! Or ask your helpers to do it for you….