Cole's Moveable Feast

Cole's Moveable Feast
Cole

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Chocolate or Espresso Buttercream


ALSO ADAPTED FOR EGG AND DAIRY ALLERGIES ~ and, as always, NUT-FREE

This is my go-to gluten-free chocolate cake recipe, which I adapted from King Arthur ~ which, by the way, is an EXCELLENT source for gluten-free recipes.

A couple notes:
If ever the rule "Read the whole recipe before you start" applied, it's now, when you're making something gluten-free. Read the whole recipe first so you know what's coming.

I've included my favorite homemade gluten-free flour blend recipe below. But King Arthur and Authentic Foods both make excellent gluten-free cake flours.

If you're making this egg-free, you'll need to strain a can of organic chickpeas to make aquafaba. I like Wegmans organic chickpeas (garbanzo beans) best because they don't have a strong flavor. Open the can, strain the juice through a small fine-mesh strainer (like a tea strainer) into a measuring cup. Set aside the chickpeas for another use. Rinse the strainer, then strain the liquid AGAIN into a jar with a lid. This will keep in your fridge for about three days. Make your egg substitute for this cake first (see below) and set it aside while you make the rest of the cake batter.

If you ARE using eggs, here's a tip: when you're using such expensive ingredients, it sure is upsetting to accidentally drop an egg, shell and all, into the mixing bowl and watch it get chopped up into the batter (I've learned this lesson the hard way . . . more than once). Crack all your eggs into a large pourable measuring cup first, then you can pour them into the batter in a controlled way.

Finally, do you really have to sift the flour? YES. Sorry. I hate sifting too. One way I've simplified it is to store my blend in a very large/wide glass bowl with a plastic airtight lid. Before I use the flour, I scoop roughly the amount I need into a fine mesh strainer and shake it side-to-side to sift it right back into the storage bowl. Then I spoon that sifted flour into my measuring cup. Remember to spoon it loosely into your measuring cup and then level it off with the side of your spoon before putting it into your mixing bowl. Too much flour or unsifted flour will leave you with a cake that's either too dry, too heavy or both. Okay, let's do this!

INGREDIENTS:

CHOCOLATE CAKE

2 ¼ cups sugar, scant (ie, slightly less than 2 1/4 cups)
2 ¼ cup SIFTED gluten-free flour blend
1 ½ cups cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 ¾ teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons salt (omit this if you're using aquafaba)
1 cup canola oil
2 cups water
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
6 eggs*
3 teaspoons vanilla extract with 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (measure 1 tsp espresso powder into a tablespoon, then fill with vanilla extract - stir gently with a small spoon until dissolved)

*Egg substitute ingredients (18 tablespoons)
6 Tablespoon pumpkin puree or applesauce (scant)
6 Tablespoon aquafaba
6 Tablespoon water
2 teaspoons powdered egg replacer such as Namaste or Ener-G brand
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
WHISK TOGETHER in a bowl or large measuring cup until frothy, set aside

Gluten-free flour blend (I use Authentic Foods brand for all ingredients):
5 cups superfine brown rice flour
1/2 cup superfine white rice flour
1/2 cup superfine sweet white rice flour
2 cups potato starch (NOT potato FLOUR)
1 cup tapioca starch
WHISK INGREDIENTS TOGETHER WELL, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Before each use, run the whisk through your blend a few times to recombine the ingredients.

CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
3 sticks unsalted butter or non-dairy margarine (my favorite: Earth Balance soy-free buttery sticks)
1/2 cup Spectrum organic all vegetable shortening
1 cup cocoa powder (regular or dark cocoa if preferred - like Hershey's Special Dark), more or less to taste
4 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt (omit this if you're using Earth Balance sticks)
2 tsp vanilla extract with 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

ESPRESSO BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
3 sticks unsalted butter or non-dairy margarine
1/2 cup Spectrum organic all vegetable shortening
5 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt (omit this if you're using Earth Balance sticks)
2 Tablespoons instant espresso powder mixed with 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract (you may end up adding more espresso powder, like I do, if you love coffee flavor)

INSTRUCTIONS:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray two 9" round cake pans (or two 12-cavity muffin pans) with non-stick spray, line the bottoms with parchment paper (or cupcake liners, if applicable), and spray the pans (lined muffin pans) again. That second spray is important, don't skip it. Set aside. Here's a tip you'll love me for: you can buy precut 9" parchment rounds on Amazon!

In a stand mixer, combine all dry ingredients. With mixer on low, stir in canola oil, water and apple cider vinegar. Increase mixer to medium high and beat for one minute, stopping to scrape down sides halfway through. Turn mixer to low and add in eggs one at a time (or egg substitute) until just combined. Add in vanilla extract/espresso and beat on high for 30 seconds. Pour into prepared pans. Bake for 23 to 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into middle comes out with just a crumb or two sticking to it. Cupcakes generally take 17 to 20 minutes. Allow to cool in pans for 5 minutes. For cakes, run a knife around the perimeter to loosen the cakes, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Cupcakes should be moved to a wire rack to cool as well.

FROSTINGS:
Beat butter/margarine together with shortening until smooth. Add in sugar (and salt and cocoa, if applicable) a cup at a time, beating at low speed and gradually increasing to high speed until smooth. Add vanilla extract/espresso and beat until blended. Take a litte taste of your frosting and decide if it needs a litte more of anything, like salt, cocoa or espresso powder (with a few drops of water or vanilla extract to make it liquid). I have learned that frosting is a VERY personal choice . . too sweet, not sweet enough, too chocolately, too salty. The beauty of frosting is you can always make adjustments with a little more sugar, a little more shortening, a little more cocoa, etc. Once you've got it just right, frost your cake or pipe onto cupcakes.

FROSTING TIPS:
Chocolate cake means CRUMBS in your frosting ~ especially gluten-free cake. Level your cakes if necessary (use a serrated knife to carefully cut across the top and remove the dome). Use a generous spoonful of frosting between the layers. Then frost the top and sides with a thin layer of frosting ~ don't worry about crumbs. Put the cake in the freezer for at least half an hour. This is called a crumb layer. When you take it out, frost the top and sides again ~ it will be perfect! Want to go the extra mile? Pick up some piping tips at the grocery store or a cake supply store and pipe a festive edge around the perimeter. There are special larger tips for cupcakes that make it ridiculously easy to create a professional-looking cupcake.

BON APPETIT!