First off I must post this disclaimer. I am NOT opposed to gluten in any way, shape, or form. In fact, my livelihood is dependant on gluten. I’m ROOTIN’ FOR GLUTEN in fact. I own a whole wheat bakery, and therefore it is an enormous part of my life, and I love it and eat it every single day:) So this isn’t a post on being gluten free. This is a post that just HAPPENS to be gluten free, and it was so intriguing to me, and the recipe used an ingredient I love to eat. So lets dive right in and I promise gluten free or not you will love this cake:)
My dearly beloved (James) had a birthday a few weeks ago. For birthdays at our house the birthday person gets to pick their favorite cake. Most times it is NOT a cake. We have a lot of trifles, and cheesecakes, and pies most of the time, but I can usually count on James and Jed to pick a chocolate cake. It is usually THIS chocolate cake that I make for my fam, but this year it was a new recipe. I had spied it over at Mel’s Kitchen Cafe a few months ago. It was made out of quinoa. No flour, just quinoa. It looked so dark and rich and tasty! I decided to try it out a few weeks before James’ birthday came around. I made it in a 9×13 inch pan. It was incredibly easy, and the frosting was AWESOME! So when James’ birthday came around he actually asked for this quinoa cake by name, and wanted whipped cream frosting in the middle of his layer cake. It turned out lovely! Fresh raspberries crowned the top, and made it look spectacular. I’m not good at decorating, or frosting pretty, but I can top something with a fresh berry. I’m so talented in that area:)
I used a combination of red and white quinoa. I had a bag of both, and instead of keeping two bags I just combined both colors of quinoa together. James hates it when I do this with potato chips. He doesn’t want his BBQ chips intermingled with his cheesy chips or Sour Cream and Onion chips. I don’t mind it, but James is insistent on potato chip segregation. But since I’m in charge of the quinoa, I mixed and mingled colors. It worked fine, and everyone is happy. Also, go ahead and make this into a 2 layer cake or make it into just an everyday cake by using the 9×13 inch pan. But don’t forget to make the frosting. It’s really good.
Chocolate Quinoa Cream Cake
2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa (1/2 c. uncooked quinoa makes 2 c. cooked)
1/3 cup milk
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1 1/4 cups semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
For a layer cake add:
1 c. whipping cream
2 T. instant vanilla pudding powder
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla
Fresh raspberries for garnish
For the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans or 1- 9×13 inch dripper or casserole pan. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. (I do this with the cake pans, but I only grease and flour the 9×13 pan.)
Combine the milk, eggs and vanilla in a blender or food processor. Blend the ingredients just until combined. Add the cooked quinoa and the butter. Blend with the quinoa and butter, well until smooth.
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the contents from the blender and mix with a wooden spoon or whisk until combined.
Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake on a rack in the middle position for 28-30 minutes or until a knife or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Invert the cakes onto cooling racks (remove the parchment paper stuck to the bottom of the cakes) or just let the 9×13 inch cake set until cooled.
If I am making a layer cake I like to have the frosting in the middle be pure whipped cream. You can definitely frost the middle of the cake with the chocolate frosting. There’s plenty, but I put just plain whipped cream in the center and frosted the outside of the cake with the chocolate whipped cream. Whip the 1 c. whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add 1/2 c powdered sugar, vanilla, and 2 T. pudding powder. The pudding stabilizes the whipped cream so it doesn’t weep or get runny.
For the chocolate frosting, place the chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Heat the whipping cream in a saucepan until it gently simmers. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips. Whisk to combine until it is smooth. The mixture is super thin. I expected more of a ganache texture, but it isn’t. This is truly a chocolate whipped cream frosting. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until completely chilled and cold (2-3 hours). You can speed up this process by placing the bottom of the bowl in an ice water bath and stirring until cool. When fully chilled, use an electric mixer (stand mixer or handheld) to whip the mixture to soft peaks like you would plain whipped cream.
Place one cake layer upside down on a serving platter or plate. Top with all of the plain whipped cream. Spread to within 1/2-inch of the edge of the cake (it will press to the edge when the top cake layer is put on). It’s a good thick layer of cream.
Gently put the other cake layer upside down on top of the frosted layer. Spread the chocolate whipped cream frosting over the top of the cake and down the sides. It’s a lot of frosting, but it’s not to heavy and tastes delish! Top with fresh raspberries, or sprinkles, or chocolate chips:)
Chill the frosted cake in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving to let the frosting set up a bit. This cake is fell a little for me after it came out of the oven both times. It’s not real light and fluffy, but once you frost it you won’t care. It tastes good, and it’s beautiful!