Posted in Life Recipes

Food Intolerance

May 13, 2013 - 3:55 pm

I have a recipe I’ve made and re-made for years. I found it originally for a birthday cake for my vegan foster daughter. The print-out was made on a dot-matrix printer with clean perf pages, if that tells the older folks something of when it was printed; I’m guessing 1995. It’s from a recipe posted to in 1991 by Eileen Kupstas. Wow, the Internet is forever.

Here is the original:

Chocolate Cake (adapted form Peg Bracken’s I Hate to Cook Book)

  • 1-1/2 C sifted flour
  • 3 T cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 5 T cooking oil
  • 1 T vinegar
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 C cold water

sized for 9×9 square pan

Mix dry ingredients. (This can be done in the baking pan itself.) Add wet ingredients and mix until nearly smooth. Bake at 350oF for 1/2 hour.

The cake is leavened by the baking soda and vinegar reacting. It may seem to be an odd way to bake a cake, but that’s how twinkies are made, and any number of other ready to eat pastries. It makes a dense devil’s food-like cake.

NOTE: stirring this batter too much causes the reaction to happen in the bowl instead of the oven and results in a flat cake, so “Mix until just combined” would be a better instruction than “Mix until nearly smooth.” Mixing the dry ingredients first is absolutely essential, as is the COLD water for the liquids.

My first notes double it.  Next notes half the sugar and double the cocoa powder. Then I have notes making it GF with 1.5C rice flour and 2T arrowroot, which was one of my first substitute flour blends.

I am revising it for a teacher of Zack’s who is intolerant or allergic to corn, wheat gluten, eggs, and dairy. She told the class she hasn’t had cake for something like 12 years, and we need to fix that. NEED, I say. She’s been an awesome teacher for Z for two years, and she should have cake!

The noted GF version of the recipe above would actually work just fine, but I want to update the flour blend. Rice flour can be gritty and dry, and arrowroot doesn’t really address the problem adequately. These days I generally use 1:1:1 corn flour : sorghum flour : tapioca starch when I try revising a non-GF recipe, but no corn allowed! So we’ll stick with part rice, but add the sorghum, which promotes a moister feel and nicer crumb, and tapioca, which is a lighter flour and tends to make a fluffier cake.

This is the recipe we’re going to try:

Cake for the Cakeless

  • 1 C rice flour
  • 1 C sorghum flour
  • 1 C tapioca flour
  • 12 T cocoa (close to 3/4 C)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 10 T cooking oil (close to 2/3 C)
  • 2 T vinegar
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 2 C cold water

Grease two 9×9 square pans with canola oil spray and dust with tapioca starch.

Bake for 1/2 hr. Cool well on wire racks.

We’re going to make it into a layer cake, adding a nutella-orange frosting:

Nutella frosting:

  • 1 C Nutella (or other chocolate hazelnut spread)
  • 1 T canola oil
  • 1 t orange oil
  • 1 C powdered sugar
  • tapioca starch as needed to thicken ( about 2 T – 1/2 C, as needed)

Combine Nutella and oils in stand mixer, and beat with the paddle attachment until they are fluffy; at least 5 minutes.

Turn mixer down to slowest speed and add sugar slowly.

Turn mixer up to middle speed and beat until well combined and starting to fluff again.

Check to see if it has the right consistency; it will almost certainly be too soft to spread well.

Add 1 T tapioca starch at a time, mixing between additions, until it gets to a good spreading consistency.

Zack needs the recipe now so he can calculate the ingredients prices and know what to charge for the finished portions. It’s for a sale on June 5th, if I recall correctly. I’ll let you know how it comes out!



Zack Gates

May 14, 2013 3:55 pm

You said that she hasn’t had a cake in 12 years? I talked to her today, and she said forty years. Without cake.

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