Friday, February 8, 2013

Chocolate Coconut Cake

Well I've just tucked Baby Bop into bed, and Angelina Ballerina is snuggled up watching a show before lights's confusing parenting a toddler and a preschooler!  I can't keep up with who is who from day to day.  And who knew Barney's green sidekick would still be cool 20-some years later?! I remember when my youngest brother watched that show and I thought it was so dumb.  Want to know what I *still* think about it now?  So, anyway, I'm sitting here on the couch watching the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, questioning my moral integrity, and I figured I could make much better use of my time and brain cells by updating my blog.  I never imagined this is what my Friday nights would look to the needs of a mini triceratops and a British dancer while the hubs works up in the office and I indulge in ridiculous on-screen guilty (and brainless) pleasures as I iron out the details of my latest allergen-free cake.

So, let's get this party started.  I was incredibly flattered, and slightly nervous, when a friend asked me last weekend if I would be interested in making a gluten-free cake for her mother's birthday.  After the week I had (a short stint in the hospital with Baby Bop, husband home sick, shuffling the ballerina between family and friends, etc), I was eager to get to some baking. This was officially my first order, and she even paid me!  That was a bit complicated, as you know in allergen-free baking there are so many ingredients that it seemed impossible, at the time, to calculate even the cost of a single cup of flour.  But we settled it, and all was good.  And it WAS good!

This recipe is an adaptation of Cybele Pascal's Chocolate Layer Cake with Dark Chocolate Frosting which can be found in her book, The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook.

Chocolate Coconut Cake with Dark Chocolate Frosting
2 1/2 cups Basic Gluten-Free Flour Blend
1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon egg replacer mixed with 1/4 cup rice milk
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons vanilla coconut milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
1 1/4 cups warm water

1 (10-ounce) bag Enjoy Life semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup vegan shortening
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon vanilla coconut milk

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Grease two round cake pans and dust with a little cocoa powder.

2.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whisk the flour,  cocoa powder, xanthan gum, sugar, soda, powder, and salt.

3.  Add the egg replacer, coconut milk, canola oil, coconut extract, and warm water and beat on medium-low speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.

4.  Divide the batter evenly between the two pans.

5.  Bake for about 45 minutes, rotating halfway through.  Bake until a skewer or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

6.  Let cool in pans on a rack for about 30 minutes.  Then flip the cake onto the rack and cool completely.

7.  Frost and enjoy!

1.  Place the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl.  Melt in the microwave, stopping to stir every 30 seconds.  It will take 2-3 minutes to melt completely.  Stir until smooth, let cool to room temperature.

2.  Combine the cocoa powder and boiling water in a small bowl, stirring until smooth and the cocoa has dissolved.

3.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the shortening, powdered sugar, salt, and coconut milk, beating on medium speed for about 3 minutes or until light and fluffy.

4.  Add the melted chocolate and beat on low speed for 2 minutes.  Add the cocoa mixture and beat for about a minute more until combined.

I think this cake is marvelous.  I recommend letting it chill in the fridge for a couple of hours prior to frosting it.  I also would advise keeping it cool once it has been frosted, as the coconut oil will melt.  This will still taste delicious, trust me, but it could turn into a mess.  My PBS stars devoured the extras, and my client (tee hee, sounds funny to say!), gave it a good review.  

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