I’m not quite ready to share this recipe. It needs a little work. I will show you the photo of the ‘first draft of the cake’ and I can confirm that rhubarb is an excellent chocolate cake ingredient…watch this space.
Here’s a revelation… at least for me… cake doesn’t need butter in to taste good. It’s not that I have any particular desire to cut back on butter in my life – it’s just I’d run out and wanted to bake. I’m a buttery person so don’t think I’ve ever baked without butter before and was slightly stunned to see it didn’t make much difference (possibly because my recipes are rather untraditional anyway!). If anything it was lighter and spongier which is always a bonus for a gluten free cake.
Half a cup of pitted prunes and a chopped pear stewed in a little water with a couple of spoons of chia seeds. Over the top about 60 – 70g dark chocolate melted. Meanwhile whisk 3 eggs with 1/2 cup raw sugar. Add 1 cup ground almonds, about 3/4 cup brown rice flour and 1 tsp baking powder.
When the chocolate is melted blend it with the prunes and pears (there should be very little juice because the chia seeds will absorb all the water. Add half a cup of plain (full fat) pouring yogurt. Mix the chocolate paste into the rest and bake. I iced mine with a little melted milk chocolate mixed with a teaspoon of greek yogurt ..it was Thursday afternoon after all, and that’s a reason to be festive around these parts.
The puffed amaranth in these muffins makes them rather light and fluffy, especially given they are gluten free. With the added advantage being amaranth is the nutritional heavy-weight of the grain family.
Start by stewing half a cup of prunes and half a cup of blueberries in a little water. Over the top melt about 70g of dark chocolate and 50g of butter. While it’s melting whisk 4 eggs with half a cup of raw sugar. Whisking is fun for kids…. sometimes a touch messy, but fun. Add 1 cup ground almonds, 1/2 cup puffed amaranth, half cup brown rice flour, 1 tsp of baking powder and a couple of spoons of cocoa powder (optional). At some point you’ll need to switch the whisk for a wooden spoon.
Blend the chocolate, butter, prunes and blueberries together into a thick paste and then beat this into the rest of the mix. Spoon into muffin cases. Made 12 regular size muffins – baked at 180 for about 15mins.
While I wasn’t looking B managed to eat 3 of these within a few moments of arriving home from school. I guess it’s Friday, it’s the first week of term, and they taste pretty good..
I don’t think I’m going out on a limb by saying most kids don’t really like beetroot. Of course, kids are strange and unpredictable creatures, and there are probably some who do. I certainly don’t live with any. So when I pulled a nice fat beet out of the ground, at the community garden yesterday, I assumed it would be consumed by the adults of the house. Then I bumped into Dave, the school caretaker. We got talking about the blog, and kids, and food. We talked about creating recipes that would get the kids excited about the community garden produce. Now, if you read my kid-food-wisom page, you see I believe inspiring kids to like adult food, rather than creating specific kid recipes. But talking to Dave got me thinking. Specifically thinking about beetroot and chocolate cake. Let’s face it – chocolate cake is about as exciting as it gets. It seemed like a sign. Me holding the beetroot and Dave talking about trying to come up with some recipes that would get the kids into the garden produce.
I started by putting about a half cup of pitted organic prunes in a little water to stew with the beetroot (peeled and cut into chunks so it would soften quickly. Over the top I melted about 70g of dark chocolate, 50g cubed butter and a couple of spoonfuls of chia seeds.
After about 10 minutes I caught the prunes / beetroot just as they were beginning to boil dry – the ‘boil dry’ is never a good idea, I only mention it to illustrate the point that there wasn’t a lot of juice in the mix. I put everything in the little blender and buzzed it into a very think, absolutely gorgeous deep red chocolate-y paste.
Putting the paste to one side I whisked 3 eggs together with half a cup of granulated sugar, 1 and 1/2 cups of ground almonds, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 1 tsp gf baking powder and 1/4 cup of brown rice flour. Then whisked in the chocolate paste and poured into a cake tin. Once again I failed to register the baking time, but probably around 25 minutes.
Finished with icing. Made with a few squares of milk chocolate and a spoonful of greek yogurt. Can happily report the community garden beetroot was shared by the entire family – including the youngest who reached out and swiped some of my slice while I wasn’t looking.
These little beauties are seriously good. They may sound a bit busy but they are a triumphant collision of ingredients that will put a smile on your face after a long day (or indeed in the middle of it). They are good fun to make too – especially the drizzly icing which is quite literally child’s play. So OK they require a bit more ‘stuff’ than some other recipes and OK there is a bit more clearing up.. but what’s a little extra washing up when we’re talking pink icing?
You start by putting half a cup of organic dried apricots with half a cup of pitted prunes and half a cup of blueberries (straight from the freezer is fine) in a pan with a little water. Now I’m not much of an organic fanatic because I’m not quite ready to re-mortgage the house over the issue, and buying everything organic is seriously wild price-wise – but I am yet to find any non organic dried apricots / prunes that don’t have nasty stuff in – you can kind of tell by the colour differential that there’s something odd going on with non-organic dried apricots right? Anyway.. over the pan with the fruit stewing you melt some dark chocolate (about 50g at a guess) with 50g of butter. When the butter chocolate is melted the fruit will be stewed and you can blend it all together. Sounds a bit of a faff but it’s not really. If the blending sounds like a step too far in terms of effort then you could chop the apricots and prunes before you stew them and they’d be fine just mixed into the chocolate I would think.
Meanwhile whisk 3 eggs with half a cup of soft brown sugar, add and whisk in a cup of ground almonds, 1/2 cup of brown rice flour and 1/2 cup of cocoa and a teaspoon of gf baking powder – it’s quite thick at this point but then you add the fruit / chocolate mix and it goes into a rather pleasing consistency that is easy to spoon into muffin cases. These took about 15 mins to bake.
For the (entirely optional) pink icing I defrosted some frozen raspberries (you don’t need many – maybe 1/4 cup) when defrosted raspberries turn into a juicy slush which can easily be munched through a sieve to extract just the juice. This is a great job for a little person. If you add a bit of icing sugar and a teaspoon of yogurt you get a nice drizzly icing that is also a beautiful pink colour (without any need for food colouring) – the more sugar in ratio to the raspberry juice then the thicker the icing will be. I like it nice and thin so it’s more of a glaze – scooping it on and smearing it over the top of the cakes is also an excellent job for a little helper…OK so I did say these were slightly messier than some other cakes didn’t I – but it was a rainy day and we were at a loose end after lunch so why not?
Cook half a cup of pitted organic prunes with a cup of blueberries and a couple of spoons of chia seeds in a little water. After a few minutes it’s ready to blend (with the cooking juice).
It looks like this when you blend it up – kind of like jam!
Beat about 100g melted butter with a cup of soft brown sugar and 3 or 4 big scoops of yogurt. Then beat in the prune mix, 5 eggs, 2 cups ground almonds, 1 cup brown rice flour, 1 cup cocoa powder and a tsp gf baking powder. Took about 20 – 25 mins to bake. Gluten free cakes don’t come out looking as puffy and fabulous as wheat flour cakes (in my opinion) which is a great excuse to give them a nice shiny coat of icing. For this one I melted a few sqs of milk chocolate and mixed in a spoon of greek yogurt.