Quinoa Chocolate Cake with Avocado Frosting

I know what you are thinking….quinoa and avocado have no place in a chocolate cake, but having tasted this moist gluten free chocolate cake on a shoot last year, I’m now a convert. I was lucky enough to tag along for a day during the shooting of Donal Skehan’s latest book Eat. Live. Go. and this was one of the many lovely recipes that day. It’s got a big chocolate hit without so much sugar. Although, I couldn’t find coconut sugar locally and didn’t have time to order it online so subbed in 180g light brown sugar instead.

quinoa chocolate cake gluten free

Quinoa Chocolate Cake with Avocado Frosting

  • Servings: 8
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Ingredients
150g cooked quinoa
4 large free-range eggs
50ml milk
150g butter, cubed
1tsp vanilla extract
200g coconut sugar (available in good supermarkets)
100g cocoa powder
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the chocolate avocado frosting:
2 ripe avocados, stoned and flesh scooped out
75g cocoa powder
1tsp espresso powder
75g maple syrup
1tsp vanilla extract
1/2tsp sea salt

Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan) and grease and line a 20cm spring-form cake tin with parchment paper.

Place the quinoa, eggs, milk, butter and vanilla extract in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Add the coconut sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and blitz again to combine.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before removing from the tin and setting on a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting, place the avocados, cocoa powder, espresso powder, maple syrup, vanilla extract and sea salt in a food processor and blitz until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Use a spatula to spread over the top of the cooled cake and dig in.

quinoa chocolate cake gluten free

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Bread and Butter Pudding

I have been rubbish these last few months and well and truly lost my mojo so haven’t been shooting much worth blogging. It hadn’t happened to me for ages and it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I realised my mojo had gone on holiday without me. I would love to hear how people get themselves out of creative black holes!

Bread and butter pudding and custard is one of my favourite desserts from childhood. It always amazes me what is created out of such simple store cupboard ingredients. I replaced some of the milk with double cream to elevate this dish slightly but it tastes great with just milk too.

Bread and butter pudding

Bread and Butter Pudding

  • Servings: 6
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Ingredients
butter, for greasing and buttering the bread
8-10 slices white medium sliced loaf, crusts removed
freshly grated nutmeg
75g sultanas
1 tsp vanilla extract
75g caster sugar
4 free-range eggs
400ml milk
300ml double cream
1–2 tbsp Demerara sugar

Butter a large shallow ovenproof pie dish Approx 1.75 lt capacity. Butter the bread slices and cut 4 slices in half on the diagonal. Arrange a layer of whole and half slices, butter side up, in the dish.

Sprinkle over a good grating of nutmeg and sultanas. Top with the remaining bread slices, then arrange the remaining sultanas over the bread, tucking a few in between the slices as well as leaving a few on top.

Whisk the caster sugar with the eggs, then add the milk, double cream and vanilla extract. Make sure everything is well combined, strain through a sieve and then pour this mixture over the bread and sultanas.

Leave the pudding to stand for around half an hour to allow the bread to soak up the custard. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Dot the pudding with a few knobs of butter, then sprinkle over the demerara sugar.

Bake in the oven for 35–45 minutes, or until well set, golden-brown and lightly toasted in places. Eat hot or cold.

Can be reheated in the oven to retain its crispy bits. Set the oven to 160c. Cover with foil for 15 minutes and then cook uncovered for another 5-10 minutes

Bread and butter pudding

Rum Babas

Rum babas are a bit of a labour of love but so worth it. A common supermarket dessert of the 80’s they have disappeared seemingly without trace these days so I had to start making them. This Phil Vickery recipe is no longer available online but it has given me failsafe babas for 6 or more years now and the splashed and stained print out is getting harder to read so I thought I’d better immortalise the recipe now.

Essentially rum babas are a sweetened bread dough bathed in a rum syrup until swollen and heavy. You can top them with plain or sweetened cream and I opted for juicy Kentish cherries over glace ones. I make the recipe below and freeze most of them before their rum bath then defrost them when required and make up the rum syrup and soak overnight ahead of the meal.

rum babas phil vickery Continue reading

Healthier Lemon Tart

My 2016 entry for the Eurovision party was this lower fat lemon tart on BBC Good Food, or tarte au citron seeing as I was bringing a French themed morsel to the party table. It uses low fat creme fraiche instead of cream but none of the party guests could tell it was a healthier take on the tart. I employed the services of Burford Brown eggs as I love the bright colour of their yolks and hope it produced a punchier looking dessert. I also increased the amount of pastry as in many of the comments people said they struggled to line the tart tin although I think my pastry could have been a little thinner.

 

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Fig Frangipane Tarts

My favourite bakery in my hometown does an excellent line in fruit frangipane tarts and vary their filing from raspberries, blackberries, peach and pear so thought I would try a variation using fresh figs seeing as they are so beautiful and in abundance right now.

Please excuse my use of ready-rolled pastry, you can of course make your own, but I have been struggling with toothache this week so feeling grotty and on antibiotics again. When I saw the ready-rolled pastry in the reduced section of my local convenience store last night I saw it as a sign and decided to cheat at the first stage of this recipe.

Fig Frangipane Tarts Continue reading

No-Churn Salted Caramel & Bourbon Ice Cream

I hadn’t intended to blog this but Nigella’s no-churn salted caramel and bourbon ice cream got such a rapturous reception at my bbq last week my guests made me promise to post it. This now gives away what little effort went into the dessert but we could all do with more simple recipes that impress so I’m gladly sharing this!

nigella salted caramel and bourbon ice cream

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