Thursday, February 21, 2013

Donna Hay's Melt-and-Mix Gluten-free Chocolate Cake

No offense to all cake recipes that use gluten free flour... I must admit that I'm not a fan of using gluten free flour for cake baking. Based on the cakes that I have tasted, I am always disappointed with most cakes that are made of gluten free flour...

Despite all these disappointments, I was silly enough to buy a packet of gluten-free flour again. I was baking gluten-free apple cupcakes for a celiac friend's birthday party, assuming that this gluten free recipe is from a reputable source and might work well for me this time. Not surprising at all, it didn't. I was disappointed again that these cupcakes had a "waxy-floury" after-taste. 

After expressing my disappointments to my baking colleagues, they actually feel the same too. Together, we have all agreed that we prefer to bake flourless cakes rather than using gluten free flour to bake our gluten free cakes. My celiac friend was telling me too that she prefer to use gluten-free flour in smaller proportion so that the after-taste will not obviously detectable.

Feeling clueless with more than half a kilogram of leftover gluten free flour now, I thought of checking out the White Wings Flour website to see if there is any recommendations. Then, I found a fast and easy Donna Hay's recipe which saves me from tossing this gluten-free flour in the bin. Thanks, Donna Hay! This recipe is brilliant!

Unlike most cakes that are made of gluten free flour, this melt-and-mix chocolate cake has NO after-taste at all. It is very moist and delicious with a fudgy mud-cake like texture. The cake is so moist that there is hardly any loose crumbs on its serving plate. My husband and son love this chocolate cake very much, not knowing at all that this cake is actually made of gluten-free flour. To them, this is another delicious chocolate cake that I have baked.

Donna Hay melt and mix gluten free chocolate cake
Making this super-easy cake batter - just mix all and bake!
Cake tester comes out clean... the cake is cooked :D
Making the icing and spread over the cake
Donna Hay melt and mix gluten free chocolate cake
Look how moist this cake is... Yum!

Here's the recipe from White Wings.
(with my modification and notes in blue)

Serves 8–10

Chocolate cake

250g unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup (75g) cocoa, sifted (I used Dutch processed one)
1 1/3 cups (295g) caster sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups (180g) almond meal  
(per-roasted at 160ºC fan forced for 5-7 min)
1 1/2 cups (225g) Gluten-Free self-Raising flour, sifted
(Mine is not the self-raising kind and so I added 1 tsp of baking powder for every cup of flour used)
3/4 cup (180ml) milk

Chocolate fudge icing

250g dark chocolate, broken into pieces (I used the one with 70% cocoa)
1/2 cup (125ml) single (pouring) cream
70g unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 180ºC (fan forced).

Place the butter, cocoa, sugar, eggs, almond meal, flour and milk in a bowl and whisk to combine.

Pour into a lightly greased 22cm round cake tin lined with non-stick baking paper. Bake for 1 hr or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool in the tin completely.

To make the icing, place the chocolate, cream and butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool completely. Beat the cooled icing with electric beaters until thick and fluffy and spread over cake with a palette knife to serve. (I didn't whipped my icing using an electric mixer. I spread the icing over the cake when it was slightly cooled.)

Note: Using 1/2 of the recipe, I have baked my cake in 15 cm round cake tin at 180ºC (fan forced) for 45 min.

Happy Baking

This post is link to Roxana's Home Baking, February 2013 Chocolate Party at her blog post. Her chocolate party theme is double chocolate… As I'm using cocoa powder and dark chocolate for my chocolate cake, I'm linking up my post to her event. Cheers!


Don't forget to participate our Cook like a Star, Delia Smith blog hop event starting on 1st March 2013. This event is hosted by me, Bake for Happy Kids, Baby Sumo from Eat your heart out and Mich from Piece of Cake. Hope that you can be the trend-setter of this event. Good Luck!

83 comments:

  1. I haven't baked cake with gluten free flour, this cake looks moist and rich fudge icing sounds perfect.

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  2. Wow! I love this cake! Photos are amazing! I have all the ingredients to make this cake, today.

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  3. Zoe, this cake looks sensational! I love anything from Donna Hay! A new follower of your wonderful blog...and thank you so much for discovering my blog as well! Happy week! Carol

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  4. What a delicious looking cake - so moist and fudgy! Good to know that you like this kind of gluten free flour too!

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  5. Zoe, the chocolate cake looks gorgeous...very temping look...I like the idea of gluten free as I am trying to incorporate some gluten free on my table :)
    Hope you are having a fun week!

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  6. This really looks good indeed. I may too use my left over gluten free flour mix!

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  7. Lately love to bake with chocolate and cocoa powder. Not really border about using gluten-free flour when come to baking. Your gluten-free chocolate cake look moist! This recipe seems a keeper.

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  8. Yoo! Your cake looks so moist, for sure very nice. My daughter is a chocolate lover, she will grab fast to have this cake!

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  9. I love Donna Hay's recipes and this one looks great.

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  10. I haven't used gluten free flour before but I might buy some just to make this cake. It looks delicious!

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  11. Texture looks moist and rich. Gluten free sounds so healhty and less fattening.

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  12. Drooool, this looks so fluffy and moist :)

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  13. Zoe...what an amazing cake and don't you just LOVE Donna Hay?! This cake looks really fudgey and good....but it's that ganache on the top that is killing me! Wow! And a great contribution to the chocolate party this month! : )

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  14. Zoe, I will definitely try this recipe cuz I' m fan of chocolate cake. Frankly speaking I haven't found my favorite recipe yet :) hope yours is the ONE :)

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  15. I never appreciate gluten free cakes either! This one definitely looks like an exception.

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  16. Zoe, I haven't tried baking with gluten free flour b4 & this has saved me from wasting my money in the future! Certainly agree with you, the cake looks so moist and I like the choc icing, glossy and pretty!

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  17. I have never tried gluten free flour. I do not need to use gluten free products, so I just don't buy them.

    Gluten free or not this cake looks great!

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  18. I'm with you on gluten free cakes but this one looks so moist and delicious. Looking forward to your new challenge.

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  19. I love these, They really look much better from what I see in stores.

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  20. Drool drool drool... This is my kinda cake. full of chocolate. yummm

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  21. That looks really moist and delicious. Adding almonds always helps. When I've made GF cakes, I tend not to use GF free flour per se, but make a polenta cake or an almond cake or one that only needs a small amount of flour and then use buckwheat instead.

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  22. i totally get what you mean by the waxy floury taste, and I find that it helps if you mix grain flours and nut flours with starches, as i think it's the rice and tapioca and potato starch in the gluten free flours that contribute to the texture. next time, try out adding buckwheat, millet, sorghum, almond or coconut in small proportions to the other starches. I find that this usually works for me and the gluten free products, even the cakes, taste almost like normal ones, so much so that people can't tell the difference :)

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  23. Oooo this looks very much like chocolate brownies! Wouldnt have been able to tell that u used gluten free flour.

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  24. Zoe , maybe I should come over and bring some of my chocolate cookies in exchange to your rich , moist and chocolaty cake ? lol

    Btw , why the link of the Little Thumbs up is already closed ?

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    1. Hi Anne,

      Little Thumbs Up starts on every first Tuesday of every month and ends after two weeks. If you have a pineapple related post to link, I'm happy to open up the link whenever you are ready.

      I had decided to make the duration two weeks instead of 1 month is because I didn't want the host to suffer from "exhaustion" cooking the same ingredient for the whole month... I reckon 2 weeks is good enough :p

      Zoe

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    2. Zoe , yikes ! I've overlooked the time frame :P Sorry :D If you could open it up for me this day ? Really appreciate it ;D Thankee loads ! xoxo

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    3. No worries, Anne! All has been fixed!

      Delete
  25. This looks fantastic for gluten-free!

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  26. I'll have to share this with my coworker who recently found out she's a celiac. Looks good (for having gluten-free flour)!

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  27. I love Donna Hay. A really perfect chocolate cake! :) Never used gluten free flour..

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  28. The chocolate cake looks great! Can't even tell it's gluten free. I don't like ready made GF flour, if you blend the flour yourself, it's not bad and makes a decent cake.
    This recipe is great though.

    Nazneen

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  29. Zoe, I have never tried gluten-free flour. This cake looks fab! I suppose we can use ordinary flour to bake it too, right?

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    1. Hi Phong Hong,

      Gluten does toughen overall cake texture. I'm guessing that the gluten in our ordinary flour might toughen the cake texture in this recipe and not too sure if the cake will be as good as the gluten free one.

      Zoe

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  30. I've seen this chocolate cake recipe in so many other blogs and I'm so tempted to try this out. You make it look so yummeh! I'd rather go flourless than using GF flour too. Can't find GF flour around here and most probably, it is expensive because going GF is not a big thing here.

    Yin

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  31. Gluten free certainly does not take away from look or flavour :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  32. The cake looks nice and dense and the fudge frosting looks fabulous!

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  33. YUM! This chocolatey cake looks so heavenly with chocolate fudge icing! HEAVENLY! I'm not a huge fan of gluten free flour as you've said it does has that waxy-floury" after-taste. I even bought a gluten free cookbook just to try out some baking recipes but I was quite disappointed by the results. But I LOVE Donna Hay's recipes so I'm sure this is a winner recipe . I might be trying this recipe soon as I've some gluten free flour in my pantry . Another awesome reason to bake a chocolate cake! YOUPI! Thanks for sharing this recipe! Have a wonderful weekend Zoe . ;)

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  34. I have not tried gluten free chocolate cake before. I can't see the difference from the photo. Looks delicious.

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  35. OMG that looks so tempting, Zoe ur chocolate cake looks awesome, drooling here.

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  36. I want to thank superb formula. I simply caused it to be also it sampled wonderful: -)
    Excellent weblog along with dessert quality recipes personally in case you are curious.
    I have a blog with cake recipes myself if you are interested. You can find it at http://recipes-for-food.com/

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  37. This cake look and sound great! No weird aftertaste? I feel like this recipe is something we should all keep in our arsenal.

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  38. Hi Zoe,
    Your cake looks so moist and chocolaty! I have never baked with gluten free flour before! Lots of recipes from Donna Hay bookmarked, but never got round to try any of them yet!

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  39. Wow! Your pictures are stunning and so is your story telling :) I have to make this chocolate cake for my husband!

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  40. Wow!! This cake is super moist! I can't resist anything chocolate ;)

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  41. wow that cake looks great, moist but not too dense. and best of all, sounds really simple and no-faff! have to give this a go !

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  42. Hi Zoe! Patti from Comfy Cuisine! Thanks for stopping by. Looking forward to your posts!

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  43. Zoe this cake look heavenly, love so much!!!

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  44. That looks just amazing. And your photographs are gorgeous!

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  45. Zoe, tell you honestly, I don't believe in gluten free bakes. For me, if I wanna bake something, I go for all fat, all creamy and everything sinfully goodness. But if you say this is a great gluten free recipe, then it's worth a try.. your cake looks moist enough to tempt me! If you don't tell about the gluten free thingy, I'd think this is one sinfully yummy choc cake! Yumz..

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  46. Hi Zoe!! =) nice to be here again!
    Nice cake u have there! Really looks so devilish with the icing, woohoooo so I bet u will buy more gluten free flour soon?!! Hehehehehe

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  47. I totally agree with you on the gluten free cakes - they are always so dry and crumbly and tasteless (or taste bad!). Your cake looks superb! Very moist and fugdy indeed. I actually prefer making my brownies "flourless" (I use ground almonds instead which makes them super-gooey!), but I would definitely give this recipe a try for a gluten free friend!

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    1. Hi Hazel,

      I agree with you that flourless cakes seems better than using GF flour but this recipe is an exception :D

      Zoe

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  48. Hi Zoe,
    A prefect and lovely gluten free chocolate cake.
    It looks so moist and fudgy.
    It would be even nicer if i could have this with a glass of cold milk..lol

    mui

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  49. i love Donna Hay and this chocolate cake looks like a winner! i have little experience baking gluten free, will have to follow the directions when i make it. ohh, and that ganache, yum!
    Thanks for sharing and participating to this month chocolate party

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  50. hi zoe, i've never seen gluten free flour here but dun mind trying it if happen to see them one day. From the picture, the cake do look moist and fudgy:)

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  51. Yum...melt in your mouth chocolate cake!!! I'm your newest follower! Thanks for stopping by my blog! =)

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  52. I made this cake today. It tastes great!! I used only 200grams of sugar and half the icing as I don't like super sweet cakes. I stuffed up the icing twice - the butter and the chocolate separated. Disaster. Then I read on the net somewhere that I could fix it by adding double cream. I did that and kept stirring and it worked! I also used a 23cm tin. All good. Thank you very much for a great gluten free chocolate cake. It's delicious and a keeper!

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    1. Hi,

      Sorry for my late reply as I was away for a holiday.

      Glad that your cake turn out well. I reckon that this recipe is fail proof and brilliant. Nice to know that the addition of cream helps to fix separated chocolate icing. I don't really know why your icing separated and I'm guessing that over-heating the chocolate and butter might be the reason.

      Zoe

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  53. is the pre roasted almond meal referring to roasting your own almonds then grinding it up or is it to pre roast actual almond meal? Doesnt it dry out?

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    1. Hi,

      Sorry for my late reply as I was away for a holiday.

      I like to use pre-roasted almond meal in most of my baking. I've learned this idea from Belinda Jeffery as I realise that the lightly toasted almond meal release its fat, aroma and flavours and doesn't give the cakes a raw almond taste.

      To per-roast almond meal, place a tray of almond meal in moderate oven and bake it for 5-7 mins or until you can smell its aroma. I don't think that this short baking period will dry out the almond or affect the overall cake texture. Nevertheless, this pre-roasting step is totally optional.

      Zoe

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  54. I couldn't find White Wings brand they only had Macro brand am trying this for my son's birthday cake for school as he wanted a cake that all the kids could eat, he has a couple of kids that are ceoalics. Will let you know how I go with using the other flour

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    1. Hi Hilary,

      Hope that the Macro brand gluten free flour works too for this recipe. Please let me know the outcome. I'm curious too.

      Zoe

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  55. I made this recipe today for my husband's birthday, and used the Melinda's brand of GF SR flour. I decided to do cupcakes and it made 24 (I baked them for 15 minutes). They were delicious! Rave reviews from all his staff at the office. Thanks! x

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  56. the cake has a nice texture but it cracks really easy.

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    1. Emily, you are right. The surface of the cake is not flawless and has a few cracks on it.

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  57. I just baked this cake, smells great, just wondering how it would freeze

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    1. Hi, I remember that I did freeze some of these leftover cake and they are still good after freezing and thawing.

      Zoe

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  58. I made this yesterday using lactose and gluten free milk and swapped the butter for Nuttelex, to make the cake gluten and dairy free. Turned out perfect, but I reverted to a different icing mix to maintain the gluten and dairy free aspect of the cake. I'm totally impressed and it's now my staple choc cake! Thanks so much

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    1. Hi Larissa,

      Glad that you like this cake and nice to know that it turns out so well being both gluten and dairy free. This is one of my fav Donna Hay recipe :D

      Zoe

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  59. I made this cake for my sons birthday and it was the best chocolate cake ever. I used Van Houten Belgian chocolate powder and about 200 g of sugar. Also I mixed almond meal with Orgran self raising gluten free flour and added some vanilla essence to the whole mix. It turned out light and moist at the same time. Thanks so much, I'm sure I'll use it for many birthdays to come
    Nikky

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    1. Hi Nikky,

      I was totally surprised that this gluten-free cake (using gluten-free flour) turned out to be so good with absolutely no after-taste. Happy that you and your family like it :D

      Zoe

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  60. I tried this cake and it turned out beautifully, and the amazing thing was it tasted even better on the second day! Something that never happens with GF cakes.
    Once I had all the ingredients ready I found it really easy to just mix it all together and bake.
    Soooo rich, I plan on using the same recipe as a Christmas dessert! Thanks for the recipe, it's a keeper:)

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  61. Made this cake a couple of days ago, BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE EVER!!!!! It's easy and so moist and delicious. I will never use another chocolate cake recipe and I just won't tell anyone its gluten free! People are prejudice against anything that's labeled gluten free. If you don't have gluten free flour then use normal flour, you won't regret making this cake. Thank you for posting it!

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    1. Hi Amy,

      Glad that you like this cake and I'm happy to learn that it can be baked with normal flour too. It is truly a wonderful recipe... So easy to bake and so delicious to eat.

      Cheers!

      Zoe

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  62. Hi I'm just wondering if this cake would be ok if it was cooked as cupcakes. Nicole

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    1. Hi Nicole,

      I'm sure that you can use this recipe to bake them in cupcakes but not sure how many you can bake with this amount. Please check if the cupcakes will be cooked with reduced baking time with inserted skewer. Depending on your oven setting and the size of your cupcakes, it should be less than 30 mins. Good luck with your baking :D

      Cheers!

      Zoe

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  63. Hi Zoe,
    Do you think this cake would be suitable to be layered and covered in rolled fondant? I have never made a gluten free cake and am unsure
    Thanks
    Emma

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    1. Hi Emma,

      I think you can use this cake to be layered and covered in rolled fondant. It is the dense kind of chocolate cake and so it will very stable for any cake decoration.

      I have received many feedback that this recipe has worked very well for many bakers and hope that it will work well for you. Cheers!

      Zoe

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  64. Hi, I was about the make the cake and decided to weigh and measure the almond meal. Turns out that 180grams of almond meal is about 2 cups, not 1.5 cups of almond meal. So which measurement do I go with?? Many thanks! Leah

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    1. Hi Leah,

      May I ask what is the volume of your measuring cup? Mine is 250 ml per cup. Using measuring cup to measure ingredients can be subjective to its volume, how loose packed are your ingredients and how you level your ingredients based on the volume required. A little heaps of difference can be 10-20g different. For this reason, I always like to stick with weight measurement and I like to suggest you sticking to 180g instead of using your cup to measure your almond meal. Cheers!

      Zoe

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  65. Hi Zoe,
    I just wanted to let you know that I LOVE this recipe. Thank you so much for sharing it. I use it as one of my daughter's best friends is celiac. This cake does not disappoint at all - all the kids (& adults) love it.
    Thanks Trish

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    1. Thanks, Trish! I'm happy to hear that you love this recipe. We love it too :D

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