Friday, April 04, 2008

Gluten-Free. Vegan. Chocolate Cake!

**update: I've received lots 'n lots of fun (& challenging) requests since posting last week. So, let's take a breather on the requests for now, and after I tackle the first creation (and succeed! - yes we must remain +'ve!!) I'll open up the request-line again!

"hey, Dreena, I need a recipe for a gluten-free vegan chocolate cake!"

Okay! Here you go...


This cake inspired my teaser post on Wednesday. You see, I received an e-mail from a gal that was referred to me by a long-term follower of my blog. She was needing a recipe for a gluten-free vegan chocolate cake for her daughter's birthday. Her daughter had some food sensitivities, and so a regular wheat, or even spelt cake was not an option.

I immediately referred to my Triple Layer Chocolate Cream Cake from TEV. I threw on my gluten-busting apron (complete with cape and GF logo) (kidding!) and got to testing! I ran two trials. The first was very good, but just a touch sticky and almost chewy. Yet, the taste was great, and it was moist, so I knew I was on track. Test #2... the cake was moist, chocolatey, sliced nicely, and was not at all gritty or crumbly as some gluten-free baked goods can be.

I surprised myself with the texture and taste of this cake. Surprised, because I was fully expecting a grainier, drier mouth feel to the cake. Surprised, because I could easily serve this cake with the chocolate cream, without any hesitation that guests would notice it is gluten-free or vegan.

So, I give you the recipe for this gluten-free vegan chocolate cake. Keep in mind that I baked it in 2 round pans, rather than three that I've used for the original cake. I was cautious that the cake layers would be slightly too delicate for a three-layer cake, so I opted for two. That won't interfere with your frosting... just means you might be able to pack away a lil' container of extra frosting in the fridge for spoonish snacking! Ohhh yeah, baby. Or, serve it on its own with a simple sauce and fruit, as shown. The cake is tender and tasty enough to stand on its own.

And... this brings me back to my teaser post. This isn't the first time I've 'customized' a recipe for someone, and yet ultimately I realize that I really enjoy doing this kind of thing. It's a good feeling to be able to provide a food solution to someone! Especially when it's for a special occasion, like this birthday party. So, I thought I'd expand on this idea: Dreena, create-me a recipe! (oh my, that's truly awful grammar, ha).

So:
- do you need a wheat-free or gluten-free recipe for a muffin, cake, or cookie?
- do you need a soy-free version of a vegan recipe? (ex: I'm currently working on two versions of a "fit-tucine alfredo" - one with soy, the other soy-free)
- do you have a favorite childhood recipe that you'd like to make vegan?
- do you have a hankering or idea for a dish that you'd like to see formalized in a recipe?
- or, do you just want to challenge the dickens out of Dreena?

E-mail me (dreena@everydayvegan.com) with your request. If it's something I think I can tackle, I'll post about it and then later post the results along with the recipe. And, the recipe may even make it into a future book or other cooking project. Please keep in mind that priority of which recipes I work on 1st, 2nd, etc, will depend on a number of factors (ex: how quickly a recipe is needed such as for a birthday, ingredients I have on hand, and also my own life schedule). Having mentioned my life schedule, if you do have a need for a recipe for some event, please let me know a couple of weeks in advance. I am a mom of two busy kidlets afterall, so my recipe testing gets squeezed in during small windows of any given day. So, the more notice, the better!

I really hope you enjoy the cake like I did... let me know if you make it and what you thought!

Now, go eat, drink & be vegan (and um, gluten-free)!! :)

29 comments:

The Veg Next Door said...

Dreena, Where do you hang your superwoman cape? I'm sure dust never gets a chance to settle. Are you really taking requests? You're super! :-)

Judy said...

Holy cow that cake looks wonderful! I can't wait to try it :)

sjw said...

how 'bout a sugar free chocolate cake?

aimee said...

I have been desperately wanting a not-too-creamy, really savory mushroom soup---without any kind of soy. I had some in my pre-vegan days at a restaurant here in Cleveland (One Walnut) and have never been satisfied with a mushroom soup since!
Aimee

Matt Mustapick said...

Oh my gosh, that's so cool! You are amazing. Some gluten-free kiddos out there are going to be so psyched with their bday cakes. From time to time we have gluten-free friends who visit, so I'll keep this in mind. No requests jump to mind immediately, but I'll put on my dream-a-dream cap and see what happens!

Veg-a-Nut said...

Awesome! I have a dear friend who is gluten intolerant and her birthday is in August. I am so excited to make her a birthday cake. Thanks! You are the bomb

Anonymous said...

Looks fantastic as does all of your work. I am glad to hear the words "a future book" come from you. I think you've got the bug and I love it!!!!

Angie

VegMomma said...

You must be Super-Vegan-Woman! Gosh you work hard!

Munchy said...

Hi Dreena,

I’ve really enjoyed cooking from “Vive le vegan”.
I was wondering if you could recommend any vegan recipes using quinoa which are suitable for Passover (that is, does not contain other grains or legumes).

Thank you
Mimi.

Dreena said...

veg next door, ha, yeah I have it hung on the cupboard that holds my meds... cause really, I must be a bit mad, no?! ha! I'm going to pace myself, really!! :)

sjw, what sweeteners do you eat? Do you avoid all granulated unrefined sugars, or do you use anything like sucanat or date sugar... and how about maple syrup, agave, etc?

Aimee, funny you mention that, I was tinkering with a soy-free creamed wild mushroom soup a month or so back - tho I think the flavor is more pronounced with the wild mushrooms and a touch of truffle oil. Quite rich tasting, really!

Angie, shhhh! :) Really, I don't mutter those words outside my blog - he he!

Hi Mimi, thanks for that. Let's see, in Vive there is "Quinoa Spring Salad", and you could replace the peas with another veggie that you like. That's a very light, refreshing salad and a lot of folks enjoy it. You could also try adding quinoa to soups/stews that you like, or adding to a rice paper wrap with veggies and rolled up and served with a dipping sauce. Normally you'd go with a peanut sauce, but since that is a legume, try a cashew butter dipping sauce. You didn't mention if you have ed&bv, but if you do, look at the "Peanut Passion Sauce". It's got a good dose of lime flavor and is delicious, you can sub an equal amount of cashew butter for the peanut butter - I've done it myself many times. You can also thin out that sauce with plain non-dairy milk or coconut milk, and serve it over quinoa with steamed veggies too. Yummy! It's interesting, a lot of recipes *do* combine quinoa with beans/legumes, but there are other things you can do for sure. Maybe others reading here have ideas of great quinoa recipes from other cookbooks that don't include legumes...?

Carla said...

What a neat idea!

Michelle.S said...

Dreena, you are so sweet to design this recipe for my friend! I forwarded her your awesome emails from when i was figuring out what to do for my daughter's first birthday. You are so generous with your time and talent. I rave about you to everyone. The other day my colleagues were admiring my lunch (quinoa pasta with your chickpea pasta sauce from VLV) and asking why I always have such amazing food. I said I owe it all to Dreena Burton!

Don't Get Mad Get Vegan! said...

it's official. you're the coolest ;)

denise said...

This is SO SO awesome! We are a vegan household and hubby is celiac (and mother-in-law and brother-in-law are as well). My daughter's 4th birthday is coming up and I was really struggling to create my own GF-vegan cake (with extremely awful results!). I can't wait to give this a whirl this week... can't have too many test runs when it comes to cake!

Thanks SO much, you are the best :)

Wheeler's Frozen Dessert said...

That cake looks great! Especially the strawberries. I can't wait for summer.

VeggieGirl said...

looks FABULOUS, Dreena!

funwithyourfood said...

wow a great cook and kind enough to share your talents. I sound like a broken record I'm sure but AMAZING :)

teddy

Urban Vegan said...

Very impressive. You are the savior of the gluten intolerant.

Actually, I am trying to slight;y de-glutenize my life, so it looks like I'll have to try this one. Such a sacrifice! ;)

Debra said...

Dreena-
Thank you for all you do with alternative flours! I really enjoy all your spelt flour recipes from ED&V. I have a question for you, nutritiously speaking - do you think this recipe could be madde using brown rice flour? Thank you!

Debra said...

One more question - how about substituting with maple syrup or agave nectar instead of a dry/granulated sugar - I can't find unrefined sugar (date/maple) other than evaporated cane juice and want a more wholesome sweetener. Maybe I would just then reduce the amount of water? Thank you!

Dreena said...

Hi Debra, thanks for that, I realize that the majority of vegans might see my recipes as "too alternative" using flours other than regular white flour or w/w pastry flour, but I really prefer other flours most of the time, so I'm glad that others like you do too.

With this gf recipe, I really wouldn't use brown rice flour. Well, you could if you wanted to eat the cake more as a snack, maybe freezing a layer, and not to serve as a birthday cake, perhaps. But, I wouldn't recommend it for a bday cake b/c the texture of brown rice is heavier and grittier. We're already making so many substitutions turning the cake into a vegan, gf cake that it would be pushing it imo, to try and make it that much healthier by using brown rice flour. Ditto for the unrefined sugar, at least as the recipe currently stands. GF baking is much more delicate, and if you change the sugar and liquid proportions you'd really need to test this out a few times first, and as I said with the brown rice flour, I think you need the granulated sweetener to help keep this batter 'cake-like'. Maple sugar would certainly work fine I think... date sugar *might* too (I didn't test with either)... but as you mentioned you don't have these in your area... but you don't use evaporated cane juice at all?

Mandee said...

Dreena, your food always looks amazing. Also v.happy to see another g-free recipe!

I've added your blog to a list of my fave blogs, on my new blog

xox

isis said...

"Dreena, create-me a recipe!" sounds like truly spanglish grammar =)

annieruk said...

Dreena, I made the cake and iced it yesterday for my daughters 2nd birthday. I used the gluten free flour mix from the 'Food Allergy Survival guide (a mix of potato, chickpea, rice and arrowroot) but followed the rest of your recipe. It is sooo delicious and looks good too. It goes so well with the icing. I've been gluten free for a number of years and my daughter is allergic to dairy and eggs so this recipe was perfect. Its the best G-F cake I've had in ages, even my critical husband loved it!! Can't wait for the next special occasion to try it especially for those friends who think that vegan has to be awful. Thanks for another great recipe!! Also made the sweet curry chickpea casserole today from VleV a real favorite in our house. Best wishes.

Anna said...

This cake is AMAZING! I also threw a punnet of blueberries and a smashed block of vegan/g-free chocolate in for good measure - my boyfriend was like a kid at a birthday party! xxx

Anonymous said...
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JRW said...

HELP!! The link to the wicked gluten vegan chocolate cake has not worked for me!! I seriously need it!! :)

Dreena said...

JRW, I took down the recipe to revise and improve it. That's me, always looking to make it just a bit better! I do plan to repost it soon as 'new and improved'. :D thanks.

JRW said...

I made it before and it was delish- but lost the recipe :( HURRY!!! You're a star!