Chocolate Almond Quinoa Cake
Adapted just very slightly from The Daring Gourmet
As soon as I saw the photos of this gorgeous cake from The Daring Gourmet, I wanted it. I decided this would be my birthday cake this year. Since I was sick on my birthday, it was a week later before I finally had enough energy to bake it.
The way she makes this cake is a bit different than other baked quinoa recipes I’ve seen … I really loved the idea of blending the cooked quinoa into the batter … I’ve baked with quinoa before and wasn’t thrilled about the texture of the finished product. Blending the quinoa makes SUCH a difference! This cake was rich and dense and moist and soooo perfectly chocolatey. I think it may be the best cake I have ever made. That’s not really a fair comparison as the memories of the past chocolate cakes have faded, but this quinoa cake is SO definitely on my “keep” list!
I didn’t do the glaze that The Daring Gourmet used on her cake … I wanted a dark chocolate ganache. So I melted some of my darkest and best chocolate chips, stirred in some fat free half and half till I had a nice creamy ganache, then added more cream till the ganache was ready to drizzle and drip a bit. As the ganache cooled, those amazing chocolaty drips solidified on the sides of the cake, making it look just as decadent and inviting on the outside as it is on the inside. Topped with a sprinkle of toasted almonds and fresh raspberries, it was just the thing this birthday girl needed to remind her that she DESERVES a beautiful birthday cake.
The other thing I love about this cake is it didn’t make my body feel “sugar sick” like most desserts do. I actually felt energized and healthy after eating this cake! I think it must be the protein and fiber from the quinoa. (And all those super-healthy antioxidants from the dark chocolate too, right?)
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups cooked quinoa, loosely packed
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 1/4 cups granulated white sugar
- 3/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup ground almonds (or almond meal)
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a large 9-inch springform pan (or three small ones like this cutie heart-shaped one) with cooking spray.
- Separate the eggs, putting the whites into a small bowl and the yolks into the cup of your blender or food processor.
- To the yolks in the blender, add the quinoa, milk, extracts, butter and coconut oil. Blend until smooth. Be careful about stopping the blender ... if you have a fussy blender like mine, it might not want to "go" again because the mixture thickens as it blends.
- Dump the blended mixture into a large mixing bowl and add the sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and almonds. Stir to mix it all up well.
- Now, take the egg whites and beat them until soft peaks form. Sprinkle the cream of tartar on top and beat some more until the egg whites form stiff peaks.
- Carefully fold the eggs whites into the chocolate batter in the mixing bowl. Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s). Bake a large cake for 45 - 50 minutes or the smaller ones for roughly 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool, then remove the side of the springform pan, set it on a serving plate and drizzle with your choice of topping (her Chocolate Almond Glaze or my ganache). Garnish with toasted almonds and raspberries if you so desire.
If you want to make this cake completely gluten-free, make sure to use gluten-free certified quinoa and substitute xanthan gum for the baking powder. Depending on how gluten-sensitive your eaters are, you may be able to get away with using baking powder, but it may contain traces of gluten.
For the ganache: melt 3/4 cup quality dark chocolate chips, then stir in 2 Tablespoons of half & half (I used fat free) and add more cream until the ganache is thin enough to drizzle down the sides of the cake. Cover the top of the cake, then gently push the ganache over the edges so it drips down the sides of the cake. Sprinkle with almonds (if desired), then let the cake set until the ganache is no longer wet and starts to set.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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