RECIPE: Flourless Chocolate Quinoa Cake







I saw this video on my Facebook feed and saved it to try for Easter. My sister is 'clean eating' more and gluten-free, and I thought this recipe would be a welcome addition to the dessert table for her.

The version I saw was in fact vegan, but I knew that wouldn't fly with the rest of my Italian family, so I used butter. This cake is very dense, rich and hearty. You won't feel like you are missing anything. Trust me.

I urge you to follow my soaking instructions on the quinoa, even if you buy it pre-rinsed. The soaking takes out any funky "green" flavors and bitterness from the grain, making it smooth and silky for use in a cake. If this takes too much time for you, do it ahead of time and store it chilled for up to a week, until you are ready to bake your cake. The quinoa step if the most time consuming, the food processor does the rest. It couldn't be easier!

I had leftovers, so I cut up, wrapped and froze ready-to-eat pieces so I can have a chocolaty treat when I get the craving.


Flourless Chocolate Quinoa Cake
Adapted from Food 52

Ingredients:

1 cup of quinoa ( triple rinsed, then soaked for 30 minutes and drained and then cooked according to package directions and cooled. Can be made ahead) 
1/2 cup water (to cook the quinoa)

Cooking spray 
2 tablespoons of cocoa OR fine breadcrumbs (see directions)
1/3 cup of orange juice 
4 large eggs 
2 teaspoons of good quality vanilla extract 
3/4 cup of melted butter 
1 cup of Dutch-processed cocoa 
1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar 
2 teaspoons of baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt 
2 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, melted 

Chocolate Glaze
5 oz. bittersweet chocolate

1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350˚. Use a bundt cake pan or springform pan and spray liberally with cooking spray, then sprinkle 2 tablespoons of cocoa inside and shake the pan so that the pan is lightly dusted with cocoa. Sometimes this works, but sometimes for bundt pans, this doesn't work and my cakes get stuck. So lately I use fine breadcrumbs to coat the spayed pan as a way to get out the cake, and it works! Just a handy tip!

In a food processor, blend the eggs, vanilla and the orange juice with the quinoa. Add the melted and slightly cooled butter, the cocoa, the sugar, the baking powder and salt, and pulse a bit until smooth. Finally, add the melted bittersweet chocolate. Pulse again until everything is well blended. Pour into prepared pan, and tap the sides slightly. Bake for about an hour until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes and if needed run a very pliable spatula around the edges so that the cake will come out easily. Invert the pan onto a cooling rack and let the cake cool completely. Once the cake is cooled drizzle with powdered sugar or spread a melted chocolate glaze.

Chocolate Glaze

Melt the bittersweet chocolate until smooth, then whisk the oil and vanilla well. It will get stiff but whisk anyway. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk it again. Use a frosting knife or a spatula spread the glaze on the top of the cake and push it down the sides. It is thicker than a drippy glaze so you will need to tell it who is in charge and where to go. Serve with whipping cream.

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