‘Gluten-free’ is the latest rage. Everyone seems to be into it at some level. Some people are just curious, trying it a meal or two here and there. Others do it for weeks at a time to see if health issues clear up in the absence of wheat. Still others aim to be very strict in order to help their digestion, eczema or psoriasis, or to help with depression or childhood behavioral issues. Should you find yourself visiting a natural health practitioner for any of a number of physical conditions, it is not unlikely that he or she will suggest you get the wheat out of your life.
Whatever the reason, most of us need a good gluten-free desert recipe in life, one that doesn’t include wheat, rye, barley, spelt, or even oats, just to be on the safe side. While these are the common flours to be avoided on a gluten-free diet, other grains to leave off include kamut, club, durum, bulgur, and semolina. One of my favorite gluten-free desert recipes is the chocolate cake that I often make for my son’s birthday. This cake is made with flours from garfava, sorghum, and tapioca. The ingredients are readily available at most natural food stores. This cake is fabulous and be assured that, if you don’t mention it, no one will ever suspect it is gluten-free:
2/3 cup garbanzo bean, or garfava, flour
1/3 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup corn starch
1/2 cup potato starch
1 cup tapioca flour
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 and ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 and ½ teaspoons egg replacer
¾ teaspoon salt
6 ounces baking chocolate
¾ cup hot water (hot from the tap)
3 sticks butter or margarine (or an appropriate vegan substitute)
3 cups of sugar
6 eggs at room temperature
1 and ½ cups plain soy yogurt
1 and ½ teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup tomato juice, or to desired consistency
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a rectangular sheet cake pan with butter and flour and set it aside. Combine the dry ingredients, stir thoroughly, and set them aside. Melt the chocolate and butter over low heat. Mix in the hot water, soy yogurt, vanilla, eggs, and tomato juice. Combine the ‘wet’ ingredients and the ‘dry’ ingredients and stir carefully with a large spoon for 5 minutes or so; no electric mixer is needed. Pour the mixture into the cake pan and bake for about 45 minutes. When it is finished baking, take it out of the oven, let it cool, and frost it with your favorite gluten-free icing. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted with modification from: The Gluten-Free Gourmet: Living Well Without Wheat, by Bette Hagman, c. 2000, Henry Holt and Company, New York, New York.