It is ‘Junk Free June’ and although we tend not to eat a whole heap of rubbish I am making a concerted effort this month to avoid heavily processed and shop bought treats so I thought I would share one of our favourite, homemade sweet treats this week. This cake is seriously insane, none of my photos do it justice. It is fudgey and moist, rich and dense but at the same time it isn’t stodgy so it doesn’t leave you with that heavy, full feeling when you finish your 3rd slice! I can’t take credit for this one, it comes from an awesome cookbook Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood which is full of delicious, healthy and mostly guilt free recipes. This one appealed to me not only because it is really simple to make but also it makes two cakes and freezes well so I can put one away for a rainy day. It is so popular with our friends and family that it has become our go to chocolate cake – added bonus, it is so moist it doesn’t need icing.
Quinoa can be a bit expensive but for this cake you only need a very small amount. Most supermarkets sell it in their bulk bins so if you don’t use it on a regular basis you can buy just enough for the cake.
You need to cook the quinoa before you add it to the cake batter so start by rinsing it in cold water this helps to remove the natural coating quinoa has called saponin, which can make it taste bitter. Once rinsed, drain it and tip it into a saucepan with 330ml of cold water, pop the lid on and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for around 15 mins or until the water has been absorbed then with the lid on set aside and allow it to steam for another 10 mins. When the 10 mins are up fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork and transfer to a bowl to cool.
Meanwhile gather the other ingredients together. Into the bowl of a food processor place the milk, eggs and vanilla and blitz briefly. In a separate bowl combine the sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside. Once the quinoa has cooled you can add it along with the melted butter to the wet ingredients in the food processor and blend for 1-2 mins. The mixture will increase in size as the ingredients are aerated.
The hard work is done now, all that remains is to pour in the dry ingredients and blend for another minute then divide the batter between two greased and lined, loose bottomed, 20cm/8inch cake tins. The mixture will be runny like a pancake batter with a few little speckles of quinoa that escaped the fury of the processor blade!
Pop the tins into an oven preheated to 180’c/350’f and bake for around 40 mins. Test by inserting a knife or skewer into the centre of the cake, if it comes out clean the cake is cooked, if not bake for another 5 mins and then check again. When they are ready to come out resist the temptation to remove the cakes from their tins, instead set them aside to cool completely before de-robing them!
I know it doesn’t look much so you will have to take my word for it and try it yourself and I promise this protein and fibre packed beauty will become a favourite with your family.
Quinoa Chocolate Cake
Makes 2 Cakes, Serves per cake 6-8 – $4.50 per cake (when using free range eggs)
Prep time: 25 mins – Bake time: 40 mins
- 2/3 cup (125g) white or golden quinoa
- 1 1/3cups (330ml) water
- 1/3 cup (80ml) milk
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup (225g) melted unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups (310g) sugar
- 1 cup (90g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Rinse quinoa in cold water until the water runs clear. Place the quinoa and 1 1/3 cups (330ml) of cold water into a small saucepan. Place the lid on and over a medium heat bring to a boil, simmer for 15 mins or until the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat but leave the lid on and allow to steam for a further 10 mins. When it is ready fluff with a fork and allow to cool.
- Next preheat the oven to 180’c/350’f and prepare two 20cm/8inch loose bottomed cake tins by lining the bottom and greasing the sides.
- Into the bowl of a food processor crack the eggs, pour the milk and spoon the vanilla. Blitz quickly to combine then add in the cooked, cooled quinoa and the melted butter and blend again until the mixture is smooth. It will fluff up a bit which is fine.
- Combine all of the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl and stir briefly to ensure an even mixture. Gently add the dry ingredients to the batter in the food processor and blend one last time until the ingredients are incorporated.
- Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake in the centre of the oven for 40-45mins or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Leave the cakes to cool completely before removing from their tins.
The cake will keep for up to a week in an airtight container or frozen for 1 month.