Years ago I read about a cake called the Boca Negra, a cake so rich and chocolaty that the literal translation is Black Mouth. The cake itself is made with loads of bittersweet chocolate, bourbon, butter and eggs and is moist and dense with a slightly fudgy texture. I wanted this cake badly, but bourbon is in short supply around here since I don’t drink. I also didn’t want to love a cake that I had to make a big commitment to every time I wanted to eat it (my commitment issues with food run deep) so I tackled this cake from another angle; I wrote a chocolate cake recipe that was more in tune with what I had on hand day to day, but also used the ingredients that would achieve the same deep, dark chocolaty flavor and texture. It could also be prepared and baked rather quickly. The recipe didn’t happen overnight, and every time I baked this cake I changed something, tried something new. But finally, I had a cake worthy of a church picnic, dinner party, and my intense late night cravings.
Here is the one I made my mother on her birthday
So now we have the daily challenge of living gluten and dairy free because our little girl cannot digest either of those things. Her birthday was coming up (her 10th!) and I knew this was the cake I wanted to serve, so I had to get busy trying to find a suitable gf/df version. Anyone who knows me knows that I hate when people think you have to give up decent baking if you give up gluten (that is so very, very wrong!) and I wanted to make sure that people at her party would enjoy her cake – So here you are, a tried, tested and happily eaten version of my dark chocolate cake, sans gluten and dairy!
Dark Chocolate Cake GF/DF
Makes approx (2) 7″ round cakes (3″ deep pans)
2 c. very hot, dark roasted coffee (brewed)
1 c. cocoa powder – I use ruddy red cocoa
2 1/4 c. white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. veg. oil
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. brown rice flour
1/2 c. potato starch
1/4 c. tapioca starch
1 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum
Preheat the oven to 350F and grease and flour (rice flour) your pans. Set aside.
In the bowl of your mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment) combine the brewed coffee and cocoa powder. Mix well and let stand for about 5 minutes.
On low/medium speed, add the sugar, eggs, vanilla and oil. Continue to mix for about 3 minutes.
In a separate bowl, combine the baking powder, baking soda, salt, rice flour, starches and xanthan gum. Use a whisk to combine the dry ingredients throughoughly, then slowly by 1/2 cup fulls to the liquid mixture, beating well after each addition. Continue to beat for another minute or two and scrape down the sides if necessary. Pour into the pans and bake for the same amount of time you could a regular cake. For a 3″ deep pan, filled halfway with batter, it takes approx. 1 hour. Use the toothpick method to test for doneness.
Once it is cool and ready to assemble….
Once the cake is cooled and I’m ready to assemble it, I cut my layers and then brush the inside of each layer with some homemade chocolate, simple syrup. This is just the same syrup I make for the fridge but I make a fresh batch for the cake because I want it while its still warm and very runny. That part is important! Once the syrup cools it becomes too thick and well… syrupy. I use a pastry brush to baste the layers (not soak them) and as it cools it gives the cake that slightly fudgy, incredibly moist texture. Finally you can fill with your favourite toppings and decorate however you like! This cake will also freeze very well if wrapped well. Don’t simple syrup the layers until just before filling and decorating though, that syrup with glue them back together if you try to freeze it afterwards.