Friday, September 27, 2013

Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Cashew Cream - Bob's Red Mill Review


When your child is on a restricted diet I think it's important to try to normalise food as best you can. There are so many social activities centred around food - birthday parties, shared lunches, Christmas, Easter and eating out to name a few.  I may not be able to make those things completely normal for Ben (separate Tupperware container full of food anyone?) but I can make food a normal part of life at home.

All kids love baking with mum or dad. Gluten free, egg free baking can be tricky to do with kids because precise measurements are usually required - but it's still worth having a go. Today I used a Bob's Red Mill Chocolate Cake mix to make a lovely moist chocolate cake with jam and cashew cream in the middle. Ben did almost all of it himself and was so proud to serve it to his "guests".

Bob's Red Mill products are great quality and don't have a lot of the fillers and starches that cheaper GF products contain. The ingredients in this packet are: Evaporated cane juice sugar, unsweetened cocoa, chickpea flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, whole grain white sorghum flour, broad bean flour, baking soda, xanthan gum, sea salt, cream of tartar. There's nothing too ominous in there at all and it can be handy to have a packet cake on hand when little people are in the mood to bake.

Bob's Red Mill products are pricey in Australia, but there are ways to get a good deal. The website and app Grocery Run has regular Gluten Free days where you can buy 2 Bob's products for the price of one. I wait until Gluten Free day appears and then stock up for a month or two. By doing it this way I get a cake mix like this for around $4.50 each, which isn't bad for gluten free.

In addition to the cake mix we added:

1/4 C canola oil and 1/4 C vegan margarine (recipe suggests 1/2 C butter or margarine)
1 C Bonsoy soy milk
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp ground flaxseed in 6 Tbsp water (left to stand for 2 mins to gel) - this is a replacement for 2 eggs
1/3 C hot water
2 tsp good quality vanilla extract

The mix came together really easily with no lumps. It has a nice smooth rich consistency too.

The cake went into the oven at 190 degrees C or 375 degrees F for around 45 mins. I tested the centre with a bamboo skewer before taking it out.

While we waited for it to cool down Ben got to lick the spoon! Such a simple childhood pleasure that I remember well from baking with my own mum - but something that can be hard for an allergy kid to experience. 

Once it was cool we sliced the cake in half so we had two thinner pieces. Then we spread some nice allergy friendly raspberry jam. We wanted cream, but we're not doing dairy at the moment so we made a cashew cream by blending up 3/4C raw cashews and 3/4C water until smooth. After spreading the cream on top of the jam we popped the top portion of the cake on and sprinkled some icing sugar on top.

The nicest thing about this cake is the texture. It can be hard to get a good crumb on a GF cake and without eggs you run the risk of it being dry. This cake was moist and chocolatey - just like a good choccie cake should be!

I'd definitely use Bob's Red Mill Chocolate Cake again - I think it would be great for a special occasion or for when non allergy guests come for dinner. I'm convinced that no-one would know this cake is GF. 


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