Chocolate birthday cake

chocolatebirthdaycake

This Chocolate Birthday Cake recipe from my new book, Simply Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free, was inspired by one my sister made for her husband’s birthday. It’s light and moist, with dark truffley chocolate flavours and a rich, creamy icing, all covered with sweetly sharp raspberries.

I’ve used chestnut flour in this recipe, along with rice flour. Unlike most gluten-free flours, chestnut flour has great binding properties but its distinctive taste can sometimes overpower other flavours. In this recipe, though, it goes perfectly with the rich, sweet chocolate and sharply sweet raspberries.

gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, seed-free, citrus-free

Preparation time 25 minutes, plus 10 minutes and at least 12 hours soaking to make the cashew nut cream icing Cooking time 45 minutes Makes 1 cake (14–16 slices)

150g/5½oz dairy-free margarine, softened, plus extra for greasing
200g/7oz dairy-free dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids, chopped or broken into pieces
175g/6oz/scant 1 cup fruit sugar or caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs
60g/2¼oz/scant ¼ cup rice flour
60g/2¼oz/¹⁄₃ cup chestnut flour
2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
½ tsp xanthan gum
150g/5½oz/1¼ cups raspberries or strawberries, hulled, to decorate
Icing:

200g/7oz dairy-free dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids, chopped or broken into pieces
300g/10½oz/scant 2 cups cashew nuts
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 pitted dates
Put the nuts in a bowl, cover with cold water and leave to soak at room temperature overnight or for at least 12 hours.
Drain and rinse the nuts thoroughly, then put them in a blender. Add the vanilla extract and dates and pour in 250ml/9fl oz/1 cup water. Blend for 10 minutes or until smooth.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and lightly grease two 23cm/9in springform cake tins with dairy-free margarine. Put the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl and rest it over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate has melted.
Using an electric mixer, beat the dairy-free margarine and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract, then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Sift the flours, gluten-free baking powder and xanthan gum into the mixture and fold in, using a spoon. Make sure the mixture is well mixed but take care not to overmix it. Evenly divide the mixture into the cake tins and level the surfaces with the back of a spoon.
Bake for 35–40 minutes until firm to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks and leave to cool completely.
Meanwhile, put the chocolate for the icing in a large heatproof bowl and rest it over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate has melted. Put the blended nut cream and date mixture in a food processor or blender, add the melted chocolate and blend until well mixed.
Put the cake on a plate and spread half of the icing over the top. Put the other cake on top, flat-side down, and spread the remaining icing over it. Decorate with the raspberries and serve.
related ingredients: baking powder, chestnut flour, fruit sugar, olive oil margarine, rice flour, soya margarines, xanthum gum

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