My long time go-to trick for getting moisture into gluten-free cakes (which are notorious for being dry) is to use fruit or vegetable purees. Here sweet orange kūmara puree not only adds moisture but also a little sweetness too, meaning you can get away with only using a tiny amount of sugar. If you like rich chocolate cakes, you’re gonna love this one.
1 medium orange (Beauregard) kūmara, peeled and cubed
½ cup raw caster sugar
2 large free-range eggs
½ cup olive oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup coconut milk
½ tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
½ cup ground almonds
½ cup brown rice flour
½ cup cocoa powder
2 tbsp tapioca flour or gluten-free cornflour
1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp fine sea salt
170g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
½ cup coconut milk
¼ cup brown rice syrup or maple syrup
Steam kūmara until soft, then mash and set aside until cold. This can be done up to 3 days in advance and stored in the fridge. You will need 1 cup of mashed kūmara for this recipe, so use any leftovers or store in the freezer for later use.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 24cm round cake tin (line with baking paper if you like, but not totally necessary).
Using an electric whisk (or a regular one and some arm power!), whisk sugar and eggs until thick and fluffy, drizzle in olive oil and vanilla and whisk to combine. While eggs and sugar and being whisked, combine coconut milk, vinegar/lemon juice and mashed kūmara and set aside.
Sieve ground almonds, rice flour, cocoa, tapoica flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl and whisk well to evenly combine. Add half the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and gently fold in. When almost combined, add the kūmara mixture and remaining dry ingredients and continue to fold in until evenly mixed. Pour batter into prepared cake tin and bake 30–35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes before removing from the tin and tranferring to a wire rack to cool. Once cake is cool, ice and serve.
To make the icing, combine chopped chocolate, coconut milk and brown rice syrup/maple in a small bowl set over a saucepan of boiling water. Stir until melted, whisking if needed, until smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside 30 minutes or so, stirring occasionally until thickened slightly before using.
Stores in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Words and images Emma Galloway