Saturday, 25 October 2008

(rasp)berry and chocolate cake from vegan indulgence (fail + success)

I've been pretty complacent about my gluten-free baking. I've just been substituting directly with Orgran's gluten-free flour. The cupcakes were just fine, and the cookies and biscuits were really great.

Then I tried to bake a cake:

fail cake

Deciding that the gluten-free flour made it a bit too dry, for my second attempt I added about an extra eighth of a cup of soymilk. As I was using canned berries, not frozen, I also added about the same amount of berry liquid. This increased the cooking time by about eleven or twelve minutes, and resulted in a half size cake. After sulking around the house for a bit, I worked out I had about three quarters of a cup of choc chips hidden in the fridge, and just enough gluten-free flour for a third try. This third attempt rose slightly, so I decided to put the two together to form a very tall cake.

By this point I had been baking for about six hours, and the bottom half was well and truly cooled, so missing the 'spread with jam when still warm' part of the recipe. I decided to just put both halves in the fridge, and that I would deal with icing in the morning.

Worried that the cake had dried out a little bit overnight, and that it wouldn't absorb the jam very well since it wasn't warm, I drizzled a little bit of the reserved berry liquid on both halves. I then proceeded as usual, though I softened the icing up a little too much, hence the messiness of the icing. I really should learn how to make a great icing.

success cake

ETA: home from A's party, and the cake turned out fantastically. It was so heavy and chocolatey, it was just like a chocolate mudcake. Some people (not vegans) referred to it as being death by chocolate. I'm so incredibly happy with how it turned out!


Ricki said...

Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. . .but that last attempt looks like a great success! And just call it a glaze and you've got exactly what you set out to do! (I'd happily have a piece if there's any extra. . . ) ;)

Mandee said...

Your cake looks amazingly good! I'm so glad it worked out and that you had so many positive comments! I also added you to my flickr as well, thanks! :)

Vegetation said...

Your cake looks delicious! (and death by chocolate? Yes please!)

My cake skills were lacking when I baked them with wheat flour and my gluten free baking has been less than stellar so I've yet to tackle a gluten free cake.

a vegan about town said...

@ricki - sadly, or not so sadly because it is a testament to my skill, there was none left over. i will just have to bake it again and share it all around. :o)

@mandee: yay! thanks for adding me on flickr. I love looking at everyone's great food photos.

@vegetation: it's funny, because people commented that it was so incredibly chocolatey, but due to the mishaps each half actually used less chocolate than the recipe calls for. i think adding the berry juice helped bring out the thick chocolate flavour. And I think the key to baking gluten-free really is the extra liquid, I hadn't realised quite how dry it was until a friend (who loves eating cake so much it has to be taken away for him to stop) tried a bit of the fail cake today and refused to finish the piece he'd broken off!