I figured that if this whole gluten-free and vegan thing is to work it needs to have a figurehead chocolate cake. After experimentation, this is the result (and it has been tested on a group of people who can eat normal chocolate cake who all thought it was delicious and didn’t really notice anything unusual about it). It keeps well for up to three days in an airtight container.
One word of note though: gram flour is made from a small chickpea so the unbaked mixture does have a weird pea flavour to it (which disappears during cooking) but it does mean the bowl scrapings aren’t as yummy as you might expect… On the upside, I think it does mean the cake counts as one of your five a day. Bonus.
For the cake
250ml soya milk (sweetened or unsweetened)
1 tsp lemon juice or cider vinegar (vital)
75ml sunflower oil
125g gram (chickpea) flour
50g cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder (make sure it doesn't contain wheat flour)
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
For the icing
150g dairy-free dark chocolate*
100g dairy-free margarine (eg Pure)
100g icing sugar
4tbsp soya milk (sweetened or unsweetened)
Put the oven on at 160C. Measure out the soya milk in a measuring jug. Add the lemon juice/vinegar and let it stand for a minute or so. Next add the sugar and oil and whisk together with a fork.
Sift the gram flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl (don’t skip the sifting – I’m not a big one for doing it normally but I have found that gram flour tends to clump together unless you sift it first). Pour in the liquid and stir together swiftly.
Pour the whole lot into a 20cm x 20cm brownie tin and bake for 20–25 minutes until fully cooked. Allow to cool in the tin.
To make the icing, place all the ingredients in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat gently until the chocolate and butter have melted. Stir everything together and pour over the cake. Decorate if you like with sugar strands or grated dairy-free chocolate. I find it’s nicest to eat it at this point, with the slightly warm cake doused in runny icing.
* Read my separate blog post about chocolate before choosing this recipe