Another bloody gluten free chocolate cake

Me: Hey, Kid 1, do you want to come and watch Deep Purple play Smoke on the Water?
Kid 1: What does that even mean?
Me: You know, the very first riff you ever learnt on your guitar? It’s a video of the band playing the actual song.

Total silence from Kid 1. He didn’t even give me the courtesy of an answer.

It’s official folks.

I am old.

Speaking of age, WordPress kindly informed me the other day that this blog had turned one. My, it seems like only yesterday that I gave birth. How time flies when you are having fun.

To celebrate, here is the gluten-free chocolate cake baked for the Yak’s birthday a few weeks ago. Whilst stealing someone else’s birthday cake could be seen as a cruel injustice, I am really only stealing the idea of a birthday cake. First things first. To the man who actually ate this cake, Happy Birthday Mr Yak; you totally fabulous, dry witted, old before your time in a totally ironic way, Northern English bloke.

Secondly, Happy Birthday to this blog. It’s been a big ball of fun and I wish I could send all of you a piece of this light, fluffy chocolate cake action. As that is impossible, I will send you the idea of this old school chockie cake. The buttermilk gives the crumb a lovely moistness and as it’s not too rich, people usually come back for seconds. (Or thirds, hey, back off…leave some for me.) A dear friend has been making this cake for a few years and she changed it to a gluten free version when the Yak become a Coeliac.

Thanks for reading folks and enjoy your cake.


1 1/2 cups gf plain flour (220g)
2 tbl almond meal
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsps bicarb soda
1 cup caster sugar, raw or regular
1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder (or 2 tsp vanilla essence or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste)
1 cup buttermilk
185g butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 160C and line a 22cm non stick springform pan or grease a non-stick bundt tin.
Sift flour, almond meal, cocoa, bi-carb soda, sugar and vanilla bean powder in a large bowl or a mixer bowl.
Add 1/2 the buttermilk and cooled butter and beat at a medium speed until combined.
Gradually add the rest of the buttermik, egg and the rest of the butter (and vanilla essence if you are using a liquid form).
Beat on medium to high speed for around 2 minutes until the mixture is thick and creamy. Don’t overbeat!
Cook for 50 minutes to one hour. Test with a skewer. Leave in in for 5 minutes then turn out and cool complete on a cooling rack.
Dust with icing sugar. We ate it with strawberries and creme fraiche.

A recipe from a great friend and I have no idea where she originally got it from




No more night songs and flourless chocolate cake

For as long as I can remember, Kid 1 has always wanted me to sing him a bed time song. That song is Edelweiss from The Sound of Music. (Please don’t ask if I sound better than Julie Andrews ever did, I don’t want to hurt her feelings.)

Recently, my pink and purple soul was trampled upon.

As I went in to sing; my beautiful, wombat hair coloured, think outside the box, question me always, ten year old said ‘No Mum. I don’t want a song thanks.’ ‘Are you sure?’ I asked. The wobble in my voice ever so slightly perceptible (from outer space I am sure.)

I tried singing the first line. ‘No mum, I really don’t want you to sing.’

Naturally I handled this situation with adult dignity and aplomb. I didn’t really say ‘Wow, you hurt my feelings!’ (Ummm, more than once, in the pathetic hope of guilting him into allowing me to sing to him.)

Time ticked by, I thought that he would shout to me at any moment. ‘Mum, can you sing me a song?’

But that night, not a peep, squeak, burp, fart or mild kerfluffle. Perhaps this was a sign of things to come. My heart hung low as I faced the fact that this special time may have passed between us.

This mum knows that we are lucky to have each other whole and hearty. Yet I am also a mumma with a tender squidgy middle. Somewhat akin to a Cadburys strawberry soft centred chocolate. (The kind of chocolate that we ate back in the old days and now pretend that we don’t like.)

Tomorrow, I thought to myself, I will bake him his favorite cake. This is it.

(I did not, I repeat, did not, go into his room when he was asleep and sing to him. I will deny it.)


This is our celebration cake and sometimes, our ‘just because’ cake. A meringue like crispy shell with a moist, fudgy but still light crumb. It is a Donna Hay recipe that I have been baking for over ten years now. This gluten free wonder has NEVER (sorry to shout, I got a bit excited) failed me.

Not wanting to go all chocolate elitist on you, I have baked this cake with regular dark cooking chocolate and it is always very, very good. But when you use top shelf swankarama chocolate, it is elevated to the realm of special cakes that will be served in heaven.

200g (7oz) chopped dark cooking chocolate (I used Callebaut dark chocolate)
150g (5oz) butter, chopped
5 eggs, separated
3/4 cup caster (superfine) sugar (I used raw caster sugar)
1 1/2 cups almond meal
Icing sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 160C (325F). Line and grease a non-stick 22cm (9 in) springform cake tin.
Place chocolate and butter in a saucepan over low heat and stir until melted and combined.
Cool slightly, then pour into a large bowl.
Stir in the egg yolks, sugar and almond meal.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggwhites until stiff peaks form.
Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture until just combined.
Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. (I usually test it at 50 minutes.)
Cool completely in the tin.
Run a knife around the edge of the cake and remove from the tin.
Dust with icing sugar. It’s grand when served with berries and double cream.

From a Donna hay magazine from 10 years ago. A second dedication goes out to Jon, cause she loves this cake.

Cooking Notes: when melting chocolate be aware that water is the enemy as it will make the mixture seize up. Use a super, clean bowl when whisking egg whites.

Variations on a theme: Use orange flavoured dark cooking chocolate and decorate with thin slices of candied orange. For a spiced version add 1/2 tsp each of cardamom powder and cinnamon powder to the almond meal and sugar mixture and stir well.

PostScript. Lately Kid 1 has wanted me to sing again so I am enjoying this reprieve whilst it lasts.