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Quinoa Chocolate Cake (gf)

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Ever since my lens stopped working (a nicer way of saying I think I might have broken it when my camera fell of the couch), I haven’t made much food. Occasionally I’ll whip up a batch of cookies, but without a way to document what I make, baking is somehow less rewarding.

Photography is something I do instinctively, how I record and remember my life. Unlike memories which fade and contort over time, pictures are constants. I can try to remember things long past, but human memory is fallible. Pictures are reminders of what has existed, how I revisit the past.

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I’m not a very sentimental person despite how sappy I might sound right now, but as my high school graduation rapidly approaches and as I anticipate being uprooted, torn away from the people I have spent so many years with, I can’t help but flip (scroll) through old pictures and reminisce. Try as I might, I cannot fathom a life any different than the one I have now.

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Food might not have the emotional significance of friends, but cooking has become an integral part of my life and I like to remember what I make. I’ve been using my phone’s camera since my f/1.4 lens broke, and it works fine for casual pictures (I like how candid phone pictures look), but my iPhone doesn’t do justice to food.

My fingers itching to practice food photography once more, I ordered a f/1.8 lens from Amazon last week, and though it’s was a hundred dollars, finally I have the ability to take DSLR pictures. My other lens is at the store being evaluated at the moment, but for now this lens will do.

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This chocolate cake is probably my favorite ever. I know I’ve called this the “ultimate” chocolate cake, and I even have another gluten free chocolate cake recipe here, but this cake, this cake exceeds them all.

I use my friends as Guinea pigs for my gluten free foods especially (aren’t I a sweetheart?), and this one cake was received very, very well. One friend who claims to have discerning tastebuds scoffed when I announced the cake was gluten free, said it was good but kind of “empty,” then proceeded to finish her slice. The next day she ate another slice, and the day after had another. (Moral of the story: I think she’s just doesn’t like the idea of gluten free foods.)

My mom said she couldn’t even tell the cake was gluten free, and I agree with that assessment. The cake is moist, tender, and chocolatey – and has made up two out of my three meals today…oops. (I was almost going to see whether I could go an entire day on only chocolate cake, but I relented.)

A bit of advice, though: blend the quinoa mixture well. If not the cake will have a sort of corn meal texture, but it’s not a bad thing (I like it!), just different.

Gluten Free Quinoa Chocolate Cake

Found here.

  • 2/3 cup white or golden quinoa
  • 1 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease and parchment paper two 9 (or 8) inch cake pans.
  2. Rinse the quinoa under cold water. (I forgot to do this and didn’t encounter any problems, but the quinoa can impart the cake with a bitterness if not done in some cases.)
  3. Add the water to the quinoa and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  4. In a blender combine the milk, eggs, and vanilla.
  5. Add the quinoa and butter and blend until smooth.
  6. In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  7. Pour in the liquid ingredients and fold together until smooth.
  8. Divide the batter among the two pans. Bake for around 25 minutes (35 minutes for 8 inch pans) or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  9. Let the cakes cool then frost.

Chocolate Frosting

  • ½ cup butter
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup milk
  1. Melt the butter.
  2. Stir in the cocoa, sugar, salt, and vanilla.
  3. Beat in enough milk to get desired consistency. I didn’t add much and ending up with a soft, fudge-like product.