Having grown up in a family with no allergies I was never aware of wheat-free diets and the
only reason I knew of lactose intolerance was because a doctor put me on the diet for three weeks when I was quite young when he was trying to diagnose something else.
I don’t ever recall serving, or even hearing of a gluten free treat before I was 18-years-old, when I was working at a beautiful coffee shop in Brisbane’s Queen St Mall when we started stocking some new cakes. By cakes, I mean an orange and almond cake and a minor selection of friands. It wasn’t until then I realised how many people either suffered from celiac disease, or just chose this type of food in aid to living a healthier lifestyle.
It’s not something that I’ve ever been interested in, as my husband, son, and I are not affected by any food allergies and honestly, it all seemed a bit too hard. That is until I was recently sent a recipe book written by Coast author Tania Hubbard called gluten free grain free – food we love.
Even when I started flicking through the pages I was still quite daunted by ingredients, many of which I’ve heard of, but never used including rapidura sugar, flax seed, besan and the one most interesting to me was chia seeds.
In the book Tania explains the chia plant belongs to the mint family, yet produces lavender-like flowers that develop pods holding white, purple, grey and black tiny seeds. They have twice the amount of protein of any grains, loads of antioxidants, calcium, potassium and iron. Having said that, it made me feel a little less guilty about cooking and devouring a chocolate cake made with the seeds.
While making the cake, I realised these gluten free grain free recipes were nowhere near as daunting as I had originally thought. It was just like making a normal cake, but using different ingredients. The results were magical! A rich, moist chocolate cake and the seeds added a different texture, which I found quite pleasant. Tania has kindly offered this recipe for you to use at home, but I would highly recommend this book to anyone, celiac or not!
- I found chia seeds at belmondo’s fresh food market, 59 Rene St, Noosaville.
- gluten free grain free – food we love costs $37.50 and is available for purchase from Husk & Honey Café, Nambour or online at http://www.glutenfreegrainfree.com.au.
Chia Seed Chocolate Cake
- Chia Seeds – 4 tablespoons soaked in 1 cup of water for 15 minutes
- Raw Cocoa – ½ cup
- Softened Butter* – 125 grams
- Eggs – 5 medium to large
- Almond Meal - 1 cup (175 grams)
- Coconut Palm sugar (or your choice of sugar) 1 cup
- Salt – pinch
- Bicarb – 1 teaspoon
* You can substitute coconut oil or olive oil for the butter or 1/3 cup of fresh cream
- Preheat oven to 180C
- Line a spring form cake tin with non stick baking paper
- Soak chia seeds in 1 cup of water for 15 minutes, stirring regularly
- In meantime place cocoa, eggs, almond meal, sugar, salt, bicarb and butter in a bowl
- Whisk to combine well and break up any lumps (at least 1 minute)
- Add chia seed jelly and whisk until well combined
- Pour into lined cake tin
- Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes or until it bounces back when pressed in middle
- Let the cake cool for 5-10 minutes in the tin
- Finish cooling on a wire cooling rack
This is the basic recipe – it is really about getting you started with the minimum of fuss.
You can add cinnamon (2 teaspoons), and/or ginger (½ teaspoon), or coffee (¼ cup coffee grinds) to this cake and change its flavour dramatically or delicately if you like.
- Going gluten-Free for Rob (chefhelen.wordpress.com)
- Chia & Chocolate Gluten-Free Pancakes (sprinklesandallergies.com)
- Healthy Eating 101: Gluten-Free Lifestyle (honeycrunched.wordpress.com)
- Is Gluten-Free Really All It’s Cracked Up To Be? Should You Follow Suit? (vivendidesign.wordpress.com)
- A Gluten Free Giveaway (storiesandsweetpotatoes.com)