About three years ago, I found out that I had a dairy and soy allergy, which apparently had been there since birth. This needless to say called for a radical change in my diet and also saying goodbye to some of my favourite foods, such a dairy! I would lie if I say it was easy, because it wasn't, but I was pretty ill at the time so I was happy to do anything to make me feel a little bit better. Furthermore my nutritionist Niki Gratrix, who I started working with back in 2010 to support my health, strongly suggested that I remove gluten from my diet for the time being, due to its metabolic complexities. Dr. Myhill who is very well researched in the areas of M.E. have written extensively around this area and has also written a very interesting article here about her approach to this condition. Dr. Myhill has also taken a direct view on encouraging people to revert back to the Stone Age Diet, which through the 'Atkins Diet' has recently gained popularity among so called 'dieters', you can read here why Dr. Myhill strongly recommends the Stone Age Diet for overall improved health for everyone.
Whilst I am on a roll and rambling on about diets and gluten, I would also urge you all to read THIS and THIS article on Niki Gratrix's blog, which will most certainly give you better insight into the affects of gluten on the body and also the role it plays within Celiac Disease and Non-Celian Gluten Sensitivity, something that was completely new to me! I personally avoid Gluten at all costs and what I have found over the last three years, is just how much you can enjoy food without it. I have adapted our diet completely and even though it can be tricky when you are out and about, there are always ways to get around it.
As for this cake, I warn you that it even though it is Dairy and Gluten Free, it is far from healthy, but it is just what we all need every now and then. The frosting is what makes this cake simply delicious, it is rich and decadent. I wasn't planning on sharing the recipe, but after posting on Instagram, the lovely Ada from Vintage Sheet Addict requested it, so I am afraid there aren't that many images.
250g Pure sunflower oil spread (or you could use unsalted butter if you choose)
250g Caster sugar
4 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
190g Doves Gluten Free self raising flour (or you could use normal plain flour if you choose, or any other Gluten Free flour of your choice)
60g Cocoa powder (which should be around 3 heaped tablespoons)
1 teaspoon baking powder (or 4 teaspoons if you are using normal plain flour)
3-4 tablespoons of Almond Milk (or plain if you chose).
1. Preheat the oven at 180C
2. Grease and line a 23cm round or square baking tin
3. Cream the sunflower spread (which should be at room temperature) together with the sugar until it is pale and fluffy (this should take somewhere between 3-5 minutes).
4. Gradually add the beaten egg into the mixture and make sure to scrape any excess down from the side of the bowl so it is all incorporated.
5. Sift the flour, baking powder and the Cocoa powder together and then add it to the butter mixture in two batches, making sure that it is mixed in properly after each addition.
6. Add the milk
7. Put the mixture into your cake tin and pop in the over for around 35-45 minutes. Start checking after 35 minutes. It will all depend on your oven. In ours it takes around 45 minutes. You might also want to put the cake mix in two smaller tins, as I cut the cake in half to put icing in the middle, in which case the baking time will be significantly reduced.
Whilst the cake is in the oven make your frosting.
200g Green & Black 85% chocolate or Lindt 70%
130g Pure Sunflower Spread
125ml Almond Milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
265g icing sugar, sifted
1. Melt the sunflower spread and the broken up chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan (make sure the bowl never touches the water). Stir until melted and smooth and let it cool for a while.
2. In another bowl whisk together the sifted icing sugar, vanilla extract and milk until smooth and then add the cooled chocolate mixture.
3. Leave the frosting to set and thicken up slightly before use.
4. I usually cut my cake in half horizontally and then add frosting to the middle, the top and around (that's cos I'm a greedy monkey, my view when you do it, you've got to do it properly!).
If you are using different milk, such as Rice milk, your frosting might require a little more icing sugar, so wait till it has set before you decide whether to add any or not. I have added cherry jam to the middle in the past and I have also added some fresh cherries to the top, but the kids just prefer it as it is, plain and simple.