This super moist chocolate cake looks amazing and tastes even better! I almost don’t want to mention that it’s gluten-free (Don’t leave… stay with me here!) because it’s one of the best desserts we’ve ever had. This decadent concoction uses cooked golden quinoa in place of any flour and you are going to love it!
The frosting and chocolate ganache push it way over the top to give the impression that you are one savvy baker. This cake would taste delicious just dusted with cocoa powder, omitting any frosting. But if you really want to add to the aesthetics of this recipe, a nice chocolate whipped cream frosting in-between the layers and a rich but easy chocolate ganache over the top are sure to impress. I should just show you more pictures to prove my point:
And how about…
Just before the first bite…
This is another recipe I’ve made from Quinoa 365, a cookbook that will be reviewed at the end of the week. But I will tell you, I would buy the cookbook for this recipe alone. But you can win it here!
Cook’s Note: I’ve included links to the chocolate whipped cream frosting here and chocolate ganache recipes here. Both frosting recipes are simple and quick. But if you must :\… you could used canned frosting for in-between the layers. Also, the instant coffee in the ganache is optional.
Your guests will never know this is gluten-free and made with cooked quinoa instead of flour. This recipe is for the cake only and could be served simply with cocoa powder dusted on top or for more panache add a chocolate whip cream frosting between the layers and pour chocolate ganache over the top.
Recipe type: Cake or dessert
⅔ cup white or golden quinoa
1⅓ cups water
⅓ cup milk
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¾ cup butter, melted and cooled
1½ cup sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the covered saucepan on the burner for another 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow the quinoa to cool.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease two 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper.
Combine the milk, eggs and vanilla in a blender or food processor. Process just until combined. Add 2 cups of cooked quinoa and the butter. Blend well until smooth.
Whisk together the sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Add the contents from the blender and mix well. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake on the center rack for 35 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and cool for 15 minutes. Invert the cakes onto cooling racks and remove parchment from what is now the top.
At this point, you could sprinkle powdered sugar or cocoa powder over the tops of each cake and serve for a simple dessert.
If you want to make an impressive presentation, spread chocolate frosting over one layer and place the second layer on top.
While the cake is still on the cooling rack, make a simple chocolate ganache using 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chocolate chips and ½ cup heavy whipping cream. (Optionally, add 1 teaspoon instant coffee crystals) Heat chips and cream over double boiler until smooth. Place a cookie sheet under the cooling rack. Pour ganache slowly over top of the cake and spread until it runs over edges. You can leave it like this or use a spatula to then smooth the ganache around the sides.
Store any left over cake covered in the refrigerator for up to one week or freeze for up to one month.
Summer vegetable quinoa salad is perfect for the coming months when fresh zucchini and bell peppers will be at their peak! This is called Bocconcini and Oregano Salad in the cookbook Quinoa 365, which I’ve been featuring and will complete a review soon. I renamed it for my recipe because it doesn’t need the bocconcini (fresh mozzarella cheese). In fact, it is much better with no cheese at all which makes this even more healthy as a vegan option. I felt the mozzarella was tasteless in the dish so if you are set on using cheese, I would add feta.
This versatile salad is a great gluten-free option for pasta salad. The red and yellow bell peppers with the zucchini, red onions, tomatoes and peas make this super colorful and fresh tasting. Balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and fresh oregano! The dressing brings it all together. Easily interchangeable with your favorite garden produce, you could add mushrooms or even give it a kick with some jalapenos. This salad keeps well and just gets better the next day.
Optional, 1 cup diced or crumbled feta cheese or cut mini fresh mozzarella cheese
Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and leave the covered saucepan on the burner for 6 more minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa. Set aside and allow to cool.
Combine the zucchini, tomatoes, onion, peas and red and yellow pepper in a large bow.
Whisk the vinegar, olive oil, mustard, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and thoroughly mix all the ingredients. Add the quinoa and mixt until evenly combined. If you include feta or mozzarella, add that now and stir until just combined. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days.
I usually love a good theatrical production in the Good Dinner Mom kitchen. But to be able to place everything in a pot and then go about my day only to come back and dinner is ready, turns me into a culinary magician! This recipe is one you and your family will love on so many levels. The ingredients are readily available in most pantries. And it fits weeknight menus or Sunday “company’s coming” dinner. The sauce has a lighter flavor than sweet and sour chicken. And the simple addition of sesame seeds and scallions will instantly make for an impressive presentation.
If your exploration into the wonderful world of quinoa has just begun or you haven’t been able to get the kids to try it, Chicken Broccoli and Quinoa Casserole is a good baby-step. This recipe uses quinoa in place of rice and the sauce is a fresh departure from basic condensed soup, adding basil, lemon juice and curry powder to mayonnaise and Greek yogurt.
This was the first dish I tried out of Quinoa 365 which I am reviewing for my current giveaway. I changed up the original recipe with the addition of peas and shallots and I added milk to the sauce to make it a bit more creamy. My family thought it was a great comfort food selection and I like it because you can modify it even more to suit your taste. It would be delicious with added mushrooms or you can substitute the broccoli with zucchini.
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
2 shallot cloves, diced
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup mayonnaise*
⅓ cup milk
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
1 teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon minced fresh basil (or a pinch of dried basil)
*You can substitute 1 cup of condensed cream of mushroom soup for the mayo
Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease a large casserole dish (3.5L) or spray with cooking oil.
Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and leave the covered saucepan on the burner for another 6 minutes. Fluff with a fork and cool. Evenly spread the cooked quinoa over the bottom of the casserole. Set aside.
Cook the broccoli in a steamer or medium saucepan until just tender or al dente. Place the broccoli in a medium bowl. Add the peas to the broccoli.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken until cooked and the juices run clear, about 5 minutes on each side. Remove chicken from the pan, leaving the juices/oil still in the pan. Add the shallot and sauté until clear. Add the chicken back in and just toss until mixed.
Add the chicken to the broccoli and peas.
Combine the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, milk, lemon juice, mustard, curry powder and basil in a medium bowl and mix well. Add more milk if you want the sauce a bit thinner. Add the sauce to the broccoli, peas and chicken mixture. Stir until mixed well. Spread this mixture over the quinoa. Sprinkle the cheese on top.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake on the center oven rack for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.