Red Velvet Chocolate cake (gluten free, sugar free, nut-free, vegan)

I added ‘nut-free’ even though some may find it misleading but cashew is a seed and perhaps someone with nut allergies would be fine with it if, like me, they can’t quite eat nuts and if they can eat most seeds. Sunflower seeds are a good substitute.

My new environment keeps expressing pity and asking me ‘what do you eat?’ besides worrying about my nutritional needs. I’d mentioned in the last recipe post that I was also concerned about me-friendly food options while moving to the middle of an ocean. I buy things online from overseas due to my allergies but food tends to be heavy and needs to be purchased more frequently, my concern was about lack of variety (there is a variety of veggies but different from my habitual ones) and unsatisfied cravings. That said I have access to a grinder and oven after many years, and different ingredients available. There’s chesnut flour (from France) but no coconut sugar and the rare imported coconut oil, never local although coconut trees are loaded with coconuts everywhere.

This perfect sugar free GF vegan carrot cake made baking a breeze. Hail, Ella! Ella, elle l’a dum dum dum dum (it’s a French song)… so I had month-long birthday celebrations, I’ve been enjoying variations of Deliciously Ella’s carrot cake then modyfying this Beet-avo chocolate cake recipe, as below. Not long ago, I thought I’d never bake again because I don’t get sugar substitutes here (I’m allergic to agave, xylitol, and about all options I’ve tried, I react to dates but far less so after baking). I don’t frost, imported rice syrup is too pricey and I haven’t figured another option but who needs frosting on yummy cake. Sugar can be replaced with fruit too. I’d never considered tropical fruits cake material before but one banana can replace an egg, pineapple can replace citrus or vinegar and is even better because it adds sweetness and has super powers like bromelain. No raisins for me but cranberries gave a colourful and delish cake, it seems to bring out the pineapple taste (unless it hapenned to be a more pineapply pineapple).

My beet-choc cake baked in half the time. I subbed almonds with cashews again, replaced avo with a banana but applesauce would do too, though it’d be less sweet. Avo’s not in season, there’s pricey apple puree, coconut flour has two possible uses and it seems cake isn’t one of them. It’s amazing how many bananas a few trees can give, cakes or cookies are the best way to use up the ripe ones, they tend to all ripen at once.

I’ll post a sort of meal-plan format, I don’t care about balancing individual meals, it’s just what I’m eating today (part 1 and part 2). So I had chocolate cake for brekkie, yes and almost half of one, it absolutely doesn’t taste of either beetroot or banana so let’s call it:

Red Velvet Chocolate cake

1 very large beetroot, diced (2 cups) and shredded, or grated.
1 cup/125g cashews, ground.
2 cups/250g buckwheat flour.
1 heaped tsp baking powder (sub 1tbs vinegar if you don’t find gluten-free?*)
1 heaped tsp bicarbonate of soda
50-80g cocoa powder (according to colour pref: red to dark brown)
pinch of himalayan or sea salt
2 tsp vanilla powder or extract.
1-2 cups water to cook beetroot
1 cup mashed bananas or applesauce.
2 tbs canola oil or some other oil.
1/2 cup/125ml date syrup
1/2 cup/125ml agave syrup (optional)

In a pan lightly toast cashews, stirring often, then leave to cool (mash bananas and do next step in the meantime); grind cashews (original recipe uses ground almonds, do they even sell ground cashews? not cashew butter)

In a pot, cover shredded beet with water and mashed bananas – bring to a boil then simmer for 20 min. I had hardly any liquid left when it was cooling. If using less sweetener (as I did), you can make up the missing volume with the left-over liquid. You can drop the oil in to melt while it cools if using coconut oil that is solidified. This can be pureed or not (made the texture more crumbly).

Preheat oven to 200′C and oil a round cake tin. Whisk together all dry ingredients (flour through to salt or vanilla) in a large mixing bowl. Mix the wet ingredients with cooked beetroot in a separate bowl, gradually add to the dry ingredients.

Mix until fully combined and pour into tin. Bake for 20-30 min (depends on your cake tin material and liquid sweetener, it takes up to 40min with rice syrup, in warmer weather if that ever makes a difference with convection ovens), until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. It’s yummier warm or room temperature.

Now I’ll go figure out what quantity of what went into these sprouted mung vadas. Part 2 coming up…

* I just started baking I’m not experienced, and allergic to vinegar and orange juice, I’m not sure it’s necessary to sub, but vinegar+bicarb makes a cake rise, however this one also has banana… each of these are egg substitutes like flax meal, flax/chia gel and other things.

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