One-dish chocolate cake {gluten-free, vegan}

Gluten-free vegan baking really frustrates me.

I’m trying to bake more but it’s always hard to predict what the outcome will be when you’re making it up as you go along. Sometimes I feel you need a degree in Chemistry to get it right.

But I’ve made progress. I’ve created a light and airy chocolate cake that’s chocolatey but not too chocolatey. And if you have a decent-sized Pyrex dish, you can mix it and cook it in the same dish without needing to grease it.

One-dish chocolate cake {gluten-free, vegan}
Makes an 8 x 10 inch cake

2 c all-purpose gluten-free flour
1 c coconut sugar
1/2 c cacao powder
1 tbsp chickpea miso powder (I use Meru Miso)
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp xanthan gum
Pinch of salt
2 c filtered water
1/3 c coconut oil
1 tbsp distilled white vinegar

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

Add dry ingredients to an 8 x 10 inch Pyrex dish. Mix to evenly combine.

Then add water, coconut oil and vinegar. Mix to combine so no dry bits remain.

Place in the oven and cook for around 20-30 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.

Leave cake to cool slightly in the Pyrex dish, then run a knife around the edge, to loosen. Flip it onto a wire rack to finish cooling and slice.

Blueberry upside-down cake {vegan, gluten-free}

I haven’t done a lot of baking for the past 10 years. I think it’s from many vegan and gluten-free recipe inventions that haven’t gone so well. Substituting one core ingredient? Easy. Substituting three? Thirty-times more likely to fail from my experience.

Recently, I’ve been educating myself on the magic of white vinegar. And it all started as an accident when I ran out of surface cleaner for the kitchen. (I mean, who knew vinegar, baking soda, water and a touch of eucalyptus made for a great all-purpose cleaning solution? You probably all did. I know I’m late to the party, but it’s changed my life).

Then I stumbled across a recipe that called for vinegar as a way to make a cake airy and moist. Airy and moist are terms few home bakers can describe a vegan and gluten-free creation (unless you’re some kind of baking unicorn). Apparently it was a ‘thing’ during the Depression when eggs and dairy products were difficult to come by.

Turns out, it was the missing ingredient in this recipe for blueberry upside-down cake that I’d been sitting on for months. My faith in gluten-free vegan baking has been restored *raising hands emoji*.

Blueberry upside-down cake {vegan, gluten-free}
Makes a 20cm cake

2.5 c frozen organic blueberries, rinsed
270mL (1 small can) full-fat coconut milk
1 tbsp distilled white vinegar
1 1/2 c gluten-free plain flour
1/2 c coconut sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1/4 c coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.

Whisk coconut milk and white vinegar in a small bowl and set aside while preparing the remaining ingredients.

Lay the berries out on some absorbent paper towel and gently press on them to dry them off after rinsing and stop the colour from bleeding.

Line a spring form cake pan with some baking paper. Transfer the berries to the bottom of the tin and spread out evenly, trying to cover the entire base of the tin.

Mix the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, then add the coconut milk with vinegar, as well as coconut oil and vanilla. Stir to combine.

Pour the batter on top of the blueberries and smooth out. You want to make the top of the cake as flat and even as possible because this will end up being the bottom of the cake when it is flipped.

Cover the cake with foil and cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Then, remove foil and cook for a further 10-15 minutes, or until top is browned and a skewer comes out of the middle clean.

Let the cake cool before releasing the sides of the pan. Carefully flip onto a cooling rack to cool further, or flip onto a serving dish. Slice and eat on its own or with some dairy-free vanilla ice cream.

Gluten-free vegan banana bread

It’s been seven months since we moved into our very own house. Seven months and I am finally getting my wardrobe. Now that there are shelves and rails to hang clothes, all that’s left to do is the sliding doors. And boy, will they be worth the wait.

If I’m honest, I thought it would take three … tops. The reason for me giving what I thought to be a very generous three months was because we both work five days a week and I’m hopeless at measuring things and carrying heavy or awkwardly sized items; sometimes me helping is worse than me not helping. Back to the point. There became an immediate need to address some drainage issues and that involved cutting up concrete – a very deep slab of concrete – to install drains so water would run away from the house instead of under it. Thankfully I didn’t have to deal with any of it so I couldn’t exactly complain that there was no wardrobe to house my clothes.

I have been due to make a dish on the sweeter side for a while but lately, I’ve lost a bit of the sweet tooth that has carried me through life for 20-something years. I settled on banana bread because it’s the perfect treat that a sweet tooth or non-sweet tooth can enjoy. I’m not huge on bananas but I’m challenging myself to diversify and find ways to enjoy foods I don’t like. Plus, when have I ever turned up my nose at a slice of Alannah-friendly banana bread? Never.

Gluten-free vegan banana bread
Makes 1 loaf

3 bananas, peeled and mashed
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 chia eggs (2 tbsp chia seeds with 6 tbsp water, mixed and left to sit for 10 mins)
1 1/2 cup gluten-free plain flour
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.

Mix the wet ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Mix the dry ingredients and ensure no lumps. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until well combined.

Pour into a lined loaf tin and cook in the oven for 60-70 minutes.

Remove from oven and stand for 20 mins before taking the loaf out of the tin. Rest on a cooling rack before slicing and serving.