Friday, 10 February 2017

Chocolate Fudge Cake (gluten free) - Miss GF Makes #9

Having an 11 year old who loves cooking has its upsides and its downsides. This week I have experienced both.

On the upside : you get amazing home-baked treats like this chocolate cake; you can be sure they are learning one of the most important lessons in life..... to cook well, eat well and know what goes into their food (for good and bad); and your young chef will gain skills and confidence in the kitchen and will not automatically consider 'ready meals' as dinner.

On the downside (and particularly if your child is as determined and independent as mine) : you will have no choice about the need to eat cake, even when you are trying to consume less calories (yeah I know.... a small price to pay!); you come home to endless kitchen chaos and will frequently find your hands in the sink or grabbing the hoover before you have even taken your coat off (trust me..... even if they have the intention at the start of the process to clear up the many bowls, pans and utensils, by the end, that intention has clearly evaporated); and perhaps most scary of all, when their confidence grows to the extent that you no longer have any control over when and how they enact their cooking urges (and they have a couple of hours between school and your arrival home on their own), you constantly worry about whether they will be safe with the knives/hob/oven/kettle. You cannot wrap them in cotton wool and you don't want to stifle their desire to learn and explore food....... You try to prepare them for the risks and how to manage when something goes wrong, but sometimes something happens and you realise that you didn't quite prepare well enough!

Last Tuesday we had a school meeting early in the evening which I needed to attend. I left work a little early to dash home, pick up Miss GF and get back to the school. As I turned the key in the lock and pushed the door, the unfolding scene revealed the timeliness of my arrival. A couple of minutes later and we could have had complete disaster on our hands!

I was greeted with loud shouting....... "very bad thing happening..... very bad thing happening....... don't know what to do......"....... I dropped may bags and ran through to the kitchen....... I was greeted by a worried Miss GF and flames leaping in a pan on the stove. With a quick glance to see what was alight, I grabbed a hand towel, threw it at Miss GF and shouted instructions to get it wet under the tap as I checked nothing else was alight. Throwing the wet towel over the burning pan, the flames were extinguished as quick as they had no doubt appeared...... everything was fine and no other damage was done...... but a very very important lesson was learnt...... for both of us!

Miss GF had decided to make pancakes using a recipe card she had picked up at the supermarket. It used coconut oil to fry (which is always more unstable, especially if you are not used to it), and she had placed the pan over the hottest ring on the hob (even on low, it is vicious) and left it there between pancakes, while she arranged her fluffy stash on the plate. Fortunately there was very little oil in the pan, but the flames were spectacular nonetheless and had I not returned when I did, I have no doubt that the damage could have been worse.

We have, of course talked through hob safety and agreed that it is not safe to do anything which involves frying without either myself or Mr GF being available. Interestingly, although I grew up with the message that you smother a pan fire with a wet tea towel (and I was grateful for that knowledge this week), having googled what I should have done, this is no longer the given wisdom. If you have a pan fire, the first suggestion is to put a lid carefully over the flames peeling down from the front side of the pan or if you have a fire blanket or extinguisher, use that! I will certainly be investing in a fire blanket and small extinguisher as soon as possible.

Interestingly, once the panic was over, Miss GF seemed quite unperturbed and was able to finish making her pancakes with renewed wisdom. I can vouch for the fact that they were actually very tasty.

Her chocolate cake (which was distinctly less flammable and caused no panic or pending doom) was also an after school baking bonanza. Made using a Cake Angels sponge recipe, Miss GF adapted to use ingredients that we had available and even managed to accurately estimate how much baking powder she would need to add to plain GF flour to make it 'self-raising'.

I think the pictures show how amazing her cake turned out...... the sponge was light but fudgy, deeply chocolatey and perfectly risen. Inspired by our recent tasting of a Sponge chocolate cake, she chose to fill with chocolate butter icing and decorate simply with a dusting of icing sugar and a sprinkling of white chocolate. I have to agree...... sometimes less is more!

Well done Miss GF! Despite that scary flame moment, you are always an incredible young cook and an inspiration in the kitchen. Your chocolate cake was divine!

I am sharing her delicious Chocolate Fudge Cake with :

Love Cake with Jibber Jabber, who this month is celebrating 'Cake For All'.

We Should Cocoa with Tin & Thyme

Cook Blog Share with Easy Peasy Foodie

Free From Fridays with Free From Farmhouse and Le Coin De Mel

Recipe of the Week with A Mummy Too

Tea Time Treats with Travels for Taste, Jo's Kitchen and Lavender & Lovage. This month's theme is egg-based tea time treats. Miss GF's cake contains 3 large free range ones!

Brilliant Blog Posts with Honest Mum

Other large gluten free chocolate cake recipes on Gluten Free Alchemist

Double Chocolate Cake 
Chocolate Kiss Cake
Chocolate, Walnut & Pear Torte
Fudgy Chocolate Birthday Cake Mix
Pear & Chocolate Cake
Rich Mocha Cake
Chocolate Bundt 1
Chocolate Bundt 2

Chocolate Fudge Cake - Makes 1 x 8 inch/20 cm sandwich cake 


Sponge Cake  - adapted from a Cake Angels recipe by Julia Thomas
1 tablespoon instant espresso coffee powder
125 ml cold water
200g good quality dark chocolate - cut into pieces
200g unsalted butter - cubed (or dairy free alternative)
170g gluten free plain flour (Miss GF used blend A from this post)
1½ teaspoons GF baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
400g golden caster sugar
25g cocoa powder
75 ml milk
½ tablespoon lemon juice
3 large eggs - beaten

Chocolate Butter Icing
125g good quality dark chocolate - chopped
120g unsalted butter - softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
180g icing sugar
½ to 1 tablespoon almond or other milk

icing sugar to dust
grated white chocolate to decorate


  1. Sponge : Base-line 2 x 8 inch (20 cm) round deep loose-bottomed non-stick cake tins with baking paper and pre-heat the oven to 170 C/325 F/Gas 3.
  2. Mix the coffee powder with the water and place with the chocolate and butter in a saucepan. Heat, stirring frequently, over a medium heat until just melted. Set aside.
  3. Mix together the flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, bicarbonate of soda, sugar and cocoa powder in a large bowl, making sure the mixture is well blended and all lumps are completely broken down. Set aside.
  4. Heat the milk either in a microwave or in a small saucepan over a low heat until almost simmering and then take off the heat and add the lemon juice. Stir until the milk thickens and looks curdled.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs until well blended and light.
  6. Add the milk mixture to the eggs and beat again.
  7. Pour the milk-egg mixture and the chocolate mix into the flour and stir with a large spoon or spatula until you have a well blended and smooth batter.
  8. Pour the mixture into the two tins and bake for 1¼ to 1½ hours until risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  9. Leave to cool in the tin for at least 30 minutes, before loosening the sides with a spatula and turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Butter Icing : Place the chocolate in a small glass bowl and melt in the microwave on medium setting, 30 second bursts, stirring well between each until smooth (or in a heatproof bowl set above a saucepan of lightly simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth).
  11. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with a little icing sugar and the vanilla extract until smooth. Gradually add the rest of the icing sugar, the melted chocolate and enough milk to ensure a thick, creamy, spreading consistency, beating between each addition. (if it seems a little too loose, keep beating until thick and/or add a little extra icing sugar).
  12. Putting the cake together : When the sponges are cold, place one on a serving plate and  spread the buttercream in a thick, even layer across it. 
  13. Top with the second sponge, dust with sifted icing sugar and sprinkle with grated white chocolate.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-17 unless otherwise indicated


  1. Wow that sounds like exciting times in your kitchen - glad you got the fire out quickly and were there on time - now I am going to check on the fire blanket I think we have but have never had cause to use it. That cake looks superb - and I am impressed with Miss Gf's baking and her restraint in decoration - when Sylvia decorates she wants to throw every sprinkle in the house on a cake!!!!

    1. Ha! Thanks Johanna. It was pretty scary for a moment there!
      I think restraint with cake decorating comes with age. It is only recently that she has been able to manage a 'less' approach and not wanting to cover a cake with every possible decoration she can find. The lengths I have gone to in the past to hide stuff! x

  2. And breathe! Well done Miss GF, looks great. Kate, with all the hoo ha going about again about arsenic levels in rice, do you think if I swapped rice flour for something similar, things might still work?

    1. Thanks Dc. The arsenic concern has been around for a while. It is always good to experiment with flours and substitution is always possible. Perhaps switching out some rice flour for sorghum/buckwheat/chestnut would be a good starting point?
      There are a couple of rice free flour blends on the market - Free From Fairy blend (available from Vicki's website) and also Bobs Red Mill has a rice free blend. Both cost a lot more than the rice-based blends because the flours they contain are (frankly) better, and both blends are completely different in the flours that they use. As you have probably become aware, I prefer to blend my own flours at home, and I plan to play with some blends myself as soon as I have a bit more time to spare. x

  3. Oh my goodness, that sounds scary! Though probably a better lesson in fire safety than you could ever get any other way - it will certainly be remembered! I had no idea coconut oil was so unstable. Whilst the wet tea towel trick may not be the 'correct' way to do it any more, it is at least easily doable - easier than searching for a lid or reaching for the non existent fire blanket! And woah - what a cake. I can't believe Miss GF did that all by herself - impressive stuff!! Eb x

    1. Thanks Eb. It was one of those moments when my timing was perfect!
      The cake was pretty amazing though. x

  4. Oops - forgot to say, thanks for sharing it with #CookBlogShare :-) Xx

  5. What a great young baker you have in your family! She is really really good. I love this cake and gluten free too. x

  6. Wow Kate! What a week and what a bake! I'd be so happy to have produced a cake that looks as gorgeous as your daughter has. It really looks delicious.
    I too didn't know that the guidelines for dealing with a fire on the hob had changed - I would have used a wet teatowel too. Thnkfully the old method worked for you.
    Angela x

    1. Thanks Angela. The week had its ups and downs for sure. Thank goodness for cake! x

  7. That's the sort of cake I would forgo dinner for just for a slice! I do remember when my brother was teenager he decided to do some cooking while the rest of us were out. My mum didn't notice anything untoward until she opened the freezer later to see some of the plastic packaging in there melted. My brother said he had put the frying pan in there to 'cool down'!

    1. Ha! Kids! It's quite scary what they get up to when we aren't there. Still if there are cakes like this at the end of it....... xx

  8. Oh gosh, how very scary for you both. How lucky you turned up when you did. It sounds like a lesson learnt anyway. Not that I'm sure I'd have known what to do. Well done Miss GF for the stupendous cake and thank you for sharing it with We Should Cocoa.

    1. Thanks Choclette. It was rather a timely entrance. Let's hope the lesson was learnt......
      The cake though was amazingly yummy.... Too good not to share xx


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