Moist Cherry Chocolate Cake with Quinoa Flour

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This chocolate cherry cake is as close to a chocolate perfection as I can imagine. When I think of a chocolate cake, I think of one rich in flavors and light in texture. The one that is just moist enough for a melt in your mouth chocolate deliciousness. Ready in no time and without much fuss in the kitchen. And this one has it all. So since last spring when I first created it, it still rules all things chocolate in my home.

It’s a very simple cake, the one made combining dry and wet ingredients and it’s all done and out from the oven in some 35 to 45 minutes. The secret to its phenomenally moist yet light consistency is in the quinoa flour and some good old baked beets. I love hiding veggies inside of the sweets, and delicately sweet beets marries so beautifully with dark chocolate bitterness. Of course, you don’t taste any beets in the cake, just glorious chocolate flavor. It’s there just to enhance the chocolate and give this rich, moist texture to the cake.

And when it comes to quinoa, its flour form is quite a surprise as another ingredient you can use for that extra softness and moist. So I often add a bit of it to my pancake batter or a bread dough. Besides the quinoa, there’s no other flour in this cake, so you could also say it’s a flour less one, since quinoa is officially a seed, not a grain, which then makes this cake a great gluten free treat too.

This time I slightly changed the recipe of the original one, adding some maraschino cherries to the cake batter. The cherries gave that extra juicy zing to the cake that made all the difference and made this combination a keeper. Especially during the fresh cherry season. It will also work well with raspberries, blueberries and red current. The more sour the fruit the better it meets the sweetness of the cake. And now, enough talking, let’s go bake:)

Ingredients for a 24-28cm cake tin

for the cake:

  • 2 organic mid sized beets, skin baked
  • 70g chia flour
  • 250g quinoa flour
  • 200g coconut sugar
  • 5 tbsp raw cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp firm coconut oil
  • 1 stick vanilla beans
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 450g maraschino cherries

for the chocolate ganache

  • 200ml coconut milk
  • 200g fine dark chocolate with over 70% cocoa
  • 1 tbsp firm cocoa oil

Let’s Bake

First we need to bake the beets. You can always bake it in advance and keep in a fridge where it can last unpeeled up to a week. Just wash the raw beets thoroughly, dry with a towel and bake in an oven at 200C for some 40min to 1h, depending on a size. Once cooled, the skin of the beets will  easily come off.

Mix the chia flour with 200ml water and leave aside at least 5 minutes to set.

Turn the oven on at 180C (with a fan on)

Blend the beets into a puree.

In a larger bowl, mix the coconut oil with sugar just for a bit until they combine. Add to it the mix of a chia flour. beet puree and vanilla beans and whisk it all well.

In another bowl mix the quinoa flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder.

Now adding bit by bit of these dry ingredients to the wet ones, combine all together to get a cake batter.

Finally fold in the cherries, pour the batter into an oiled and floured cake tin and into the oven it goes. It will take about 20minutes to bake.

While the cake is baking, make the chocolate ganache. Bring the coconut milk to warm then remove from the fire and add the chocolate. Mix until all of the chocolate melts and blends with the milk. Then mix the oil in and leave it to cool down and set a bit before you decorate the cake. This time I didn’t make the full ganache, I just steam melted some chocolate with a teaspoon of coconut oil and it worked fine. The only thing is I wasn’t patient enough to wait for the chocolate to set before I sliced the cake, but that’s another story.

One more thing, this cake is awesome when well chilled in the fridge. So if you are unlike me, leave it in the fridge for at least a few hours before serving, for it to soak and develop its full glorious taste.

Let me know how it went for you if you decide to try this recipe, and if you want to check out the original one, it’s here.

Love,

Jelena

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