I’m slowly but surely making my way through my stack of stunning books from Raincoast Books, and this is one I’ve been excited to dig into for a long time now.
Flourless by Nicole Spiridakis is a seriously exciting compilation of dessert recipes that are naturally gluten-free.
I’m going to try to tell you about this book without being too gushy, but guys, seriously – gushing.
If you know me at all, you know I am not gluten-free, or dairy-free, or sugar-free… I think it’s great that some people choose those lifestyles and I also think it’s great when people who don’t get to choose have options like these fabulous desserts from Flourless.
I also think it’s important for people without dietary restrictions to be able to adapt and cook for those who have them. Now, I am not an expert in allergy-friendly baking. But the thought that maybe it doesn’t have to be so hard is really intriguing to me.
I think this cookbook would be awesome for people who are celiac or choose to eat gluten-free.
I think this cookbook is even more awesome for people who don’t. Because we (gluten eaters) are the ones without the experience and arsenal of gluten-free baking mixes or substitutions.
To sum it up better than I ever could: “With these delectable recipes, you can put away the complicated gluten-free flour mixes, forget about the hard-to-find “gums”, and finally make flour-free desserts worthy of any weeknight indulgence or special occasion.”
I have bookmarked a lot (a lot) of recipes to try. They’re just so… normal. Cookies, brownies, layer cakes, cupcakes – she’s got it all. But I chose to make the Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake with Milk-Chocolate Buttermilk Frosting. The picture looked incredible, and I’ve never actually had “Mexican Hot Chocolate” anything, so I needed to change that.
The cake comes together using ground flax (which I always have stocked, and is not hard to find) and ground oats. I would recommend quick cooking oats if you are grinding at home because they are smaller and won’t be as hard to get smooth. I only had large oats, and I ground them in my food processor. There was still a bit of texture to them, and my cake had a larger crumb because of it.
The frosting is just insanely good. I don’t often use milk chocolate in anything, as I usually prefer semisweet or dark chocolate, but the sweet, creamy milk chocolate and tangy buttermilk complement the spice in the cake so well, I definitely recommend going that route.
I doubled the frosting recipe (which is reflected in the recipe below), because I like a good amount of frosting. And, besides, it’s delicious.
I was a little nervous adding the cayenne to the cake, because I’m not a big spice lover. But I did it, and I have to say I really like it! The cinnamon is the predominant flavor, but you get just the slightest bit of heat from the cayenne. If you’re not sure and not ready to try it, you could leave it out and it’d still be awesome!
*I’m giving away this and SEVEN other cookbooks to 4 lucky winners: find the details here (plus, chocolate).
- 1 tsp ground flax seeds
- 2 tsp boiling water
- 1 cup/240ml canola oil
- ¾ cup/180ml buttermilk
- ¼ cup strong brewed coffee
- 1 cup/200g packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 ½ cups/170g ground oats
- 6 tbsp/60g unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp cayenne
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 cup/230g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4oz/120 g milk chocolate, melted, slightly cooled
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 4-6 tbsp buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 8” pans with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray (spraying under the parchment is a good way to get it to stick to the pan).
- In a small bowl, combine the ground flax and boiling water. Set aside 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flax seed paste, oil, buttermilk, coffee, brown sugar, vanilla and eggs. Add the ground oats, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon, cayenne and salt. Whisk until combined.
- Evenly divide the batter between the two pans and bake until tops are firm and shiny, about 23-24 minutes (original recipe says 30 minutes – mine were much sooner). Remove from the oven and let cakes cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before turning them out onto the rack to cool completely.
- Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a handheld mixer) and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the melted chocolate and vanilla and beat until combined.
- Add the powdered sugar and 4 tbsp buttermilk, and beat until a smooth, fluffy frosting forms, about 5 minutes. You will notice the color lighten as it gets close to being done. Add more buttermilk if frosting seems too dry.
- Spread half of the frosting on one cake layer, then top with the other layer and spread remaining frosting on top.
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