Podcast Cake: Triple-Layer Chocolate Fudge and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake with Chocolate Buttercream (gluten-free, dairy-free)
If you listened to last week's podcast you maybe heard tell of a certain cake. This is that cake. It's a chocolate fudge cake layer, topped with a chocolate chip cookie dough layer, topped with a bittersweet chocolate layer, topped with a chocolate buttercream. I'll be honest, it took about 5 hours and a cycling of springform pans, but Jeremy, Theo and I enjoyed every last bite of this piece of heaven, after after the buttercream had turned to buttercream soup from being banged around on the back of my bike. Oh, and it's 100% gluten-free and dairy-free.
It's very, very far from sugar-free or fat-free, though, which is why it tastes so good.
You can also make this recipe with regular old all-purpose flour, milk, and butter instead of soy-free earth balance, cane sugar, icing sugar, tapioca flour, and white rice flour, but for those of us who are lactose-intolerant and gluten-intolerant, this is probably one of the most amazing cakes you'll ever eat. I do not write that lightly.
I really don't suggest making this unless you have a fair bit of time. You can make it over the course of two days (or one very long day) if you only have one springform pan. The trick with gluten-free flour is to sieve it to lighten it, and whisk it when combining. Stir it as little as possible. Think of it as egg whites (soufflÃ©, mousse, meringue) that you don't want to lose their volume. You don't want that dense, gluten-free flour taste.
I will also sell this cake if you don't feel like investing in springforms. You can email me at email@example.com.
Triple Layer Chocolate Fudge and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake with Mocha Buttercream (gluten-free, dairy-free)
Bottom Chocolate Layer:
1/2 cup tapioca flour (not starch)
1/2 cup white rice flour (not glutinous rice flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup cane sugar
1/2 cup organic unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 vanilla bean, split open lengthwise and seeds scraped out with a spoon* (or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
1/3 cup sunflower oil or canola oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup cold water
Middle Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Layer:
1 1/2 cups tapioca flour (not tapioca starch)
1 1/2 cups white rice flour (not glutinous rice flour)
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 cups cane sugar
1 tsp molasses
1 cup earth balance
1 vanilla bean, split open lengthwise and seeds scraped out with a spoon (or 1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract)
1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
5-6 tbsp almond milk
Top Chocolate Layer:
1 oz. bittersweet, dairy-free chocolate (either weigh it or calculate it out. From my bar of my dark Green & Black's Organics, it was about 1/3 of the bar)
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp unsweetened dark cocoa powder
1/2 cup hot coffee or water
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp almond milk
1/4 tsp lemon juice
1 vanilla bean, split open lengthwise and seeds scraped out with a spoon (1 tsp vanilla extract)
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup cane sugar, tightly packed
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup earth balance at room temperature
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
1 1/2 cups earth balance
4 cups powdered sugar
1 vanilla bean, split open lengthwise and seeds scraped out with a spoon (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
2 tbsp molasses
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
Make the bottom chocolate layer:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper cut out to the same diameter as the bottom of the pan (trace the circle on the paper and then cut it out). Grease the parchment paper and sides of pan with earth balance and sprinkle with white rice flour. Shake to remove excess flour.
In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients together. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, water, vanilla extract and apple cider vinegar. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients being careful not to overmix (using an actual whisk instead of a hand blender makes it harder to overmix, and makes you more hardcore). The mixture will be soaking wet, but that's fine.
Pour the batter into the pan and place in the oven for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. If you err n the side of undercooked your cake with be more fudgy and gooey, but harder to stack.
Cool in pan 30 minutes, then remove the sides of the springform pan. Let cool completely, then top with a plate, carefully flip the cake over and remove the bottom of the springform pan. Peel off the parchment paper. Top with the serving platter you want to use and flip back upright (once you flip this a second time it's done. It'll crumble if you try to move it again). Save any crumbs that fall to press into the sides of the finished, frosted cake.
Make the top chocolate layer:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 9-inch springform pan with a circle of parchment paper. Grease paper and sides of pan with earth balance and dust with flour. Remove excess flour.
In a medium bowl, whisk the chocolate, cocoa and hot coffee (or water) until smooth. Or melt the chocolate in a bowl with the cocoa and coffee (or water) set over a double boiler. You can also do this in microwave, but you're more likely to mess up and burn the chocolate that way. Just simmer an inch of water in a pot, set a heat-proof bowl with the chocolate and things above it, and stir occasionally until the chocolate has melted completely. This way you don't need to evenly chop the chocolate - a time-consuming, labour-intensive task.
In another bowl, whisk the egg, egg yolk, almond milk, lemon juice, half the chocolate mixture, and vanilla bean seeds until just combined.
In a large bowl sieve together the flours, sugar, baking soda and salt. The sieving makes the flours lighter and less "gluten-free" tasting. Add the earth balance and the remaining chocolate mixture. Whisk until the dry ingredients are moistened, then beat with a hand mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add half the egg mixture and then beat on medium-low speed and gradually increasing to medium. Beat for 45 seconds. Turn off mixer. Add the remaining egg mixture and beat on medium-low speed , gradually increasing again to medium. Beat on medium speed for 45 seconds. This is supposed to strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface evenly with a spatula.
Bake for 30-40 minutes (check at 30), or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, and the cake springs back when pressed in the middle. Let the baked cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove sides and let cool completely on a wire rack. Place a plate on top cake and flip over. Remove bottom of springform pan and peel away parchment paper. Place a second plate over cake and flip back upright. Save any crumbs that fall to press into the sides of the finished, frosted cake.
Make the chocolate chip cookie dough layer:
Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper cut out to the same diameter as the bottom of the pan. No need to grease or flour it.
Sieve together flour, salt, and sugar. Add molasses, earth balance and vanilla seeds and mix until a dough forms. Stir in chocolate chips. Add almond milk 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring after each addition. You may only need 5 tbsp. You don't want soupy batter. Press dough into prepared springform pan. Place in freezer until ready to assemble cake.
Make the chocolate buttercream:
Don't make this until you're ready to assemble the cake. Unless it's winter and your kitchen is cold and you're 100% sure it won't all melt into a buttercream puddle. The earth balance needs to be at slightly higher than fridge temperature, but slightly lower than room temperature. So take it out of the fridge about 10 minutes before using it.
Combine earth balance and powdered sugar. Stir until just combined, then beat on high until incorporated. Don't overbeat or the earth balance will heat up too much and you'll end up with buttercream soup. Stop mixer and add vanilla, molasses, cocoa powder and salt. Beat on high speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down sides of bowl and beat again until smooth. Again, not too long.
Assemble the cake:
Remove the cookie dough layer from the freezer and remove it from the springform pan. Turn layer over and remove parchment round. Place cookie dough layer on top of the bottom chocolate layer already placed on the serving tray.
Place top cake layer on cookie dough layer. From above, use a sharp knife to even the sides of the cake, snacking on excess as necessary.
Frost the sides (not the top) of the cake with a spatula, spinning the cake (on a cake stand or just as smoothly as possible) to frost evenly if possible. Transfer remaining frosting to piping bag fitted with a large star tip (or plastic bag and snip off just a little bit of the bottom - it won't be as pretty, but it'll work). Pipe 2-inch swirls around the edge of the top of the cake. Then pipe more swirls (optional) in toward the middle of the cake until completely covered.
Optional: Gently press handfuls of saved cookie crumbs into the icing on the bottom half of the cake and sprinkle on top to fill in gaps between piped swirls. This is messy, which is why it's optional. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Find more of Amie's recipes, reviews, interviews and other food and travel writing at her blog, Multiculturiosity.
*save the empty vanilla pod for your bag or jar of sugar. The vanilla scent and flavour infuses it.