May 27, 2015

Orange-Scented Chocolate Quinoa Cake

Orange + Chocolate is almost as good as honey + chocolate. (almost)

I tested out Making Thyme for Health's "Best Ever Chocolate Quinoa Cake" recipe yesterday, and decided to personalize it by incorporating orange into this recipe. In addition to the orange flavor component, I also changed the recipe in a few other ways: I cut the amount of sugar in half and I reduced the amount of leavening agents added. What I love about this cake is that the texture is still really crumbly from the quinoa, but I do think that the recipe that I adapted this from used too much salt, which really intruded on the flavor of the entire cake. Salt is important when baking because it influences texture in yeast products (anyone else see Alton Brown Live and hear about his "son of blob" story?) and taste in sweets, especially when chocolate is involved. However, with the large amounts of leavening agents, the salty flavor is incredibly overpowering, so I'm reducing it in this recipe as well.

freshly squeezed orange juice  --- doesn't it look like Hi-C?!
all those little crumbly bits of quinoa make the batter look like it has yeast in it and was proofed ;)
I used Hershey's Dark cocoa powder (like the recipe I adapted this from recommended), which explains for the super dark color 
This cake is suuuuper moist: the only bad thing is that there's a pretty significant amount of eggs/oil; I'm planning on making an adapted version of this adapted version in attempts to make it even healthier than it already is (I mean come on: it's already significantly lower in sugar/fat/calories than conventional cakes and it actually has nutritional value (lots of protein and fiber from the quinoa!) so you really shouldn't feel too bad about eating it)

Recipe: Orange-Scented Chocolate Quinoa Cake
Adapted By: Hannah Claudia

3/4 cup of dry quinoa
1 cup of water
1 cup of orange juice (freshly squeezed is the best!)

1/3 cup of orange juice
4 eggs*
1/2 cup of earth balance, melted
1/4 cup of coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup of brown sugar (I think I'll use honey in the future)*
1 cup of cocoa powder (I like Hershey's special dark)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt

1-2 tablespoons of orange juice
enough powdered sugar to make the glaze (depends on your desired consistency)
(to garnish): 1/2 orange, zested

1. Cook the quinoa: bring the water and orange juice to a boil. Add the quinoa and cook for 10-15 minutes (covered), or until the quiona has fully absorbed all of the liquid and you can see little white ringlets around each seed.
2. Blend the orange juice, eggs, earth balance, and coconut oil in a food processor.
3. Add the quinoa and blend. 
4. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
5. Add the wet ingredients from the food processor to the dry ingredients. Mix to incorporate.
6. Transfer batter to a greased cake/bundt pan.
7. Bake at 350*F for about 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
8. Allow the cake to cool for at least 30 minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
9. Make the glaze: add enough powdered sugar to the orange juice to achieve your desired consistency (super runny or thick like a frosting)
10. Drizzle the glaze onto the cooled cake. Garnish with the orange zest.

*I will try to substitute some eggs for applesauce; if this works I'll update this recipe (the applesauce should help to reduce the amount of sugar too!)

xoxo, han

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