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Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Fluffy Marshmallow Frosting by Elana's Pantry

Tis the season’ for Hannukah, Christmas and Kwanzaa and so it is the time for special gatherings and special desserts. Then again, everyone needs a year-round Chocolate Cake recipe and if you have gluten allergies, you need a tasty, moist and rich gluten-free chocolate cake recipe. Period.

Well, I have a just the recipe for you, from Elana Amsterdam of Elana’s Pantry and her cookbook ‘The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook’….. 

Before I share the cake recipe, I had a chance to ask Elana a few questions:

Why did you begin down the gluten-free path? Both my son and I were diagnosed with celiac disease so out of necessity my cooking took on an entirely new dimension as we both went on a gluten-free diet. I was unwilling to cook two separate meals each night for my family so I needed to make gluten-free food that tasted like regular food. But I wondered if I be able to do this well enough to convince my husband to come home for dinner.   

Therefore, I threw myself into this culinary challenge and my husband, a tough critic, held nothing back. With much trial and many errors, I developed a gluten-free repertoire that tastes delicious.  While my cooking might not be complex, I appreciate that my food brings people together —those who eat regular food and those who can’t —to break bread in the warmth of my kitchen. I love to make food that is not only good for you, but actually tastes good.

Read the rest of the interview including the answer to ‘What are some basic steps that one can do to start moving towards a gluten-free diet? and a recipe for gluten-free Chocolate Chip Scones!

Chocolate Cake (Serves 8)
Sweetness: high

Chocolate Cake with fluffy Marshmallow Frosting (page 125) is a fabulous birthday treat for children and adults alike. To make a layer cake, simply double the recipe below and use two cake pans.
Ingredients:
2 cups blanched almond flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup agave nectar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9-inch cake pan with grapeseed oil and dust with almond flour.

2. In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. In a medium bowl, combine the agave nectar, eggs, and vanilla extract. Stir the wet ingredients into the almond flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Scoop the batter into the prepared cake pan.

3. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a tooth-pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 1 hour, then serve.

Marshmallow Frosting (Makes 3 cups)
Sweetness: high

This marshmallow frosting recipe was inspired by one of my favorite cookbook authors, the late Elaine Gottschall. It works especially well with S’mores (page 120) and is divine frosted over Chocolate Cake (page 84) or sandwiched between Chewy Chocolate Cookies (page 102). Don’t fear if the mixture overcooks and the agave nectar turns dark amber—you will have a roasted marshmallow frosting, creating a slightly different, though equally tasty, treat.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup agave nectar
2 egg whites

Directions:
1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the agave nectar to a boil, stirring frequently. Decrease the heat to low and simmer for 4 to 8 minutes, watching constantly and stirring occasionally, until the agave nectar darkens slightly from its original amber color.

2. In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks. Drizzle the agave nectar slowly into the egg whites, whisking continuously until blended. Use to frost cakes or cupcakes, or as a filling between cookies.

Store in a glass Mason jar in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook would make a thoughtful Holiday gift, regardless of whether one has food allergies or not! And guess what, a little birdie told me a secret (it involves cupcakes)! Also, if you have not spent time enjoying Elana’s Pantry, you should start now.

Reprinted with permission from The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook: Breakfasts, Entrées, and More. Copyright © 2009 by Elana Amsterdam, Celestial Arts, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA. Photo credit: Annabelle Breakey

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