I have always considered myself quite a nice person. I like food of all shapes, flavours and colours. From every country and continent. I don’t discriminate, I am an equal opportunity eater. It’s only the doctors who say I’m intolerant. And certain foods who refuse to tolerate me. They certainly refuse to recognise and respect my right to eat them without major physical discomfort and distress.

Gluten and lactose are not my friends.

Despite the negative attitudes surrounding me from many of those I love best, (cakes, ice cream, hot toast) I decided to become a chef. Not always easy when you live in a bread and milk filled world. I like to think that this has helped me become a better person as I embrace my differences and refuse to let the gluten get me down. I believe InTolerance. I am the InTolerant Chef.

Food should not be about what you can’t eat, but what you can and what you enjoy eating. This blog is about my journey of cooking and eating and discovery. It’s not a definitive guide to allergy awareness nor do my intolerances make me an expert. Your body is your responsibility, not mine. I only know what works for me.

I can tell you this..... No glutens were harmed in the making of this website.

September 26, 2010

Fluffy Chocolate Cake

Can you guess what I'm making?

BigJ was feeling left out. I bake all the time for others, I experiment with gfree baking too, but normally things that I enjoy. All he wanted was a 'normal' chocolate cake. What do you mean by normal? Soft and fluffy, not too rich or dense, not crumbly or dry like a lot of gfree can be. Like a packet mix. 'Normal'. Ooookay then, research time!

I explored a lot of recipes but none of them seemed right. The not too rich bit was proving harder than it sounds. I found a recipe at allrecipes that sounded promising so I changed things around to be user and pantry friendly, and this is what I came up with.

1 1/2 cups of gluten free flour
1 up of cocoa
1 1/2 tsp xanthum gum
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup of butter - remember there is very little lactose in butter, or feel free to use an alternative
3/4 cup of white sugar
3/4 cup of brown sugar
3 eggs
2 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups of lactose free milk- or your liquid of choice

Make the cake in the usual, time proven, cakey way...
Cream butter and sugars
Add eggs and yolks
I like to pop the 'add ins' now, like the gum, powder,vanilla and soda and give it a good mix
Add in the flour and cocoa bit by bit, alternating with the milk
Give a quick mix, but be careful, the batter is very thick and rubbery, so not too much!

Grease your tin and spoon in the batter. You do need to smooth it down as it is a bit gluggy, but don't worry,it will be alright. I wanted to use my little cake tin, just because it's cute but you could certainly use a larger one if you like.

I bake this in a pre-heated 175* oven for 35 minutes. The batter rose quite high, and sort of souffled up, but settled as it cooled. If you are using a larger tin, I think it would be best to drop the temperature to about 160* and check after about 50-60 minutes. It might take a bit longer as the batter is quite thick. Anyway, when you stick a skewer in the cake, it should come out just a bit moist, not with half the cake batter clinging to it. That means it's pretty right to come out of the oven.
Let this cool in the pan for about 15 minutes to collapse a little and firm up a bit, before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

I actually left this cake out overnight before cutting as this was convienient, but I think it's usually a good idea for the cake to settle a bit and they seem to be less crumby this way too.

I decided to serve the cake with yummy frseh strawberries and some chocolate buttercream frosting. * see my previous post about buttercream frosting for a fantastic recipe *

I sliced the cake into layers and slathered on crushed strawberries - the cake doesn't slip off this way the way it does when you use sliced ones- and piped on the frosting just to keep it even and pretty.

The cake was amazingly light and fluffy as well as being nice and moist. It really did taste 'normal'. When I took my first bite, I nearly spat it out again as it just like a 'real' cake and didn't feel at all familiar to me anymore! Even littlej asked if I was sure this was a gluten free cake.... and didn't beleive me! I think it was a huge success and BigJ even had seconds!

So Reader, what is a 'normal' cake for you?

PS. I am so sorry dear Readers for the tardiness of this post. Extreme hayfever and starting a new job combined for a very hetic, unpleasant week, but I'm back on track again! Thanks for your patience and Tolerance with me.


  1. Oh my, look at all of those glorious layers! I'm sure BigJ felt well loved after this! :D

  2. A beautiful cake! Love all the layers stacked on top of each other! Lately for me, "normal" cake has been a flourless chocolate torte...my husband and I are both suckers for chocolate and it's the most intense form of chocolate cake we've been able to find :)

  3. This cake looks marvelously fluffy! The final sandwiched product looks ultra decadent too :)

  4. Love the layers, they're wonderful and even. Great to hear it tasted 'normal' too.

  5. Oh my god, you turned those fluffy jumbo muffins into a piece of art!

    Now, of course, I have to wonder how you cut it. Do you go through the whole thing with a knife, from top to bottom? Or do work your way down layer by layer? Lots of mysteries surround that cake!

    A "normal" cake for me is an apple cake or a cheese cake. Very simple, not higher than 10 cm. I'm used to simple cake.

  6. Hello There Readers, I'm glad you didn't desert me after my week away from the blog!
    I was so impatient to get a page out that I didn't wait for the frosting to firm up enough and that's why the cake is a bit wonky! About another 20 mins would have been perfect, but I was sure you would forgive me!
    I have a pretty good eye and steady hand after years of using Very Sharp Shun Knives - my favorite brand- so just freehand the slicing. If you ae ever totally desparate to cut a still hot cake, the best tip is to ring it where you want it cut with cotton or dental floss, with the ends crossed over, then slowly pull the ends away from each other. You will get a perfect slice each time without losing chunks of yumminess!
    Hope you have a perfectly fabulous day all!

  7. Oh I'm so happy you could have a 'normal' tasting cake!! What a treat. I take it for granted.
    I'm glad you're feeling back on track, it sounded like a tough week!
    Heidi xo

  8. great work- looks great once the layers were put together, and I'm glad you couldn't tell it was gluten free! and as if people would stop reading after a week!

  9. Wow, that is opne lovely cake! Way beyond and better than just "normal" - spectacular!

  10. Wow., this cake really does look good. G/F cakes seem to have a whole lot more personality than a 'normal cake' but sometimes you just feel like having something light & fluffy & a little bit wicked. This would totally fit the bill. Great to see you back in your stride lovely, hope the spring isn't too unkind to your little hayfevered nose n eyes & the new job works a treat.

  11. Wow! What an absolutely amazing cake!! I love how this looks and how fluffy it turned out! I will have to try this for sure.
    By the way, Shun knives are my favorite too!! ;)

  12. Oh what a great recipe! Looks delicious! Glad you've found a greast recipe that tastes like real cake! Congrats on the new job too!

  13. Just magnificent! You're too clever for words, that's the most amazing gluten-free cake I've ever seen!

  14. Wow, I would not pick that for a gluten-free cake! Glad that you can still have your cake and eat it! *wink*

  15. Thanks Readers! Gluten free is definately not flavour free!