In my Thanksgiving menu this year I included Bill’s Chocolate Cake, for which I promised to post the recipe. It’s really not his cake recipe–it’s called Oatmeal Cake with Carob, from a food allergy cookbook. The cake, which is sort of like a cakey brownie when baked, is wheat-free, dairy-free, and corn-free.
Since we only have a hard copy of the page, I have no idea what book it’s from, and I can’t find the recipe online when I Google it.
According to the directions, you bake it in an 8×12 pan. But when we got married last year, our caterer, Christine Ferris, made the cake for the dessert buffet at our reception and baked it in a springform pan. Brilliant! It was delicious that way, and more dense than sheetcake style.
One ingredient the recipe calls for is shortening. All my life I’ve been a loyal Crisco user, thinking this vegetable shortening is a good substitute for butter. Even up until The Year of Food, it just didn’t click that I may as well be using margarine when I put Crisco into my baked goods because the second, third, and fourth ingredients after soybean oil are: fully hydrogenated cottonseed oil, partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, and partially hydrogenated soybean oil. Ugh! These are the trans fats everyone is worried about eating these days. To me, they’re fat in an unnatural form (hydrogenated to lengthen shelf life in our industrialized food culture) so I’ve banned them from my pantry forever.
But what’s a good substitute for Crisco when you’re allergic to butter (cow’s milk), like Bill is?
Enter palm oil vegetable shortening. I found a big vat of it at Harvest Health Foods, one of the best grocery stores in West Michigan for people with food allergies. It’s made by Spectrum Naturals and contains only “mechanically pressed organic palm oil.”
Looks like Crisco, acts like Crisco, and tastes better than Crisco.
Even the Mew Chef likes it!
While the recipe is technically called Oatmeal Cake with Carob, we substitute cocoa powder for carob powder and add chocolate chips, which make for a richer cake. We especially like using bittersweet chocolate, such as these organic (and dairy-free) chocolate chips from Sunspire.
So, finally, here’s the recipe, which is gluten-free, dairy-free, and corn-free.
Oatmeal Cake with Chocolate
1 c. uncooked rolled oats
1 1/2 c. boiling water
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1 1/2 c. brown rice flour
1/2 c. oat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. vegetable shortening
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 (9-oz.) package bittersweet organic chocolate chips
Pour boiling water over oats, stir, and let cool.
Sift together: cocoa powder, rice flour, oat flour and baking powder.
In large mixing bowl, cream shortening with eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Add oatmeal.
Slowly add dry ingredients, blending until smooth. Add chocolate chips.
Bake at 350 degrees (F) for 55 minutes. (Top of cake should look “cracked”.)
Allow to cool completely before removing side of springform pan.
This cake is delicious warmed up in the microwave for 30 seconds. Or serve it with fresh raspberries.