Sometimes, the tasty dishes we love don’t always love us back, and can lead to a digestive issue or two. Gourmet all-rounder Georgia McDermott‘s latest book has a good many answers to how we can eat delicious meals without any adverse side-effects. Intolerance – Friendly Kitchen (Penguin/Lantern) is just what the culinary doctor ordered and offers an array of her favourites. They are gluten free and FODMAP (elements that cause gastrointestinal issues) friendly. Packed with recipes, tips and lots of dietary swaps, this a great book for the kitchen library.
As someone who has been known to eat butter on its own (apologies to all my non-elasticated pairs of pants), I am always in awe of how I almost prefer vegan cakes and muffins. Without butter or eggs, I find that flavours really shine. This cake is no exception: rich and uber chocolatey, it keeps exceedingly well due to the oil-based batter. Tapioca flour is essential here; in the absence of eggs or gums, it helps keep everything together.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30–35 minutes
For the dry ingredients
120 g fine white rice flour
30 g tapioca flour
45 g Dutch processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon psyllium husk
For the wet ingredients
1/2 cup FODMAP-friendly plant-based milk of choice
2 teaspoons acid (white vinegar,
apple cider vinegar or lemon juice)
150 g light brown sugar
125 ml vegetable oil
2 tablespoons fresh espresso coffee
(or extra boiling water)
180 ml boiling water
For the vegan chocolate buttercream
100 g plant-based butter,
160 g (1 cup) pure icing sugar
45 g Dutch processed cocoa
pinch of fine salt
1–2 tablespoons FODMAP-friendly plant based milk of choice
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 20 cm (base measurement) round cake tin. As the batter is quite liquid, a springform pan isn’t suitable here.
2. Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
3. In another medium bowl, combine milk and acid and set aside for 2 minutes to curdle. Add the sugar, oil and espresso and whisk to combine. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until a smooth batter. It should feel lightly aerated under the whisk.
4. Add the boiling water and whisk to combine. This will bloom the cocoa and gelatinise the starches in the flours, helping hold the cake together.
5. Pour mixture into prepared tin and bake for 30–35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside to cool in tin for 15–20 minutes before gently transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
6. While the cake is baking, make the icing. Combine theplantbased butter and icing sugar in a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer. Use hand beaters or your stand mixer with paddle attachment to beat until light and fluffy. I find this process a lot quicker with plant-based butter. If it begins to melt at any time, chill for 10–15 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until combined. Taste and adjust according to your preferences.
7. Once the cake is completely cooled, ice it with the buttercream and serve.
This cake keeps well in an airtight container on the bench for 3–5days, and can be frozen.