Recently I had a craving for a cake. Actually I frequently have a craving for this cake. It has been my favourite for many years, and was always my birthday cake request. The juicy chunks of apricot, crumbly cake and solid nuggets of dark chocolate are hard to forget. Of course I haven’t had it since I went gluten free, but the other day I thought I’d see if I could find a recipe because maybe I could adjust it.
I found a version here that looked about right, and to my joy there was only a small amount of flour, proportionally. This, plus the fact that the coconut is providing a lot of the body makes it a really good candidate for de-glutenising. I’m not much of a fan of coconut myself, but it takes a gentle back seat here, there’s basically no coconut flavour in the cake itself.
- You can use any juice you like to soak the apricots, just bear in mind that this will affect the flavour – I used apple because that’s what I had on hand and it was fine, but a bit sweeter.
- Any kind of coconut is fine – desiccated, flakes, whatever.
- You can also use any gluten free flour mix. I use the America’s Test Kitchen blend which I mix myself, but you can use whatever you have to hand. Bear in mind this cake doesn’t need gums – I don’t like using mixes with gums unless they need it, I find it makes things chewy and tough. All personal preference of course. You can use self raising if you like and then just add 1 tsp of baking powder instead of three.
- The original recipe calls for choc chips. I prefer to chop my own because then the pieces melt slightly and you get little molten pockets when the cake is hot, and delicious seams when it’s cool. Chips are designed to keep their shape and don’t have the same effect. Do what’s easiest for you, though – the other reason is I usually have dark chocolate to hand anyway.
- If you yourself are fine with gluten but you are making this for someone who has an intolerance, or is celiac, please prepare appropriately. Make sure you have washed your bowl and cake pan VERY thoroughly, in very hot water, and don’t use a wooden spoon or a bowl with scratches, as these can harbour flour. Contamination is a real issue and can make people really sick.
Gluten free apricot, choc chip and coconut cake (with no gums)
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1 cup apricot nectar or other juice
2/3 cup raw sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 cup coconut
1 cup gluten free plain flour
1/2 cup almond meal
3 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
Chop the apricots and soak them in the nectar for an hour.
Preheat your oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
Grease a round cake tin.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the egg yolks and beat.
Stir in the coconut, the flour and the apricot mixture. The mix should look quite wet. If it’s merely moist, add a couple of dashes of a neutral tasting oil like rice bran or sunflower.
Add chocolate and stir.
Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form and then fold into the mixture.
Bake for one hour.
Stand for five minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
Definitely eat at least one slice of this while it’s hot, because the little pockets of hot chocolate are fantastic.