If I were you, I would go for an entirely different recipe.
Either I'm a total dummy when it comes to gluten-free baking, or gluten-free cooking from scratch is quite a complex task. Here is the recipe I used this time:
- 1 cup butter - softened
- 1 2/3 cups sugar
- 10 eggs (at room temperature)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups coconut flour
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/3 cup milk or half n half
- Coconut oil
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Here's how a slice cut from the cake looked (each slice is 1/8th of the cake):
But here's the bad part. This cake put me through a lot of pain. Literally. I was a huge dummy and didn't realize until after I had eaten half a slice of this cake that it has so much caffeine in it from the cocoa powder. I am extremely sensitive to caffeine. I don't drink sodas (haven't for years), and I don't drink coffee either (never have). The caffeine gave me a headache, pain in my neck, shoulders, back and arms. it also made me dizzy. Repeated exposure (I had another half slice yesterday because I didn't learn my lesson the first time) will cause more symptoms, such as hardened stools followed by diarrhea. The caffeine upper body pain lasts for many hours and continues into the following day, though at a lesser degree.
In case you think I may have mistakenly been glutened, nope, that is not the case. The coconut flour has one ingredient: coconut flour. The cocoa powder also has one ingredient: cocoa powder. Also, I am unaware of any gluten sensitivities that I may or may not have; for example, I can eat a wheat flour burger bun or a wheat flour dinner roll and experience no trouble whatsoever. I am on this forum learning about celiac and gluten-free cooking because my sister has celiac and therefore I'm genetically predisposed to get it too.
Anyway, this leaves me with many questions:
1. Did I overdo it on the cocoa powder (I did experience some mild pain from the other recipe in which I used 1/2c though)?
2. How do the conventional wheat flour-based chocolate cake mixes at the store, which include cocoa powder, get that full, rich chocolately flavor without the painful effects of the caffeine? Are they decaffeinating their cocoa powder? I've eaten many a cake-mix and don't remember ever experiencing caffeine pain from them.
3. Why can I eat a 60% cocoa Ghirardelli bar (yes, the whole bar) and not experience any side effects from the caffeine? Are they also removing the caffeine?
4. Is there some sort of cooking/processing technique that renders the caffeine ineffective?
Comparison of this gluten-free cake to a wheat-flour based chocolate cake mix at the store:
- A wheat-flour based chocolate cake mix always comes out light and fluffy, and goes down the throat smoothly. The cake will be somewhat filling.
- This gluten-free chocolate cake came out more dense and was extremely filling. I mean EXTREMELY filling, to the point where I can't finish a whole slice. Also, the cake will still feel a little "rough" when going down the throat.
- This gluten-free cake doesn't hold together very well; it crumbled apart during the process of taking it out of the pan, applying icing, and cutting it. Note that all these tasks were performed after the cake had thoroughly cooled in the fridge.
I don't get it. Maybe someone out there knows the answer.
I am so sad; I am going to have to throw out all the remaining 7 slices of this cake. I am on the verge of giving up on gluten-free cakes. But what bothers me the most is that I haven't yet found the answer. I wanted to be able to make my own recipes from home because this gives me more control over what I am eating, but then my own cooking ends up hurting me? I am devastated.
Edited to add this: I just got off the phone with Now Foods (the company I bought the cocoa powder from) and they said that their product is the ogranic, non-alkalinized "real" thing, and that it may just be too much for my digestive system to handle. This is what their product page says: "each serving of NOW® non-alkalinized Organic Cocoa Powder naturally contains 21.5 - 107.5 mg of cocoa flavanols (polyphenol)"
Maybe it's not just the caffeine; maybe it's the theobromine, polyphenols and flavanols that's doing it to me...