This is a simple cake with character; it will crackle and split on top as it rises and is more fluffy and close-textured than light and spongy. Rich and moist, it's gluten, wheat and dairy free. Service a slice just as it is, or top with rich chocolate ganache. Remember, if you substitute a different blend of flour, the texture may change and you may need to adjust the liquid and xanthan gum accordingly. This cake will keep for a few days in an airtight container and freezes well. Essential Gluten Free by Phil Vickery, published by Kyle Books, priced £19.99. Photography by Kate Whitaker
Preheat the oven to 160°C/150°C fan/Gas Mark 3. Line the base of an 18cm spring-form cake tin with baking paper.
Sift together the gluten free rice flour ½ white, ½ brown with the potato start and tapioca flour/starch. Or put into a food processor and pulse until mixed.
Pour the dry ingredients you've just made into a bowl and add the baking powder, xanthan gum and cocoa powder, and stir until evenly mixed. Stir in the sugar, breaking up any lumps. Add the ground almonds and stir in the chocolate chips.
In a separate large bowl. beat together the eggs, oil, milk and vanilla until combined. Fold the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir just until the batter is soft, loose and evenly mixed. Do not over-beat.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin so that it's level with the top and bake in the centre of the oven for about 1 hour until the surface has risen and springs back to the touch. A skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean or with a few crumbs, but not wet. Allow to cool, then turn the cake out onto a wire rack.
If you want to frost the cake with the chocolate truffle ganache, you can. Melt the chocolate with dairy free almond milk (or any other dairy free milk) in a heavy-based pan over a low heat. Stir and make sure the mixture doesn’t get too hot – you don’t want it to boil. Just before the chocolate has finished melting, take it off the heat and stir until smooth, thick and glossy. Pour into a bowl to cool. Once it is completely cold, level the top of the cake if you need to, then slowly and carefully spread it over the top of the cake. Sprinkle with a little gluten free grated chocolate as it sets.
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