Quinoa Chocolate Cake

by Alison Donald
(BoliviaBella Newsletter Editor)

The idea for a quinoa-based recipe came from press articles our webmaster had seen reporting the decline in domestic consumption of quinoa in Bolivia. This suggested to be partly cultural factors (children are more interested in rice and pasta) and also the higher prices of quinoa due to foreign demand. As if to prove my point, the last time I went to buy quinoa at the market, the stall-owner's son (a capable-looking lad of about 12) nearly sold me lentils by mistake. Quinoa at the market costs 18-20Bs per kilo, compared with 7/8 for white rice.

I don't want to encourage you to make up recipes but I have to say that quinoa is a very forgiving (or is that flexible?) ingredient. The quinoa provides the moisture in this rich, delicious (and gluten free) cake. It is a cross between a brownie and a mousse cake rather than a traditional sponge. This cake contains a similar amount of fat and sugar to its conventional cousins but in my opinion is a lot richer on a slice-by-slice basis. It is also very chocolaty. Quinoa and cacao might be superfoods but that doesn't mean you should eat more than you otherwise would.

This cake does not look that pretty (the top will most likely not be smooth) but it is already very rich and I would not recommend icing it. A sprinkling of icing sugar would look beautiful and if you have any seasonal fruits to arrange on top that would be ideal.

This cake is even better the next day. If a chocolate cake lasts longer than a day or two in your house you clearly have a lot more willpower than me!

Before you get any further: YOU NEED A BLENDER to make this cake properly.

Serves 8-10 people (depending on how greedy you are)

4 large eggs
2 cups of cooked quinoa (probably around 2/3rds of a cup of raw quinoa)
1 cup of sugar
2 fluid ounces of butter or other fat
200g of unsweetened chocolate/ 100% cacao (I buy solid patties of cacao in the market here)
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
(you can add additional mayan flavourings by way of ¾ teaspoon of allspice and the zest of an orange)
8 inch loose-bottomed tin or spring form pan tin
Blender/ liquidiser
Oven preheated to gas mark 3 (170 degrees Celsius)

Cook the quinoa (check the packet instructions but generally it can be cooked like rice ie rinse it, combine it with two cups of water for each cup of grain, bring it to the boil, cover and simmer for 15 mins. Leave to cool.

Grate/ chop the chocolate into a glass bowl. Add the butter/ fat and put over a pan of simmering water (to make a bain marie*) and gently melt the chocolate and butter together. Take off the heat and leave to cool. (*Bain Marie in American English = double boiler).

Meanwhile put the eggs and sugar in the liquidiser and blend together. Add the baking powder, vanilla essence, mayan flavourings (if using), the cooled but still liquid butter/ chocolate and the cooled quinoa. Blend until smooth (a minute or so).

Pour into greased pan and put in the oven for around 80mins. The finished texture you are aiming for is more of a brownie than a cake and as such the centre should feel firm to the touch and when you put a knife in it should come out almost clean.

Leave the cake in the tin to cool fully.

Dust with icing sugar/ decorate with fruit to serve.

Return to the May 2011 BELLA NEWS E-zine

Comments for Quinoa Chocolate Cake

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Feb 20, 2015
Sugar and oil
by: Anonymous

Would it still work if I substituted the sugar for stevia and the oil / butter for yogurt or applesauce? In the proper proportions, of course.

Jun 03, 2014
baking powder
by: Anonymous

i made this recipe and i put one tsp of baking powder in it. It was delish!

Apr 03, 2013
How much baking powder?
by: Arsenal4185

Is 1 1/2 teaspoons the proper amount for this recipe? I saw another recipe online that called for 2/3 cup quinoa and required 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder, so I though this would be a good, educated guess; however, the other recipe also called for 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. Help!

May 31, 2012
precio de los ingredientes
by: ariadna

Una pregunta ¿ Cuanto cuesta todos los ingredientes, (sin ecepcion)? eso deberian decir, eso es opcional ¿o nó? po favor si me responden,deseo que me lo digan rapido porque es, para un trabajo de ciencia y ambiente.

Respuesta de BoliviaBella.com
Es difícil que te demos una respuesta en cuanto a costos. Nuestra página web es vista en todo el mundo. De cual país nos escribes?

Jan 31, 2012
by: Anonymous

im with the baking powder thing also should quinoa be like wet rice?

Oct 09, 2011
Oven temperature
by: Carol

What temperature (degrees farenheit) do I bake the cake?

Oct 09, 2011
Baking powder?
by: Carol

I would like to make this recipe this weekend--is there baking powder and how much do I put in? Thanks!

Jun 04, 2011
Missing information
by: Anonymous

The recipe states to add baking powder but there is none in the ingredient list. Is this an oversight or is there no baking powder in the cake?

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Bolivian Food Forum.