Millet Flour Chocolate Cake with Caramel Cream

I have been interested in gluten free baking using single wholegrain flours for many years now. This approach allows to avoid added starches, prevalent in commercial gluten free flour mixes. It started with the recipe of 3 ingredients corn flour (not corn starch, sold in Australia under the name of corn flour) biscuits. The batter was later used to make a sponge for a simple layered cake. With quarantine restrictions and 5km area limitations for shopping I have found myself running out of some of my favourite baking ingredients, maize/corn flour among them. Quarantine brought out so many new recipes out of strong necessity to use what was available without waiting for days or even weeks for the delivery of online orders. I am delighted to present a simple, no fuss chocolate layered cake with even more simple caramel cream, ready to use in 4-5 minutes. Runny sponge batter allows flexibility in the number and thickness of sponge layers. Based on single millet flour the sponge can be baked in any shape as well.

Caramel cream is a super simple alternative to butter cream. You do not need either butter, or sugar as ingredients. Whipping cream, mascarpone cheese and commercial canned caramel are all you need to make the cream with your choice of sweetness in it.

Ingredients:

millet flour chocolate sponge baked in 30cm x 20cm tray

  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 10g vanilla sugar
  • 90g millet flour
  • 15g pure cacao powder
  • 50ml milk
  • 20g grapeseed oil

caramel cream

quantity of cream from ingredients below is enough for a cake based on 1.5 portion of the batter (based on 3 eggs)

  • 250g mascarpone cheese
  • pinch of salt
  • 300g whipping cream
  • 200-300g caramel (can be substituted by canned sweetened condensed milk, cooked simmering for 2 hours), 200g of caramel makes cream sweet enough for us
  • 1 tea spoon of vanilla extract
  • 1tea spoon of gluten free alcohol (I used Calvados, French apple brandy), optional

Note: when cooking the can of sweetened condensed milk make sure that you use the lowest heat possible, the can is always covered with water and you leave the can submerged in water to cool down completely. However to avoid all the trouble just use commercial caramel instead.

Preparation:

sponge

  • prepare the tray, cut baking paper to the exact shape of the tray bottom
  • lightly grease baking paper with butter
  • stir egg yolks to even texture, add milk, whisk and add oil
  • mix all ingredients by whisking
  • put dry ingredients through a sieve into wet ingredients
  • do it in 2-3 portions
  • combine all ingredients using a whisk

  • add a pinch of salt to egg whites
  • beat on low, then high speed until frothy
  • start adding the mixture of caster and vanilla sugar by table spoon
  • I used my own vanilla sugar made from caster sugar and dry skin of used vanilla beans ground together
  • beat egg whites until stiff peaks

  • add 1 serving spoon of egg whites to thick chocolate batter to loosen it up
  • add another one if necessary, combine with a whisk
  • add the rest of egg whites
  • gently fold egg whites into the batter with spatula
  • the batter will be quite runny

  • pour batter into the middle of the tray
  • spread it by turning the tray to the sides and using wooden pick to eliminate air bubbles
  • tap the tray on a benchtop or drop it gently to level the surface
  • bake in preheated to 160C oven (fan forced) for 20 minutes
  • when ready the sponge will be dense to touch, check it with a tooth pick it should come out dry

  • rest the sponge for 10 minutes
  • separate the edges from the tray with thin knife or palette knife
  • turn the sponge over to a wire rack lined with baking paper
  • peel the paper from the bottom of the sponge
  • let the sponge cool down
  • cut it to desired size

cream

  • mix cold mascarpone cheese (straight form refrigerator) with caramel until fully combined
  • if using benchtop mixer change flat beater to a whisk
  • add whipping cream and beat on high speed
  • it took 4 minutes altogether to make a cream

  • caramel cream is thick enough to be used with any pastry bag tip to hold the shape

cake assembly

To make the cake more moist and flavoursome you can use strong coffee or tart syrup to soak he sponge. I used no heat blackcurrant preserve on 2 out of 4 layers of the cake

  • use generous amount of cream between sponge layers
  • use cream on the sides of the cake
  • use crumbs made from cut offs, baked to be completely dry
  • I used crumbs from shortcrust pastry used in a previous project

  • use chocolate or crushed nuts to decorate the top of the cake
  • give the cake 3-4 hours in refrigerator to settle
  • the cake will be even better on the second day with more pronounced and intense flavours

The beauty of this cake is in its flexibility with size, shape, level of desired moisture as well as variation of flavours added. The sponge has a very stable structure and the texture to withstand soaking without disintegrating. As for millet flour, you will not be able to taste it. The taste is completely overtaken by chocolate flavour.

7 thoughts on “Millet Flour Chocolate Cake with Caramel Cream

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