i've become more interested lately in alternative grains. having made rachel allen's seed bread now many times i've begun amassing a pantry full of millet, amaranth, wheat berries, flax seed and quinoa, along with black sesame seed.
a trip to the co-op the other day added red quinoa into the mix and i decided i'd try out a chocolate quinoa cake recipe i had in my to be made file. the cake does not use any flour, but does use a number of eggs, lots of sugar and lots of chocolate (1 cup of cocoa powder in fact).
here is the result
i covered it in a quick ganache using skim milk and butter (i had no cream on hand). the ganache stuck to the aluminum foil i used to cover the cake last night so it needed a little repair work before serving this afternoon. not altogether photogenic but a good cake overall. dense and moist and a bit gritty due to the quinoa husks. i might sieve the batter next time.
i also i do recommend using the parchment paper liner the recipe calls for. the cake stuck to the bottom of the pan i was using. but ganache hides all sins.
and now a few fun facts about quinoa
Quinoa was of great nutritional importance in pre-Columbian Andean civilizations, secondary only to the potato, and was followed in importance by maize. In contemporary times, this crop has become highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high (14% by mass), yet not as high as most beans and legumes. Nutritional evaluations of quinoa indicate that it is a source of complete protein. Furthermore, it is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is also a source of calcium, and thus is useful for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered a possible crop in NASA's Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration human occupied spaceflights.
for more on quinoa, consult your local library
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