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Made my own Birthday Cake. Yes I did😆
6 inch GF Chocolate Quinoa Cake layers and Vanilla Bean Buttercream
This is my favourite part of making a cake
Decorated with my fave goodies: matcha macaron, Lindt chocolate balls, dragées, a mini KitKat and mini Coffee Crisp and crushed macaron shells
The chocolate ganache was perfect. I threw dragées on the side of the cake too and they stuck🙌
It’s late November and the only thing blooming in my garden are these little purple Daikon flowers.  I just let the daikon go to seed and never did harvest the daikon (so bitter!)  The flowers sure are pretty…and edible

Scroll down past the recipes to watch a video of me assembling the layers

BEST EVER QUINOA CHOCOLATE LAYER DRIP CAKE WITH VANILLA BUTTERCREAM (GF)
adapted from Quinoa 365:  The Everyday Superfood
makes 3 6-inch layers
  • 2 1/4 cups cooked quinoa (see note below for instructions to cook quinoa. No substitutions)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla bean paste
  • 3/4 cups coconut oil, melted and cooled (you can use unsalted butter)
  • 1 1/2 cups organic cane sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened organic cacao powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
*3 6-inch cake tins (you can make do with 2 pans and after baking the first batch, make the last layer after cleaning the pan)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray the tins with coconut oil spray or non-stick spray.  Line with a round piece of parchment paper
  2. In a Vitamix, heavy-duty Blender of Food Processor, combine:  milk, eggs, vanilla paste.  Blend until combined.  Add 2 1/4 cups of cooked quinoa and the melted coconut oil and continue to blend until smooth.
  3. Dump in the sugar, cacao powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the Vitamix.  Blend well to combine.  [NB: if you are using a regular blender, you will encounter problems with the thick batter and may not be able to totally break down the cooked quinoa grains. In this case, you should use a food processor]
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the 3 prepared cake pans. Gently tap the pans on the counter to get rid of air bubbles and smooth the tops evenly
  5. Bake in the centre of the oven for approximately 25-30 minutes.
  6. Test the cakes for doneness with a toothpick or cake tester.
  7. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.  Remove from the pan and allow the cake layers to cool completely on a rack. 
  8. Frost with Buttercream (see recipe below).  Refrigerate the cake for at least 30 minutes. Make the ganache (see recipe below) and allow to cool as the cake is in the fridge.  Drip chocolate ganache over the cold buttercream. Decorate with your fave chocolates and bling✨ it up with dragees if desired.
  9. Cake layers can be stored sealed in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month. 
COOKING QUINOA Note:  Bring 2/3 cup raw, rinsed white or golden quinoa to boil in a heavy saucepan with 1 1/3 cups water.  Cover, reduce to simmer and cook for 10 minutes.  Turn off heat and leave covered saucepan on burner for another 10 minutes.  Fluff with fork and allow the Quinoa to cool.
Rice Cooker Method:  Cook rinsed quinoa as you would rice, following manufacturer’s instructions and the indicator lines for appropriate water levels.    I made 1 cup quinoa and found it had enough leftovers to make another dish.
VANILLA BEAN BUTTERCREAM 
(makes just enough for a nearly naked cake; or just enough to frost this little 6 inch cake)
3 cups confectioners’ sugar (icing sugar)
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter [I used Kerrygold]
1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
1 tablespoon milk
  1. In an electric mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy and smooth
  2. Add the confectioners’ sugar 1/2 cup at a time
  3. Add vanilla bean paste and gradually add milk until the buttercream is at a consistency that is not too stiff. Continue beating [speed 8 on the KitchenAid] for 7-8 minutes until almost white in colour. The buttercream will be fluffy
  4. Use immediately to frost the 3 cake layers.  
CHOCOLATE GANACHE
1 cup whipping/heavy cream
1 bag Wilton Chocolate Candy Melts (chocolate chips or dark chocolate will work as well)
OR
8 ounces chocolate
1 cup heavy cream

NB: before you start! if you have a kitchen scale the ratio for the ganache in weight is 1:1.  But if you don’t or if you’re too lazy to whip out the scale like me, you can eyeball it and adjust by adding more chocolate or cream until you get a thick pouring consistency.  
  1. Put whipping cream in a microwave-safe container and heat in 30 second increments until it is hot to the touch.  Check on it at intervals so it doesn’t boil over.
  2. Add 1 cup of the Candy Melts or chopped chocolate and stir gently until the ganache is thick but pourable.  Mine was too runny initially so I had to add another handful of candy melts. As well, allowing it to cool will also thicken the ganache before pouring.  Test the ganache before drizzling on the cake by attempting to drip from the top edge of a glass or mug.  If it runs too quickly then add more chocolate or candy melts.  

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