Most of my friends at this point realize that I like to bake, and that I like to try and bake allergen free when possible. Obviously successes vary, but every once in a while it is possible to succeed in nearly all fronts.
I made this chocolate cake from Bakerella's site. I was making it lactose free for a friend's vacation, and I didn't want to buy lactose free milk (mostly because it pushed me from 2 grocery shopping trips to 3). In the end it was dairy free and gluten free, but I still had eggs and nuts.
This cake uses vegetable oil, and while I was looking originally for cakes that used butter I chose this one at least in part because I ran out of time and because, well, it looks delicious. However, I wanted to try baking with coconut oil, so I used the coconut oil in place of vegetable oil. For the milk in the batter, I used hazelnut milk (after opening the container of chocolate hazelnut milk and deciding it was too scary to use).
This cake was an easy swap to make it gluten free, because one of the containers of flour I have is Arrowhead Mills Gluten Free all purpose flour. It has xanthan gum and leavenings already in it, and suggests using it as a 1:1 replacement for the flour in your recipes with no other changes. So, I did a simple flour swap, which worked lovely.
I used the same frosting recipe as in Bakerella's recipe, except I used 1/2 cup of coconut oil and 2 sticks of Earth Balance. I probably used less sugar as well, but it was certainly sweet enough for my sweet tooth and made a ridiculously huge amount of frosting.
Ganache. Well, that is where things sort of fell down. I made these coconut milk caramels, which taste awesome. However, I don't have a large enough container for making this much caramel, so I divided into 2 pans. I knew I wanted to use it like a ganache, but it wasn't developing enough color to contrast with the bright white frosting, so I took it off the heat at about 230° (or 235° F) and added about an ounce or 2 of semisweet (dairy free) chocolate. It was already solidifying by the time I got to pouring it on the cake, so it wasn't as beautifully smooth as a ganache.
Long story short. It was delicious, but too coconutty for my husband. I have a bit of caramel left to do something with, and I brought the leftover cake to Gather Here to share its coconut chocolate goodness.
I can definitely recommend Arrowhead Mills for gf baking. It's my second time using the flour (first time was cookies), and it doesn't have that gritty texture that can sometimes happen, doesn't interfere with the other flavors of baking and seems to rise fine. Obviously more testing needs to happen, which is fine because I need to make cookies to mail to my mom and dad. Testing away!