My first thought when I saw this recipe online was "that can't possibly taste good and turn out like a real chocolate cake". (Besides the fact that I found it on a website called www.motherearthnews.com - yikes). As much as I like "Mother Earth" I can't say that just anything coming out of her would make a great chocolate cake (such as barley flour...) But I made this recipe yesterday for my sister, who is allergic to wheat and some dairy products...It is really awesome! The cake looks beautiful, is moist and spongy, and tastes great! My husband even said he couldn't tell it was different from a "normal" recipe.
I did make a few small changes -- added 1 tsp instant espresso powder to the ingredients (it enhances the chocolate flavor; doesn't make it taste like coffee at all), and 1/2 tsp espresso powder to the glaze.
I think next time I will experiment a little bit...add some almond extract in with the vanilla, and sprinkle some slivered almonds on top; add some maraschino cherries to the mix, and put some on top; Nutella glaze (!); coffee glaze...so many yummy things to try!
Chocolate Barley Bundt Cake
Time: about 1 1/2 hours
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp instant espresso powder
3/4 cup boiling water
1 3/4 cups barley flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup canola oil (or vegetable oil)
7 large eggs, separated
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp instant espresso powder
1/2 tsp vanilla
3-6 tbsp milk
Generously spray a 10-cup bundt pan with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and take out a rack, if necessary, so the bundt pan can fit on the lowest rack.
In a small bowl, stir cocoa and espresso powder into boiling water until smooth, then let cool completely. In a large bowl, whisk the barley flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. In the center of the bowl, make a well and add in order -- oil, egg yolks, the cocoa mixture, and vanilla. Beat with spoon until smooth.
Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff. Fold a fourth of the whites into the batter to lighten it, then fold in the rest. Pour into prepared bundt pan. Bake on the lowest rack for 60-65 minutes or until the cake springs back when pressed or a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool for 20 minutes in the pan before running a table knife around the edges and then inverting the cake onto a cake plate.
When the cake is completely cooled, stir together the powdered sugar and cocoa (and espresso powder) in a bowl, then stir in the vanilla and milk. Add just enough milk to make a thick glaze that can be drizzled over the cake. Drizzle the glaze over the cake with a spoon. Let dry for a few minutes before cutting with a serrated knife.