Vegan and Gluten-free Devil’s Food Cake

I came up with the idea to make this cake because I wanted to make my vegan chocolate-tofu mousse again, but also wanted to pair it with something that would compliment it perfectly, so I figured, why not chocolate mousse on chocolate cake? For the cake itself, I went with my gluten-free and vegan devil’s food cake, because I found that using Asian ingredients like tapioca starch and mochiko just fit with the usage of tofu, beyond just being gluten-free as well.

I wanted this cake to be light and spongy, to contrast the decadent tofu and chocolate mousse, so I employed my friend Shari’s devil’s food cake technique of mixing your dry ingredients with oil first. By doing this, and slowly adding in the wet ingredients, a technique similar to making pie crust, you get more gradients of oil between the molecules of starch in your batter, coupled with the wet ingredients as well, allowing the cake to bake with this super airy texture. By making it gluten-free, I completely omit any risk in the cake being too tough from being overmixed using this method, so it’s really a win-win in that sense, making the cake with non-traditional flours! I also used the leftover water that the silken tofu for the tofu mousse was stored in for this cake batter, because it’s essential an egg substitute, and will further bind your batter together(with the lack of gluten, anything is welcomed to help keep the cake stable through the baking process!).

For the mousse, it was inspired from Myer’s and Chang in Boston, where they served a three ingredient vegan chocolate-tofu mousse. I don’t have their direct recipe, but I tinkered around with it before I found out what ratios worked best to create a similar texture. The mousse itself is super simple to make, and is made even simpler through the usage of a blender to finely puree everything together into one smooth, luscious texture(I highly recommend using a Vitamix, because it works a charm on this recipe!). I arranged the mousse between and around the layers of cake, because I really love the flavor of it, and I am obsessed with the fact that it can be used as a frosting because of how rich and creamy the texture of it is!

For the devil’s food cake:
1 1/2 tspn baking soda
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1 1/2 cups mochiko
1 cup white sugar
1/4 tspn xanthan gum
/2 cup black cacao powder
3/4 cups canola oil
1 tspn vanilla extract
reserved water from tofu packet
3/4 cups rice milk
3 tbsp cider vinegar

In a bowl, sift together your baking powder, salt, tapioca, mochiko, white sugar, cacao powder, and xanthan gum first. Then whisk into the dry ingredients your canola oil. You want a crumbly texture at first. In another bowl, mix together your vanilla, tofu packet water, rice milk, and cider vinegar. Pour that into your dry ingredients and whisk to form your batter. Pour onto a parchment-lined sheet tray and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Cool down the cake completely before cutting out 6-inch disks, making one of the disks out of scraps.

For the tofu chocolate mousse:
1 packet of silken tofu
1 cup dark chocolate
a pinch of salt

Puree your tofu into a smooth, creamy liquid. Melt the dark chocolate and salt over a double boiler and mix into that the tofu until everything is combined into a creamy, smooth mousse. Refrigerate, covered in cling wrap, for at least 30 minutes before using.

For the tempered chocolate:
1/2 cup dark chocolate
a pinch of salt
1 tspn grated cocoa butter

For the soak:
1 cup rice milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt

Mix together. Refrigerate when not using.

For assembly:
Line a 6-inch ring mold with acetate. Place in the scrap layer of cake first, followed by soak, and a green ice cream scoop’s worth of the mousse. Repeat with the next two layers, smoothing off the top layer to keep it flat. Freeze for 2 hours. Unmold, then spread the rest of your mousse around the cake to seal it in. Finish with the chocolate garnishes.

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