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Tory Zimmerman/tory zimmerman The Globe and Mail

Every parent wants their allergic child to have birthday cake that is moist and delicious. And dairy-free cakes so often taste like cardboard. Here is one that will have the kids and adults asking for more. Use the best bittersweet chocolate you can find and read the ingredient list carefully to make sure it doesn't contain any milk solids.

Servings: 8 to 10

Ingredients

¾ cup water

4 ounces (125 grams) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

½ cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Glaze

4 ounces (125 grams) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

¼ cup water

1 teaspoon corn syrup

Method

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line the base of a 9-inch round spring-form pan with parchment paper.

Place water and chocolate in a heavy pot over medium-low heat and stir until chocolate is almost melted. Remove from heat and continue to stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is well combined. Stir in oil and vanilla and set aside.

Combine flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda and salt in a bowl and stir with a fork until uniform. Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Scrape batter into prepared pan.

Pour vinegar on top of batter and use a fork to incorporate it into the batter as quickly as possible. There will be pale swirls in the batter from the baking soda and vinegar reacting. Stir just until vinegar is evenly distributed. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out with a few crumbs on it.

Let cake cool in pan. Run a knife around the edge to loosen. Remove sides of pan, carefully invert cake onto a plate, remove bottom of pan and peel off parchment paper. Use another plate to turn cake right side up.

Place cake on serving plate and make glaze.

Place chocolate, water and corn syrup in a small heavy pot over medium-low heat and stir until chocolate is almost melted. Remove from heat and continue to stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is shiny. Allow to cool for 5 minutes or until it has thickened slightly, and then spoon glaze evenly over top of cake.

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