A Gluten-Free Baking Experience

I’ve never been able to get on board with the gluten-free baking movement, as I find that the recipes are rife with substitutions that try to get around the flour, often at the expense of texture and taste. I feel the same way about meat substitutions, and tend to stay away from anything that imitates the flavors of something real, while being a fake product itself. So when a gluten-free best friend’s birthday came up, I made it my personal mission to make her a cake that unapologetically delicious first and foremost, with gluten-free being an added bonus. A flourless chocolate cake was just the ticket, as it was crafted to be a great cake, not a gluten-free one. I borrowed this recipe from the lovely Nigella Lawson and made a few tweaks, but at the end of the day, whether GF or not, this cake is incredible and I would make it for any occasion. Read on for the recipe!

 

Chocolate Cloud Cake

Serves: 8-12

 

FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM

2 cups heavy cream

Unsweetened cocoa powder, for sprinkling

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or seeds from vanilla beans, if you have them)

Raspberries for topping

FOR THE CAKE

9 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened)

9 ounces bittersweet chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)

6 large eggs (2 whole, 4 separated)

¾ cup sugar

 

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line the bottom of a 9 inch springform cake tin with baking parchment.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, and then let the butter melt in the warm chocolate.

Beat the 2 whole eggs and 4 egg yolks with ¼ cup of the sugar, then gently add the chocolate mixture.

In another bowl, whisk the 4 egg whites until foamy, then gradually add the ½ cup of sugar and whisk until the whites are holding their shape but not too stiff.

Lighten the chocolate mixture with a dollop of egg whites, and then fold in the rest of the whites. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cake is risen and cracked and the centre is no longer wobbly. Cool the cake in its tin on a wire rack; the middle will sink as it cools.

When you are ready to eat, place the still tin-bound cake on a cake stand or plate for serving and carefully remove the cake from its tin. Don’t worry about cracks or rough edges: it’s the crater look we’re going for here. Whip the cream until it’s soft and then add the vanilla and continue whisking until the cream is firm but not stiff.

Fill the crater of the cake with the whipped cream, easing it out gently towards the edges of the cake, and dust the top lightly with cocoa powder pushed through a tea-strainer and raspberries in the center.

 

Original recipe can be found here.

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