Saturday, July 26, 2008
Flourless Chocolate Cake Celebration
This recipe is a celebration of many things for our family. First, my husband loves chocolate more than any food (or beverage) in the world – other than a chilled bottle of his favorite Sierra Nevada beer. And while he has been very patient with a wide variety of my gluten free brownie mixes, H never really loves any sweet dessert made without white flour – so it has been an important challenge to me to invent or adapt something chocolate-y and gluten free that would really knock his socks off.
The great news? The cake is moist, rich and ideal for dark chocolate lovers. Best of all, H loves it. A direct quote after he took his first bite... "Oh honey, you now truly hold all of the strings to my heart!"
Next, I have discovered that my body really can’t take processed sugar any more. I have all kinds of uncomfortable physical and mental reactions to it – ranging from racing pulse and sudden sweating to mild depression, anxiety and problems with yeast overgrowth. Sadly for me, many of my favorite gluten free chefs like to use white and brown sugar in their recipes, sometimes in large quantities. So sweet foods and baked goods have been tough to make from scratch.
I can do maple sugar or maple syrup in very small quantities, but no honey. H hates the taste of stevia, so that’s out… hence, my options have been limited. A few weeks ago my mother mentioned that she seems to do very well with blue agave nectar and I figured – "Hey, it’s all in the genes, right?" so when planning this flourless chocolate treat I decided to give agave a shot. The result? Victory! So far, I haven’t had any adverse reactions to it and I am very happy that the flavor (while very sweet) is also mild and subtle. It doesn’t drown out the chocolate or cocoa in this recipe at all!
Lastly, as you can see we are celebrating a new member of our family - the Nikon D40 camera that I will be using from now on to photograph the food you see on this blog. I’m going to take a class on how to use it… but already the image quality is so much better! I am thrilled that as I become a better photographer my readers will be able to experience the true beauty of these gluten free recipes… just the way they appear on our dining table!
Flourless Chocolate Cake Celebration!!!
What You’ll Need:
6 oz semi-sweet Ghirardelli baking chocolate
2/3 cup butter
¾ cup and 1 tbsp organic blue agave nectar
1 cup unsweetened Ghirardelli cocoa powder
2 oz semi-sweet Ghirardelli baking chocolate
3 tbsp butter
¼ tsp gluten free vanilla
2/3 tablespoon organic blue agave nectar
1 tbsp milk
How It Works:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
With butter, grease a round 9 inch baking pan. Lay a circular piece of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan, and then (odd as it may sound) grease the top of the parchment as well. Set baking pan aside.
For cake, melt chocolate and butter at medium low temperature stirring constantly until they are thoroughly combined and smooth. Remove from heat and transfer with scraper into a fairly large bowl (or the bowl of your kitchen mixer).
Slowly pour in blue agave nectar, mixing well. Next, add eggs (one at a time) and use either a hand mixer or a whisk to make sure they are fully blended into the batter. Finally, spoon the cup of unsweetened cocoa in and again use hand mixer or whisk to blend. Make sure there are no larger chunks of cocoa powder clumping together. I used our Kitchen Aid mixer to ensure the absence of clumps.
Pour your gorgeous chocolate mixture into the greased cake pan. Bake in oven approximately 40 minutes (check between 30 and 35 minutes to make sure it is not burning if your oven tends to run hot). When perfectly baked the top will have a crust the consistency of chilled pudding and may fracture a bit. Don’t worry – the fissures will be unnoticeable when cooled and besides, you are actually looking at the cake’s bottom!
Remove cake from oven and allow to sit undisturbed for about 12 minutes. Place your lovely cake plate over the top of your pan and then invert the plate and cake so that you are now looking at the bottom of your cake pan resting on top of your cake plate. Gently remove pan from cake, and carefully peel away the top layer of parchment paper.
Glaze: Combine chocolate and butter in saucepan at medium low temperature, stirring constantly until fully blended. Add vanilla, milk and blue agave nectar and continue stirring. When all ingredients are perfectly integrated, set aside until you are ready to glaze your cooled cake.
Slowly pour or spoon glaze onto cooled cake, and use your soft scraper or a soft spatula to spread it evenly across the top of the cake. It will drip down the sides in an artistic way. Chill your cake in the refrigerator between 20 – 30 minutes before serving.
Strawberries make an excellent garnish, but really this rich chocolate treasure is a celebration in itself.