Thursday, January 24, 2013

Chocolate Cake: Light, Moist and Gluten Free

I have made this chocolate cake on a few different occasions and I am always very happy with the results. This recipes comes from one of the most beautiful cookbooks La Tartine Gourmande by Beatrice Peltre. What I love most about this book is her use of ingredients. You will find most of her baking recipes to be gluten free, not because it's necessary for her health, but because she uses the combinations of different grains to give you the best overall flavor and textures for each recipe. She says "It's a deliberate choice, not a medical one." She prefers these different types of flours for the health benefits over regular wheat flour. I am very lucky I came across this book, all the recipes are amazing.

This cake is originally made with both buckwheat flour and almond meal. The first time I made this cake, it was on a whim so I used what flour I had on hand. I ended up using the almond meal and sweet sorghum flour, the results were great. Next time I make this cake I will try it with the buckwheat flour, and I will let you know how it comes out. I imagine the taste may change a little but not the overall texture. This cake has a nice light, moist texture without being overly rich or dense like a flourless chocolate cake. Enjoy this cake with fresh whipped cream and berries or some vanilla ice cream.

Almond Chocolate Cake (You will need one 9-inch round cake pan)
Serves 8

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for cake pan
3 1/2 ounces (about 7 tbsp) bittersweet chocolate
4 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of sea salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup buckwheat flour (I used sweet sorghum flour)
1/4 cup almond meal
Confectioner sugar for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut a round piece of parchment paper large enough to cover the bottom of the cake pan. Grease the cake pan with butter (or shortening) and line the bottom with parchment.

2. Place the butter and chocolate in a bowl and melt over a double boiler. (Place 1" water in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer, place bowl over the simmering water, resting on the sauce pan and melt chocolate/butter)

3. In the bowl of a stand mixture, beat the eggs, sugar and sea salt until light and pale in color and the batter has doubled in volume. Gently fold in vanilla extract and melted chocolate mixture. Sprinkle the flour and almond meal over the batter and fold gently to combine.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, place in oven, and bake for 30 minutes or until cake tester comes out dry when inserted into the middle. Remove from oven and let cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then flip gently onto plate and remove parchment paper. It is normal for this cake to look a bit cracked on top and it will fall slightly when cooled.

5. Dust cake with confectioners sugar and serve at room temperature with whipped cream, berries and/or ice cream.

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