Someone asked me recently why I had decided to do a gluten free cooking
blog. It certainly hadn’t been in my plans until early March, just before I
began the venture. It was then that I thought about all the time I was
spending in the kitchen……… creating, amending, tasting and adapting recipes, until I
finally developed something I was happy to feed my family (and my friends). The results were receiving positive feedback from
gluten free and gluten eaters alike, which was great. But then I got to thinking
that all this hard work was actually, primarily for my daughter. Because I
wanted her to feel that being gluten free did not mean she couldn’t eat stuff
……… That she could embrace her condition and feel good about being coeliac,
develop a normalised way of eating for life and never, ever feel deprived just
because she can’t eat gluten.
We all look back on our childhood and remember that particular recipe that
mum, or granny or dad or whoever used to make for us with love. The recipe that
unless we asked for it at the time, is lost forever when we no longer have the
comfort of that special relationship. For my daughter that could be most of
what she is eating! I realised that all of the time I was spending
developing recipes for my little girl would be worth nothing if she did not
have them for her future.
Sure I could write them down, but life gets busy and
without something extra to motivate me I found that I was getting
very behind with keeping a note of what I had done, let alone a full recipe.
A blog seemed the way forward……………… Mainly to ensure a
detailed record for her future, but also to share all that hard work
with anyone else who might be interested.
Flourless Chocolate Torte is one of my daughter’s favourites. Not only is it delicious, but it is naturally gluten free. It makes a fantastic dessert which can be dressed up in a number of ways. Rich, dark, fudgy and decadent, it has the benefit of being best made in advance and being left to mature overnight or so, which saves time when you are entertaining.
I have a number of different flourless chocolate cake recipes, but over time, they seem to have merged into a single amalgamation in my head, and have been tweaked so many times, I have no idea where this recipe originated. But it is truly delicious……………….
It is worth using really good quality chocolate for the sponge and making sure the eggs are as fresh as possible (and preferably free range) to ensure the cake is both deep and light. When the sponge has cooled it will sink in the middle, but this makes a fantastic ‘bowl’ for filling with cream, fruit, ganache or anything else you wish to use.
I have ‘filled’ mine with a fresh, cool, mascarpone cream and off-set the richness with a fruity cherry drizzled sauce.
Flourless Chocolate Torte
150g unsalted butter – cubed
300g dark chocolate – chopped
5 large eggs (room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
120g golden caster sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180⁰ C / 350⁰ F / Gas 4 and base line a 9 inch / 22 cm non-stick, deep, spring-clip cake tin with baking paper.
- Melt the chocolate with the butter in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of steaming (not boiling)water, stirring frequently, until liquid and combined. Do not allow to over-heat or the chocolate will seize. (Alternatively, you can place in a glass bowl in a microwave and set to medium-low for 30 second bursts, stirring in between each until the chocolate and butter are melted and combined)
- Once melted, remove immediately from the heat and set aside whilst you prepare the eggs.
- Whisk the eggs, vanilla and sugar on full power until very thick and about 5 times the original volume. This will take at least 5 minutes.
- Pour the melted chocolate-butter into the egg mixture and gently fold the two together until completely combined. Be careful to ensure all the chocolate from the bottom of the bowl is fully amalgamated.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes until well risen and firm to the touch. Be careful not to over cook.
- Leave to cool in the tin on a wire rack. Ensure it is completely cold before removing from the tin.
- Although you can use as soon as cool, this cake becomes more fudgy and delicious if covered in cling film and left overnight before decorating.
300 ml double cream
1 tablespoon icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Beat the cream, icing sugar and vanilla to fully combine.
- Add the Mascarpone and continue to beat until the cream reaches a spreading consistency.
- Use to fill the bowl in the sponge, or serve alongside the torte.
- Mix the water and corn flour in a medium saucepan.
- Add the sugar and cherries and bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring.
- As the cherries soften, squash them with the back of the spoon to release the juice.
- Continue to stir and allow to simmer for 1 to 2 minutes until the liquid becomes clear and slightly thickened.
- Remove from the heat and blend the sauce into a thick puree using either a hand-held or standard blender.
- Strain the mixture through a clean sieve into a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Store in the fridge until ready to use.