Friday, March 30, 2007

Satisfying a sweet tooth: flourless chocolate cake

Anyone with food allergies can tell you how difficult it is to satisfy a sweet tooth. Most traditionally-made cakes, pies, and pastries are out for those allergic to gluten, egg and dairy. As my friends already know, I consume massive amounts of dark (therefore dairy-free) chocolate, and carry it with me so that I always have a treat ready to go if I can't partake of what everyone else is having. (See 9/06 post entitled "Chocolate is a food group".) When I bake sweets for myself, I usually make a flourless chocolate cake, brownies made with almond paste, or chocolate sparkle cookies made with almond flour. I've also made vanilla almond cakes and quinoa pudding. But still, it's tiresome to always have to make my own makes me feel distinctly Amish. Except I don't wear a bonnet.

So it's a nice feeling when I can find something to satisfy my sweet tooth off the rack. This occasion was particularly wonderful because I was prepared to be utterly miserable during a stop at Schat's bakery in Bishop. In case you don't know, Schat's is famous for their shepherder bread, which is delicious (I had it prior to The Discovery). So here I went, deliberately walking into a gi-normous bakery/store, with rows and rows of bread stacked 6 feet high. I could feel the gluten molecules swirling in the air all around me and felt a little ill. But near the end of the line where I fetched my coffee, I found a little treasure packet of very large chocolate-covered coconut macaroons. SWEET! No dairy, no gluten, and covered in my beloved dark chocolate. My determination and patience was rewarded with a treasure in the midst of gluten evil.

If you're feeling Amish, here is my favorite flourless chocolate cake recipe that I serve to my regular friends. Gluten and dairy-free, everyone loves it because it's not missing a thing...the secret is using the BEST chocolate you can get your hands on...I use Callebaut bittersweet.

Chocolate Cake
Gateau au chocolat
From Wolfgang Puck’s Modern French Cooking

Makes one 10” cake

8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
4 oz. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (to make this dairy free, I substitute coconut cream)
5 eggs, separated
a pinch of salt
2/3 cup sugar

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Heavily butter and flour (to make this wheat-free, I use cocoa powder) a 10” round cake pan….If you have parchment paper, it works better to butter and flour the parchment in the pan.

2. Combine chocolate and butter (or coconut cream) and melt over simmering water.

3. Whisk together the egg yolks and all but 3 Tablespoons of the sugar. Stir melted chocolate into egg yolks until thoroughly combined.

4. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining sugar and continue to whip until egg whites are stiff but not dry.

5. Carefully fold chocolate mixture into egg whites. Pour into prepared pan.

6. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn out onto a rack immediately. As the cake cools, the center will sink and crack…do not worry!

Dust with powdered sugar and serve with unsweetened whipped cream if you can have it (or Cool Whip which is has very little dairy!)

1 comment:

WannabeMe said...

Omigosh! I just found your blog... I can't believe you're allergic to all those things - makes me feel.. well, better about my own family. Can't wait to read your other recipes!