The beauty of this chocolate cake is that it’s okay for our gluten intolerant and coeliac friends. Instead of flour it uses melted chocolate and almond meal, which gives the cake a dense, rich and fudgy texture. It’s wonderful to try, even if you don’t have a gluten allergy. The optional almonds add a slight crunch to an otherwise soft and sweet cake.
Serves: 8-12 Difficulty: Easy
· Round cake tin, at least 20cm
· 2 saucepans that fit together as a double-boiler, or a microwave safe bowl
· Large bowl
· Stand mixer / electric mixer
· 200g Dark Chocolate, chopped
· 125g Unsalted Butter, chopped
· 225g Brown Sugar
· 100g Almond Meal (or hazelnut meal)
· 100g Unsalted Almonds, coarsely chopped (optional)
· 5 large Eggs, whites and yolk separated
· 1 pinch of Cream of Tartar
· 1 tablespoon Cocoa Powder
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (160 degrees fan-forced; 350F). Line the base and sides of the cake tin with baking paper.
- Melt the chocolate and butter together gently. Either use the microwave in 7 second bursts, then stir after each time so you don’t burn the chocolate. Or make a “double-boiler” to melt the chocolate and butter (a larger saucepan should be filled with about 5 cm of water and brought to a boil while you use the water’s steam to melt the chocolate and butter in a second saucepan above the water).
- Transfer the melted chocolate and butter to a large bowl. Stir in the brown sugar, almond meal, and chopped almonds until the mixture is smooth.
- Ensure the mixture is cooler than 60 degrees Celsius (114F) before adding the egg yolks gradually. Stir all together. Put aside.
- In a clean dry bowl of an electric mixer add the egg whites with a pinch of Cream of Tartar. On slow speed whisk the eggs until they’re foamy. Gradually increase the speed every few minutes. Whisk until firm white peaks form. If you’re unsure, better to overbeat the eggs than under beat them.
- Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. The chocolate is quite heavy to mix in. Keep folding until the egg white is just incorporated with the chocolate mixture.
- Check the oven has reached the correct temperature. Set your kitchen timer for 40 minutes. Pour the cake batter into the tin and place it on the middle rack of the oven. The cake is ready when a firm crust has formed on top. If the crust hasn’t formed yet, add another 5 minutes to the timer and check again until the cake is done. A skewer test is difficult as the cake texture is very soft and sticky even when cooked.
- Let the cake cool completely in the pan before attempting to remove it. You can dust the top with icing sugar or cocoa powder to decorate.
- It’s good practice to start whisking your egg whites at slow speed then build up speed to form the peaks. If you cut-corners and go straight to high speed it won’t take as long, but you’ll have big air pockets in your egg whites that might make the cake collapse in the oven later.
- The cake is very soft and sticky even when cooked, almost like fudge.
- Store cake at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.