Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Almonds & Plums

This is for my gluten free friends. And the self-diagnosed gluten free. And the people who think being gluten free is a trend the cool kids are following and that 'coeliac' is a music genre. All of you will enjoy this cake.

I must first bring attention to the snow storm happening around the cake in the photo above. Imitating the beautiful flick of the wrist into the sieve as done by head pastry chef at work, I imagined a light, fairy-esque dusting of icing sugar. I hadn't planned for the somewhat aberrant behaviour that ensued. Please don't follow my example, this cake deserves better.

However, having talked for far too long about the icing sugar, no one really gives a monkey's. On a seriously delicious and light cake laden with almonds and (not quite as many as I should have put on) plum slices, decorative spasms won't steal your attention.

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Almonds and Plums

This is adapted from a lovely recipe on the ever wonderful BBC good food website

Quantities: one 25cm cake 

Timings: 1 hour or so

Kitchen Stuff: 25cm (or thereabouts) loose bottomed tin, baking paper, handwhisk (electric or not), a couple of large bowls

85g butter plus extra for greasing
85g golden caster sugar plus extra for tin
85g dark chocolate (make sure it's gluten free if that's what you're after!)
3 eggs, yolk and white separated
85g ground almonds
a large handful of flaked almonds (for decoration)
2-3 ripe plums, thinly sliced (for decoration)
icing sugar (for dusting)


Preheat your oven to 180 degrees

BAKING TIN: Cut out a circle of baking parchment to fit the base of your loose-bottomed tin. Melt one tbsp butter and brush the inside of the tin then line the base with the parchment and brush again with more butter. Spoon in 2 tbsp caster sugar and swirl it around to coat the base of the sides, tip out any excess.

CHOCOLATE & YOLKS: Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of hot water, stirring constantly (make sure the bowl doesn't touch the water). Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a large bowl until pale and thick. Add the egg yolk/sugar and the ground almonds to the melted chocolate and fold it together until combined. 

EGG WHITES: In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they reach a soft peak. Don't over-whisk (when they get clumpy) or will be harder to fold in. Stir a spoonful of the egg whites into the chocolate mix, then carefully fold in the rest in two more additions.

BAKE: Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level it out. Arrange the almond flakes and plum slices how you wish (make it pretty).  Bake for 40 minutes until the cake is cooked all the way through - a toothpick inserted into the cake should come out clean (no batter).

COOL IT: Leave the cake to cool for a bit in the tin before releasing it, about 5 mins at least, then place it on a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar (avoid snow storms) and serve with crème fraîche or ice cream.

Go wild with the plums and almonds - I even used some bronze nuggets here. Crazy.

The egg whites make this cake seriously light - but totally moreish, beware.