I’ve been meaning to try baking a gluten free cake for a while. I think two things have been holding me back.
Firstly, there’s always butter involved. Aside from the fact that butter isn’t really all that healthy, I’m not so great with dairy. I’ll eat something that has a bit of herbed butter sauce drizzled on it at a restaurant, but cake recipes always seem to call for a stick or more of butter. I’m not sure my stomach is ready for that.
Secondly, flour is daunting. As a society, we’re so convinced that you need wheat-based flours to bake anything that sometimes the gluten-mania trickles down to me. Who am I to defy centuries of wheat-based baking practice?
But I remember stumbling across a chocolate cake recipe on Orangette a while back, which is apparently so good that Orangette’s author Molly baked it for her wedding. (If you’ve never visited her blog, do it now! Or just buy her book, A Homemade Life.) The recipe only calls for a tablespoon of all-purpose flour, so I wasn’t even too worried about replacing that with a gluten free substitute.
However, there was the issue of the 7 ounces of butter. I found a handy website that tells you how to convert butter amounts into olive oil, did some math, and decided to substitute .88 cups of olive oil for the 7 ounces of butter.
The recipe has only five ingredients, and for the dark chocolate, I used Organic Baking Drops from San Francisco-based TCHO Chocolate. I’ve written about TCHO previously, and I’m a big fan of not only their superb chocolate making skills but also their dedication to cultivating direct relationships with farmer co-ops through TCHOSource. The 66% cacao baking drops come in an 8 ounce package and include the following ingredients: cacao beans, cane sugar, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, and vanilla beans.
So the recipe. It’s fairly simple and results in a finger-licking-good fudge-y chocolate cake. Couldn’t ask for more.
Gluten and Dairy Free Chocolate Cake
Adapted from Orangette’s Gâteau au chocolat fondant de Nathalie, which was adapted from Je Veux du Chocolat! by Trish Deseine.
- 7 ounces (200 grams) dark chocolate (my choice was Tcho 66% cacao baking drops)
- .87 cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil (my choice was Bariani)
- 1 and 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 5 large eggs (mine are always from Rolling Oaks Ranch)
- 1 TBS all-purpose flour, or a gluten free substitute in the same amount (I chose 1 TBS of brown rice flour)
- Some coconut oil for the pan
- Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Use coconut oil to “butter” an 8-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper, and “butter” that as well.
- Chop the chocolate into fine pieces and combine with the olive oil. Slowly melt in a microwave (or like me, just place inside the oven with the door open). Stir occasionally to incorporate the oil and chocolate.
- When the chocolate has melted, take the pan out of the oven/microwave and add the sugar.
- Stir to combine.
- Add the eggs one-by-one. Stir after each egg is added in order to incorporate into the mixture.
- Add the flour and stir.
- Pour the mixture into the cake pan and place in the oven for about 25 minutes. Mine ended up taking more like 45, so watch for this: the top of the cake should be crackly, and the center should barely jiggle.
- Turn off the oven and let the cake sit on the rack for 10 minutes. Then remove from heat and let the cake cool down to room temperature. The cake will deflate a bit.
Molly also suggests that this cake is even better the next day, so don’t hesitate to wrap it up, stick it in the fridge, and serve it after 24 hours. I ate some after sticking it in the fridge for a couple of hours; it hardened up nicely and turned positively fudge-like. Perfecto!