Simple Chocolate Cake (Gluten Free!)
It’s been a busy week! I was hoping to get this cake up on Mrs. Smith Cooks earlier this week but, alas, you had to wait. The good news is that this cake is totally worth the wait. Like the previous cake, this cake was modified from Smitten Kitchen’s recipe. As I’ve mentioned at other times, my husband, Mr. C, can’t eat gluten which puts him out of the running for all “normal” cakes, cookies, pies, etc. I have the following problem with most gluten free dessert recipes for these things: They often are trying to be something that they are not. In an attempt to make up for the lack of white flour, they have a mixture of a zillion crazy flours and other science experiment type potions. So when you’re expecting cake, you get some cake like approximation that is usually… okay.
This recipe is not like that, at all. It is not trying to be something it is not, it uses almond flour and buckwheat flour (I know, more on that in a minute) and it just works. It doesn’t taste like “health food” it doesn’t taste like a gluten free cake trying to masquerade as a delicious cake, it tastes like a yummy chocolate cake. It’s not dry or wet, it’s not overly fudgy or dense nor overly light and airy. It’s hard to describe, but it’s delicious (and I’m VERY hard on gluten free desserts… I don’t eat them if they’re not delicious.) There was one major drawback to this recipe for me, and that is that the almond flour was expensive… $12 (!) for 3 cups of it. Now, since there’s only a quarter cup of almond flour in the recipe, that $12 bag of almond flour will work out to about $1 per cake, but still, not a cheap investment for something that you may not make a lot. One way to get around this is to make your own almond flour by grinding your own almonds in a coffee grinder. It doesn’t look hard at all. Directions here. The buckwheat flour wasn’t super cheap either, but it didn’t make my eyes bulge out like the almond flour did. A word about the buckwheat flour. You’re just going to have to trust me when I say it doesn’t taste crazy and health food-y in this cake. Promise.
Overall, this cake was everything I wanted and more. It was tasty, simple to make and eat, tasted like “real” dessert food and made my husband say “mmmm hmmmmm” the whole time he was eating it. Win!
Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
3 1/2 ounces bittersweet dark chocolate (SK recommends 70-72% – I used the Lindt 70%)
4 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
A pinch of sea salt
1 t. vanilla
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup almond meal
Confectioners’ sugar, whipped cream and/or berries to serve (your choice)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Butter bottom and sides of a 9 inch round pan and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper
3. Melt chocolate and butter together in a small bowl in the microwave. Do this in small increments of time and then stir, a lot, to avoid scorching. (I did mine in 15 second increments.) Alternatively, melt the chocolate and butter together in a double boiler, if you want to be fancy or don’t have a microwave.
4. Beat eggs, sugar, and salt together in the bowl of a stand mixer for a super long time until doubled in volume and pale yellow. The recipe I used said this can take anywhere from 5-9 minutes. I was busy chasing around a baby and/or wild animals and so I let it go the full 9 minutes, but I have a suspicion it was done earlier. Totally didn’t hurt to have it go the whole time, though. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you’re going to have to tough it out with an electric hand held mixer, which will mean you deserve way more praise for the finished product, because that’s going to be annoying.
5. Fold in the chocolate/butter mixture and the vanilla.
6. Fold in the flours, gently. Now is not the time to start beating it to death, just to combine.
7. Pour in the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
8. Let the cake cool for 5 minutes before inverting on to a cooling rack or plate to cool the rest of the way.
9. Top with powdered sugar, whipped cream or berries and devour!