Monday, March 21, 2011

The next cake you make

Do you like cake?

I've always thought cake was all right. If given a choice, I'd probably choose cookies or ice cream or even candy over cake. 

Until Saturday.

Saturday, our friends invited us to their home for dinner. It was gusty and rain was splashing against the windows, but inside it was toasty warm and we feasted on roast pork and risotto and French onion soup. We poured glasses of wine and listened to the music of our youth.

I'd volunteered to bring dessert. And it had to be gluten-free, considering my husband's intolerance for all things filled with white flour. The first idea that came to mind was a flourless chocolate cake.

I'd never made a flourless chocolate cake, and frankly wasn't expecting it to turn out well. I googled "gluten-free flourless chocolate cake," chose the very first recipe I came across and made it. 

And it is the best cake I have ever made, chocolate or otherwise. Flourless or otherwise. It was moist and decadent and rich and silky and it smelled like love. If you are going to make a chocolate cake any time soon, I must recommend you try this. You won't be disappointed.

Firstly, props to the Gluten Free Goddess for this recipe. I bow down to you. I am not worthy!

Secondly, let us embark upon the four bajillion photos I took of the cake preparation process.

I started out with two softened sticks of butter, a cup of brown sugar, a half cup of sugar, two tablespoons of cocoa powder, a tablespoon of vanilla, four giant Ghirardelli bars and eight eggs. Yes, EIGHT. You need 'em to make the cake rise. Not pictured: 3/4 cup of hot hot hot strong coffee.

The recipe says to butter a piece of parchment paper to line the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan with. This is my lame attempt to do that, and now that I've been your guinea pig, allow me to explain what you should actually do: Butter a big ol' piece of parchment paper and line the whole pan with it because if you don't the cake will stick to the pan. Try not to tear the paper like I did or the cake will leak through the crack a little. FYI I used a 9-inch springform pan and it took me 1 hour and 15 minutes to bake the cake. (I'm near sea level. If you're in the mountains it will take longer)

Next you throw the broken-up pieces of chocolate into your food processor and pulse it so that it makes an ungodly racket.

 When I was done pulsing, it looked like this.

 Then you add the sugars and pulse again til it looks kind of like this.

Now here's where there's a bit of an interruption in my picture-taking, because my food processor does this thing where when you fill it with liquid it wants to start leaking. So I have to hurry the hell up and blend stuff and then pour it out or it makes an unholy mess and then I lie down on the floor and cry.

So what I did while I was not taking photos was I poured the coffee, eggs and vanilla into the processor and then quickly (DEAR GOD, QUICKLY!!) blended it and poured it into the pan. 

When I poured it in, I realized there were some little chunky chocolate bits that hadn't gotten completely melted/blended. Looking at this mess, I was dubious, at best, as to how this would turn out. 

This is what happens, Larry. This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps. Or when you feed a woman scrambled eggs. Or when you ... try to blend too much liquid in your food processor. Do I need a bigger food processor? What is wrong with my machine? Why, Lord? Why?

Anyway! Before you bake this puppy, you wrap your pan with foil. Why did no one ever tell me to do this with a springform pan before? Why? It prevents oven drippage. This is what the cake looks like when it's done. A toothpick should come out of the center pretty much clean. The cake will fall a bit as it cools, but that's normal and you shouldn't be alarmed.

Looking at this parchment business, I was still dubious.

But then?

We took it out of the pan. We sifted powdered sugar on top of it. We strategically placed raspberries around it. 

 It looks pretty, pretty good.

This is Noodles. Noodles likes chocolate cake, too. Actually, I think Noodles will eat anything he can get his paws on, the little hound.

And this is the cake. Sliced and ready to be enjoyed. The outer edges retain a slight crisp and the inside of the cake is silky deliciousness.

We enjoyed it. We ate most of it.

There were only four of us. Plus Noodles, of course.

So anyway, seriously. Make this cake. You'll need to have a little time on your hands because it requires that once it's done baking, you cool it completely and then refrigerate it for a few hours. But it is so worth it.

Visit the Gluten Free Goddess here for the recipe. Happy baking! 


  1. wooOooOoOoOow.... that looks really good. and really fancy too.

    i'm not daring enough to try gluten-free food, plus i don't like chocolate, but these pictures make me wish i did.

    great job.

  2. All right, you're in time out.

  3. What kind of question is "Do you like cake?" Just sayin'...

  4. :-) True. Maybe I should have asked: Do you LOVE cake? I don't usually love it. But I do love THIS cake.

  5. You are right - the cake was silky and delicious and smelled like Love. Bryan is eating the final remnants of said cake as I type. We thank thee for thine delicious cake.

  6. Noodles is a really fucking cute cat!

  7. Cake eatin' ChristieMarch 22, 2011 at 12:37 AM

    This looks like heaven. The End. :)