Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Delicious Gluten-free Cake.

On Good Friday, we got together with some people from our church and had a Christian Seder. It was a neat experience, learning more about the Jewish customs surrounding Passover, and seeing the symbolism that was present at the Last Supper of Christ.

I was put in charge of dessert, and wanted to try to make something at least moderately authentic - i.e. no added flour or other leavening agents. Using my favorite new online recipe search engine, (it searches food blogs for recipes so you find some really interesting and creative dishes) I stumbled onto this recipe.

This cake was delicious - rich, soft, very chocolately with a nice orange flavor. And it has no flour or added fat. (It is made with ground nuts instead of flour, so the fat in it comes only from the eggs and the nuts.)

Flourless Chocolate-Orange Almond Cake

1 1/4 cups whole almonds (6 to 7 ounces) (I actually used hazelnut instead - it was delicious.)
1 cup sugar, divided
6 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
6 large eggs, separated
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (Extract works just as well.)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush bottom of 10-inch-diameter springform pan generously with margarine. Blend almonds and 1/4 cup sugar in processor until almonds are finely ground. Add chocolate; blend until chocolate is finely ground, scraping sides and bottom of bowl occasionally.

Whisk cocoa, orange juice, and orange peel in small bowl until smooth. Combine egg yolks and 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar in large bowl. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean. Using electric mixer, beat until yolk mixture is very thick, about 4 minutes. (I actually beat my egg whites first so that I didn't have to wash the beaters in the middle of cooking.) Beat in cocoa mixture. Fold in ground-almond mixture. Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites and salt in another large bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add 2 tablespoons sugar, beating until whites are stiff but not dry. Fold whites into chocolate batter in 3 additions. Transfer to prepared pan.

Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool cake completely in pan on rack. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with foil; store at room temperature.)

I served it with a homemade chocolate sauce and whipped cream, and it was delicious.

Good recipes (and good recipe search engines) definitely work for me.

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