Raquel's Chocolate Cake

Raquel's Chocolate Cake

I met Raquel for the first time in 2015 at a networking event. She is passionate about food and writes an inspiring blog: Alimentarte. Our paths crossed again this Spring during meditation class. To celebrate the end of the course, she made a delicious chocolate cake. Two of our classmates were coeliacs so the cake was gluten-free.

I am often skeptical about 'free from' dishes; I once tried a vegan chocolate cake made from chickpeas and it tasted more like a baked choco veggie mash than a cake. However, Raquel's cake is an exception because it has the right mouthfeel and taste. The topping is made with a light whipped cream and a touch of mascarpone and it can be covered with fresh fruits. The cream is refreshing and balances out the intense chocolate taste of the cake.

For Mother's Day, I baked her recipe. It was my first gluten-free cake and I am happy to report that we all had a second serving! Nobody noticed that it wasn't a "regular" cake. I now prefer this version to my traditional flour-based recipe (also a killer moist cake that I will share someday).

You can find Raquel's story and the original recipe in Spanish and English here. I adapted her recipe, slightly optimized the English instructions and documented the steps with some visuals below.

Makes 1 cake (rectangular mold or 22cm tart mold). Serves 8.

Cake

Ingredients:

  • 200g of baking dark chocolate
  • 200g of almond flour
  • 125g of butter
  • 125g of sugar
  • 2 tbsp of vanilla sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • A pinch of salt

Preparation:

1. Separate the egg white and egg yolks. Set the egg white aside.

2. Melt the chocolate and butter bain-marie.

3. Lower temperature and stir in well one egg yolk at a time. 

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4. Add the sugar and flour and mix well. Remove from fire.

5. Preheat oven to 190 C.

6. Add the salt to the egg whites in a large bowl and whip until firm.

7. Delicately fold the egg whites into the chocolate mix with a spatula, until fully incorporated.

8. Pour the batter into the mold and bake for 15-20 minutes.

9. Remove the cake from the mold and allow to cool.

Topping

Ingredients:

  • 200mL whipped cream
  • 3 tbsp of mascarpone
  • 2 tbsp of sugar
  • Fresh fruits of your choice

Preparation:

1. Whip the cream with the sugar until it slightly thickens.

2. Add the mascarpone and keep on whipping until it becomes fluffy.

3. Store in the fridge until service.

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4. Lather the cream on top of the cake and top with fruits.

 

My Learnings:

  • Observing the evolution of the texture was fascinating, I had to ignore all of my expectations from a gluten cake:
    • When the almond flour was added in, the mixture became heavy and chunky (almost like a soft pâté). Some of the melted butter didn't fully integrate.
    • I found it difficult to fold in the first spoons of egg whites due to the consistency of the chocolate batter. The more I added egg whites to the mixture, the smoother and lighter the batter became.
    • Surprisingly, the texture was perfect once baked! The surface was smooth and leveled, I normally struggle to achieve this result with a regular gluten cake.
  • Almond flour tastes nice. In the future, I'll consider it more often as a substitute to flour.

 

Thank you Raquel for sharing your recipe!

Have you ever tried a gluten-free cake? How was your experience?

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