Archive | October, 2012

A Piece of Cake

31 Oct

The last thing I want to do is to start posting yummy gluten -free recipes. That’s just not me. Complaining about the gluten-free lifestyle is much more me. But once in a while a really good recipe comes along. And even more rare, a really good recipe with a story.  I have made this cake three times. I remember each time I’ve made it because it’s so good!  But before I give you the recipe, I must give you some important information.

  • The recipe is from a retreat center in Santa Barbara, CA, called Immaculate Heart Center for Spiritual Renewal. They have a great recipe book, called A Place at the Table that you should buy. (You are probably wondering what a bitch like me was doing at a spiritual retreat center, but I’ll never tell.)
  • If you make this cake for yourself you will want to eat it at every meal (see my previous post)
  • If you make this cake for a group of people, there will not be any left, so make two.
  • If you do not have a heavy-duty food processor, you may not want to make this recipe.
  • I suggest you invest in a heavy-duty food processor just so you can make this recipe.

A Cake Story

My daughter just returned from a cross-country road trip with her friend. I made a delicious dinner, pork tenderloin with fig sauce (also from A Place at the Table) mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts. Yum! And flourless chocolate cake with goat cheese-whipped cream on the side. Double yum!

The recipe calls for 8 oz of dark chocolate, which you break up into littleish pieces and process in the food processor with some of the sugar. What they don’t tell you is that your food processor will shake violently as it tries to pulse that chocolate into a semi-fine powder. I was a little a worried about the shaking but I kept on with the processing, and turned out the most delicious cake. There were only two pieces left in the morning. I was tempted to eat a piece for breakfast but decided to practice restraint and ate it an hour later when I got to work.

When I came home there was a note from my daughter, with a tiny screw next to it, explaining that the screw was in the piece of cake. I checked the mixer, no missing screws. Then I remembered the shaking food processor. I checked the blade. Sure enough, two little screws missing. My first thought, who ate the other screw?

The moral of this story: THIS CAKE IS DANGEROUS

Flourless Chocolate Cake

For Cake

1 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 cup whole raw almonds

8 oz. dark chocolate

5 eggs separated

1/2 tsp. orange or lemon zest

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract

6 oz. butter, melted

powered cocoa or sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper. Butter and flour the sides.

In a food processor; process about 1/3 cup sugar with the almonds, pulsing until fine. Remove to a medium bowl. Process about another 1/3 cup of the sugar with the chocolate, pulsing until fine. Check for screws.  Add to the bowl of almonds, mix, and  set aside.

In a mixing bowl, mix egg yolks with the remaining 1/3 cup sugar for a few minutes, until thick and pale. Mix in zest and extracts. Fold in almond/chocolate mixture and melted butter.

Whip eggs (with clean dry beaters) until they hold stiff peaks. Gently and completely fold egg whites into cake mixture (this takes patience as the dough may be quite stiff). My dough was not that stiff, so patience was not an issue, but I appreciated the warning.

Pour mixture into prepared cake pan, leveling the top. Back until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist bits, 45-55 minutes.

Let rest on cooling rack for a few minutes; then remove from pan and cool completely. Dust with sugar or cocoa and serve with whipped cream.

Whipped Cream

3-5 Tbls fresh goat cheese (chevre)

1-3 tsp sugar

1/2-1 cup whipping cream

You can experiment with the proportions on this. I like it more goaty so I use more goat cheese and less whipped cream. You can sweeten to taste, but remember the cake is already sweet.

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