Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake
Since Annabel's son was diagnosed with coeliac disease it’s been an epiphany for us to discover recipes like this one, which mean dietary restrictions don’t necessitate a life of deprivation. But even if you’re not on a gluten-free diet you’ll love this cake. It’s just good-quality chocolate (ideally at least 70 percent cocoa solids) held together with eggs, sugar and almonds. It ends up with a crust on top, which may crack a little — this isn’t a mistake, it’s part of the charm.
250 g dark chocolate
2 tbsp brandy
2 tbsp strong, hot black coffee
200 g butter, chopped
1 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups ground almonds
6 eggs, separated
TO SERVE (OPTIONAL)
dark chocolate, shavings
good-quality cocoa, to dust
vanilla ice cream
Preheat oven to 170°C fanbake.
Line the base and sides of a 23cm springform cake tin with baking paper.
Combine chocolate, coffee and brandy, if using, in a large bowl and melt over a pot of simmering water, or in short bursts in the microwave, stirring until chocolate is melted.
Add butter, sugar and vanilla and stir until butter has melted.
Remove from heat and stir in ground almonds.
Lightly beat egg yolks and stir into the chocolate mixture.
Place egg whites in a large, clean bowl or electric mixer and whisk until firm peaks form.
Stir a big spoonful of beaten egg white into the chocolate mixture to loosen it, then fold in the rest of the egg whites.
Spoon into prepared tin and bake until risen and set (40-50 minutes). The cake will still be a little gooey in the centre. It may look a little cracked as it develops a crust, and can be quite fragile, but this is normal.
Cool completely in the tin, then dust with cocoa if desired. To serve as a dessert, serve with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream.
It will keep in an airtight container for more than a week and also freezes well.