Gluten-free Chocolate Coffee Cake

Gluten-free Chocolate Coffee Cake


In all its aromatic mesmerism and bittersweet bouquet of tastes, coffee somehow seems to have failed me in the traditional coffee cake. The world’s favourite psychoactive drink has a meanness which is explored only at the tip when it comes to cakes.

The potent flavours of coffee that are closely related to its mind-racing jump start qualities are gently doused in creamy layers of innocuous sweetness. The result is a rich, creamy cake no different than the non-coffee cakes lined up in a tempting display at the high street chains. Perhaps it is the demand of the masses, but for most of my life I’ve yearned for a cake that truly defines the rich allure of coffee which lies in its intensity, the body, the aroma… ahh, the good stuff.

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I’ve been an experimental baker most of my life, and sweet baking is hardly my forte so this coffee cake only ever existed as a figment of my imagination – until now. After a long journey of misrepresented coffee cake tastings, I finally discovered the recipe that results in a remarkably moist and deliciously dense crumb. This gluten-free chocolate cake hits the spot for coffee lovers with the uplifting bitterness of the espresso shining brightly among the ingredients used in the cake in collaboration with the sinful richness of dark chocolate. The nutty flavour of the walnuts is replaced with ground almonds which add to the sharpness of the cake transforming the traditional coffee cake into a coffee lover’s guiltless trip to dessert land.

It beautifully defines the true essence of a strong coffee cake. This flour-less cake makes it gluten-free which puts it in the list of many health-friendly diets. So, make yourself an espresso {or whatever coffee you like, I suppose – this cake is bitter enough} and enjoy.

 

Ingredients                      Quantity

Almonds                               200g

Dark Chocolate                    200g

Unsalted Butter                   175g

Caster Sugar                         70g

Eggs {separated}                  4

Strong Espresso                   20ml

 

* Begin by pre-heating the oven to 170 degrees. In the meantime, grease and line a 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin.

* Add the almonds to a food processor and grind them finely without processing them too much or else they end up getting sticky.

* Boil some water in the pan and let it simmer. Add the dark chocolate, butter and espresso together in a bowl and put this bowl on top of the simmering water. The bowl should not touch the water. The steam will automatically help the dark chocolate and the butter to melt. Stir occasionally to mix the three ingredients.

* In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks along with the sugar till the mixture turns thick and pale. It should take you about 5 minutes when you use a handheld electric whisk.

* Now fold the melted chocolate mixture into the sugar and yolk mixture. Then fold in the almonds to this mixture.

* Take a clean bowl and whisk the egg whites till they begin forming stiff peaks. Fold the whisked egg whites into the above mixture.

* Add the cake mixture in the cake tin you prepared and bake it for 25 to 30 minutes in the oven. If you like a gooey texture similar to that of a chocolate pudding then reduce the cooking time leaving this gluten free coffee cake slightly undercooked.

 

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Note

* If you are using a microwave to bake your cake then let it stand for some time so that the cake gains its dry crumbly texture. Cakes that come straight out of the microwave may be a little wet so give them time.

* When you are using the convection mode of your microwave, remember to pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees for 15 minutes. The cake will then be baked for 30 to 35 minutes or till it is done.

* You can use an aluminium cake tin in your microwave if you are using convection mode. Use white and brown paper to line the tin and grease it before pouring the batter.

 

Serving

* Serve the cake in 2 inch square pieces with evening tea or high tea. Place the cake pieces on a serving platter and add a generous portion of vanilla ice-cream and top it up with 1 teaspoon of chocolate sauce.

* For homemade chocolate sauce: Take two tablespoons of cocoa powder, 4 tablespoons of sugar and ¾ cup water in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave it one high for 3 minutes taking it out once to stir the mixture.

* If you are fond of icing on your cake, then you can mix 200 ml fresh cream with icing sugar and a pinch of cream of tartar. Beat the three ingredients together till you get a fluffy, creamy texture. Apply it generously on the cake and chill it before you serve.

 

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End note: The distinctive flavours of coffee and dark chocolate create a magical marriage of flavours and aromas in this cake. I’ve experimented with the addition of cinnamon and cayenne and it always turns out good. If you have never had a lot of success with a homemade cake recipe before, you must try this delicious cake because it is easy, and hardly ever goes wrong. This truly is the one.

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* I love bringing together a bunch of conflicting items and weaving my own sense of one-ness to them. *

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