The month of May is full of celebrations: Mother‘s Day; birthdays, our wedding anniversary amongst other events. A cake is always a grand finale to any celebration. However, when you have someone who has coeliac disease in the family, we need to provide a gluten free cake in addition to any other we make. Having tried out several gluten free cakes, we decided to put it down on paper for what we consider the best gluten free chocolate cake!
We hope you will enjoy our gluten free cake recipe which is easy to prepare and delicious for the whole family!
We think this gluten free chocolate cake is the best and just what you need for your celebration (who doesn’t like the richness of chocolate and almonds?). In case there’s a larger party going on and you intend to make or provide a normal cake as well, be mindful of cross contamination issues (see end of this post), especially for coeliac persons. Those suffering from gluten intolerance will benefit from reading the tips too!
Why This Recipe?
Our son was diagnosed with coeliac disease in 2010 (it was a long-drawn process to finally identify it – we’ll talk about it perhaps in another post). For the last 10 years, the easiest solution for us has been to prepare foods that are naturally gluten-free whenever possible. This way, the whole family eats the same food and by way of inclusion no one feels left out. From our experience, this is especially important when younger children are first diagnosed.
However, just to complicate matters a little, my two other children and wife are lactose-intolerant. Additionally, my eldest son is allergic to some grains – of course Murphy’s law would have it that the grains to which he reacts allergically are naturally gluten-free (again, maybe more of this in another post)!
Despite these complications, we have found a great recipe for a chocolate cake that is gluten free and flourless – there are issues for some people who have coeliac disease, our son included, who cannot consume deglutenised flour. This is flour that is processed so that the gluten protein is removed. They are marketed as gluten free and by some accounts, they work well. However, some coeliacs can tolerate this while others (including our son) still react negatively.
All said, we rather opt for naturally gluten free ingredients in making any recipe.
As mentioned, we don‘t bake cakes that contain flour. However, we do bake with nuts. At this point, we are admittedly thankful that no one in our family has nut nor egg allergies. So, this recipe is of course suitable for those without any nut or egg allergies! In case you are, it would be better for you to use gluten-free flour, provided that this is a suitable option for you. As for egg allergies, you would have to use and experiment with egg substitutes.
The following recipe is great and has become one of our extended family’s favourites! It can be baked a day ahead and consumed the next day – allowing it to rest for a day also enhances the taste!
Best Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Recipe
125 g gluten-free dark cooking chocolate
70 g butter, softened
100 g sugar
5 large egg yolks
125 g almonds
Zest of half a lemon
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
1 heaped teaspoon of gluten-free baking powder
5 large egg whites
30 g sugar
Line a 22 cm baking tin (I use a silicon one) with baking paper and grease the sides with oil.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Break the chocolate into small pieces and melt it in a bain-marie (see Tips below).
Mix the butter and the sugar together until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, almonds, lemon zest, vanilla essence and baking powder and mix well.
Add 30 g of sugar to the egg whites and whisk until slightly firm. Add the egg white mixture carefully to the egg yolk-almond mixture.
Add the cooled-down molten chocolate to the cake mixture. Fill the mixture into the baking tin and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.
Tips for making Gluten Free Chocolate Cake
To melt the chocolate: fill a saucepan to about half and bring the water to boil. Place a slightly larger bowl on to the pot, making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.
The egg whites should not be beaten too firmly. The peaks that form should still bend over when you pull the beaters of the electric mixer out of the mixture.
Pour the egg whites carefully into the cake mixture and stir only lightly. The egg whites give the cake its structure and makes the cake rise better.
This cake is fat-reduced and tastes even better the day after baking.
Depending on time and preference, either coat the tip with sifted icing sugar or make a simple chocolate icing.
I have included the recipe for the chocolate icing that I use below:
Chocolate Icing Recipe:
1 cup icing sugar
2 Tablespoons of gluten-free cocoa powder
40 g butter, softened
1 tablespoon of milk
Sift icing sugar and cocoa powder together in a bowl. Add butter and milk. Use an electric mixer on low speed until all the ingredients are combined. Increase the mixer speed to medium and mix for another 2 minutes.
The icing is now ready to be poured over the cake, which has been left to cool down
Gluten Cross Contamination Issues
We wanted to highlight some potential issues you may face, especially those new to the necessity of gluten free and especially for those with coeliac disease. If you provide two cakes: a standard (we mean glutinous, even if it’s delicious!) and the other gluten-free; be very careful that there is no cross-contamination during the preparation or when serving. Cross-contamination issues are real and for the uninitiated, it may happen quite accidentally, albeit quickly.
Essentially, it requires you thinking simple process and procedure steps to avoid gluten cross contamination. For example, if you use the same knife to cut both cakes, then the gluten-free cake is no longer gluten-free for a child or adult who has coeliac disease. Don’t forget, it takes just a tiny crumb of bread or cake (or anything that is glutinous, including crumbs on your hand or fingers) to contaminate gluten-free food. A very tiny crumb is enough to give a person, who has coeliac disease some serious discomfort and potentially painful symptoms.
Take away mantra: Be mindful when preparing and serving gluten-free cake (foods) when preparing or serving normal (glutinous albeit delicious) foods. Use separate knives, serving utensils etc. and wash your hands before serving!
Et Voila! – Just Eat Cake!
Not much to add except enjoy the fruits of your labour – You’ve just mastered a wonderful (and possibly the best) Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Recipe!
Drop us your comments below on your results and any questions you have. We’d be glad to hear from you.