Greetings, everyone! It’s another snowy day in the Rockies. The sun hasn’t come out yet so the snow is still clinging to many of the tree branches and it’s lovely.
Late yesterday, we took the beast out for a snowy romp. He seemed to enjoy himself and even dug up a frozen elk leg. Quite a day.
Tonight I am meeting up with a friend who cannot consume gluten. As a professional pastry chef I find it very satisfying when I can overcome baking obstacles- high altitude for one, and currently, gluten-free baking- with a delicious outcome.
I’ve always felt the best way to start gluten-free baking is with a recipe that is naturally gluten-free. For example, don’t start off trying to make breadsticks. That kind of recipe will require a little more knowledge of gluten-free ingredients.
Choosing a recipe that is naturally flourless or uses other tasty ingredients (chocolate, ground nuts, etc.) for “structure” is what to look for. You won’t be disappointed in something not tasting “the same”, and you will feel instant success because, look at it- you made it and it’s really good. And you can do more of this.
I toyed around with a quick bread recipe using an all-purpose flour substitute and I’m not thrilled with it yet. I am heading to Denver this week and plan to pick up some “Cup4Cup” as I have heard good things about it. For those of you living at altitude and seeking recipes that are gluten-free, I will be sure to post my successes.
In the meantime, start with this magnificent chocolate cake courtesy of Alice Medrich’s Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts and Alanna at The Bojon Gourmet blog.
The eggs in this recipe do all the work, so as long as they’re kept at very soft peaks, no altitude adjustments are necessary. At my altitude, it took approximately 36 minutes to bake. The recipe suggests 40-45 minutes, so at any altitude just keep an eye on your cake after 35 minutes of baking. When it has puffed, the edges have slightly darkened, and the center no longer jiggles, it is done.
Rich, chocolate, and slightly nutty, no one will miss the flour lacking from this cake. It’s reminiscent of a decadent brownie. Another perk is that the cake uses olive oil, rather than butter, so it’s ‘dairy-free’.
How to make this recipe:
Chocolate Almond Olive Oil Cake
Adapted from The Bojon Gourmet blog
- 6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
- ½ cup olive oil
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup sugar, divided
- ½ cup ground almonds/almond flour
- 2 tablespoons sweet rice flour
- 4 eggs, separated
- zest of 1 orange or tangerine
- Preheat your oven to 325 F.
- In a saucepot, combine the chocolate, olive oil, and salt.
- Place over the lowest heat setting and stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.
- Whisk in ½ cup of the sugar, followed by the ground almonds and rice flour.
- Whisk in the egg yolks and citrus zest.
- In a mixing bowl, whip the egg whites and remaining ¼ cup sugar to very soft peaks.
- Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the chocolate mixture.
- Grease an 8" or 9" springform pan and scrape the batter into the pan.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the cake is puffed and firm in the center.