December 2015 archive

Gluten-free chocolate almond torte

One of my friends had a Christmas lunch this week (the benefits of having a public holiday the week before Christmas) and my contribution was gluten-free chocolate almond torte. I am not sure why I have never posted this torte, as this is my go to recipe. If I am asked to bring a dessert and I want wow factor then this is it! This is probably the first gluten-free torte/cake that I made and I have absolutely no idea where I saw the original recipe. I apologise to whoever you are, but I thank you!

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Ingredients

  • 200 grams butter
  • 180 grams dark chocolate
  • 4 eggs separated
  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (sifted)
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
  • ½ cup boiling water

Directions

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease and line a 22cm round spring form cake tin.

Place instant coffee and water in a jug and stir to dissolve.

Melt butter, chocolate, cocoa power and coffee in a saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly until melted abut 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool slightly.

Beat eggs yolks and sugar with an electric mixer until thick (about 5 minutes).

Beat eggs whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.

Add chocolate mixture and almond flour to the egg yolk mixture and stir to combine.

Using a metal spoon, gently fold in half of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Add the rest of the egg whites.

Pour into prepared tin. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool completely in pan. Dust with extra cocoa powder.

I always serve with berries but some cream would not go amiss here either.

The centre of this has a delightfully rich, fudgy texture. I have been known to add a chocolate glaze, but only serve that to committed chocolate lovers as is possibly a little over the top. People do not realise that this is a gluten-free recipe, and it goes down extremely well and rather quickly! It did beat out the Pavlova and homemade ice cream as favourite dessert at lunch… not that I am competitive at all when it comes to baking of course!

 

 

 

 

Salted caramel sauce

I am keeping busy with my macaroon obsession while I await the arrival of “The Macaroon Bible”. Yes such a book exists, and is arriving 17th December…just before I fly to Australia! Might be a 2016 read then. I have made glace cherries, cranberry and almond, salted caramel and apple macaroons– all of which are really just a variation of a basic macaroon recipe. However, I think I should share this rather wonderful salted caramel sauce. This recipe is taken from the book “For the Love of Baking” by Sarah Dall.

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Ingredients

  • 100 ml golden syrup
  • 75 grams butter
  • 75 grams Demerara sugar
  • 75 grams castor sugar
  • 125 ml double thick cream
  • 15 ml Maldon salt

Directions

Heat the syrup, butter and sugars in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream and salt. Return to the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Pour into sterilised jars and set aside to cool and thicken.

So this is a great simple recipe, with no faffing around with thermometers and the like. There is something very satisfying watching butter and syrup melt, comporting and exciting at the same time. Do not panic about the amount of sugar used – this recipe makes 350 ml of sauce and the caramel will keep in the fridge for up to 3 months (so the author says, the sauce has not lasted long enough for me to test that theory yet).

In terms of the book, there are not that many gluten-free baking recipes, but there are other desserts such as Pavlova, Panna Cotta and some interesting ideas such as salted caramel popcorn. There are, though, some great sauce and essential recipes – passionfruit curd, butterscotch sauce, coulis and a great section of “sweet smotherings” – the book is a great buy for these “smotherings” alone! Chocolate ganache anyone?