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!
- 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
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!
Oh dear! It seems that I have already been distracted from the Great South African Bake Off. Maybe it was the episode on bread… but never fear I am still mentally preparing to take on the macaron challenge. But for now, the new series of Siba’s Table has caught my eye, and we move from the macaron to the macaroon. I was inspired by these delightfully pretty (and simple) gluten-free coconut macaroons with jam as seen in episode 1. You can find the original recipe here.
- 2 large free-range egg whites
- Pinch of cream of tartar
- Pinch of salt
- ¼ cup caster sugar
- 1 cup desiccated coconut
- ⅓ cup/80 ml ground almonds
- Guava jam (or jam of your choice if guava is not your thing)
- Icing sugar, to dust
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Whisk the egg whites in a mixer using the whisk attachment until frothy, then add the cream of tartar and salt. Continue whisking until soft peaks form, then add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until thick and glossy. Fold in the coconut and then the ground almonds.
Scoop a heaped spoonful of the mixture and gently shape in your hands into balls (being careful not to squeeze out the air that was incorporated by whisking) then make a small indent in the centre with your forefinger. (In her programme, Siba dips her hands in water before rolling the mixture as the water helps it not to stick to your hands).
Place on a baking tray and bake for 8-10 minutes until puffed and golden. Remove from the oven, cool slightly and place on a wire rack. If some macaroons are cracked after baking, just push the sides up while still warm to create a more pronounced indentation and shape. Spoon the preserve filling into the macaroons and lightly dust with icing sugar just before serving.
As mentioned these are pretty easy to put together; the jam is a delightfully sweet addition, and makes them look pretty fabulous as well. I have made these twice in the last week, and although mine are not as perfectly shaped as in the TV programme (sometimes I lack a little patience in certain areas) I am sure they taste just as good!
(And I must say thank you for the Le Creuset preserve jar that some very kind Burgers gave me for my birthday – it fits right in).
I think I am about to begin a quest for the best gluten-free torte, inspired by The Great British Bake Off. For unknown reasons DSTV is showing series 3 and the masterclass of series 5 at the same time… oh well one can never have too much of Paul Hollywood! Series 3 episode 5 had a challenge on tortes and I thought aha! My interest was peaked by the med student James Morton who made a gluten-free chocolate and passion fruit torte. Trying to find this recipe was a slightly arduous task, and I ended up buying Morton’s book “How Baking Works”on google books as this was the only way to get my hands on it ( but I did not buy his first book “Brilliant Bread” for obvious reasons). This is actually a great book as he explains in detail what to do and why. Before I even got to the chocolate and passion fruit there was a basic gluten-free torte recipe which seemed to be a good place to start. Hence begins the quest for the gluten-free torte!
- 3 medium eggs
- 140 grams castor sugar
- 180 grams ground almonds (or any ground nuts of your choice)
- Pinch of salt
- Flaked nuts
- 250 ml cream and mixed berrries for decorating
Line the bottom of a 23 cm spring form cake tin with baking paper. Grease the sides heavily with butter.
(Greasing and lining is important as tortes can easily stick).
Separate the eggs.
Whisk the eggs whites until stiff. Then add two tablespoons of sugar and whisk for another few minutes until glossy and smooth.
Whisk the egg yolks and the remaining sugar until at least doubled in size and significanly lighter in colour (add the sugar gradually and not all at once).
Add the almonds and salt to the egg yolks and fold together slowly. Make sure the mixture is combined completely.
Add about a third of the whites to the yolk mixture and mix to combine. Then add the rest and fold them in very gently with a metal spoon. Transfer to your lined tin and scatter with flaked or whole nuts.
Preheat overn to 170 degrees and bake for 20-25 minutes. Bake until a light golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.
I added whipped cream, some mixed berries and grated white chocolate just to give some oomph. The edges take on a rather delicious almost meringue texture, and I must say despite the lack of my essential dark chocolate I would definitely make this again. It looks extremely pretty and reminds me of a British Summer – anyone for Pimms?
And for the record what exactly is a torte? There are various definitions all roughly covering the same points – a rich cake, especially one containing little or no flour, usually made with eggs and ground nuts or bread crumbs. It is not automatically gluten-free, so never presume in a restaurant, and always ask!
I have done a previous post on gluten-free almond flour muffins. This recipe is that teeny bit simpler and is based on 4 muffins (although I ended up with 6) – an easier number for self-restraint when opposed to 12 muffins! This recipe comes from elanaspantry.com.
- 1 cup almond flour (4 ounces)
- 2 large eggs (4 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
In a medium bowl combine almond flour and baking soda.
In a large bowl combine eggs, honey and vinegar.
Stir dry ingredients into wet until combined.
Scoop into a paper lined muffin pan (I used silicon moulds).
Bake at 180 degrees for 15 minutes until slightly browned around edges.
Cool in the pan for ½ hour.
Serve and enjoy.
Voila! Simple and quick, just what one needs mid-week. I make these when I know I have a busy day out of the office and am not sure when I am going to be able to grab a snack.
I was paging through an old issue of Woolworths Taste magazine (issue 94) when I came across a recipe for gluten-free honey cake. The description “to be made when you crave comfort and authentic sweetness” sent me to the kitchen almost immediately!
- 180 grams almond flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¾ cup runny honey
- Whipped honey and mascarpone for serving
Preheat oven to 170 degrees.
Combine the almond flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon in a bowl.
Mix the eggs, olive oil and honey in a mixer for 2 minutes, or until the mixture is creamy.
Add the almond flour mixture and mix well with a spatula.
Pour mixture into a greased 22 cm silicone cake mould.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out cleanish with a few sticky crumbs still attached.
Serve with whipped honey and mascarpone.
This cake was really scrummy and I admit I was eating it for breakfast (I thought eggs, nuts, honey… why not?) and mascarpone and honey are two of my favourite things together. The definition of whipped honey did cause me some confusion, and googling did not exactly bring clarity. Some sites use the term whipped and creamed honey interchangeably, some argue whipped is not the same as creamed and explain a process to make whipped honey using starter cultures or crystallised honey. So I just used creamed honey. Looks good, tastes good!
I found this brownie recipe here at the gfreefoodie (recipe courtesy: Ghirardelli Chocolate). I am always on the lookout for recipes that are flourless or use almond/coconut flours, so time to bake!
1/2 cup whole almonds or 2/3 cup almond flour
1/3 cup brown rice flour
1 cup Ghirardelli bittersweet 60% Chocolate Chips (use what you can find locally)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into chunks
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup walnut or pecan pieces, optional
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees (that’s about 162 Celsius) with a rack in the lower third of the oven.
Line an 8×8-inch metal baking pan across the bottom and up two opposite sides with parchment paper. If using whole almonds, add them to a food process with the rice flour and pulse until the nuts are finely ground. If using almond flour, mix it with the rice flour. Set aside.
Place the chocolate, butter and salt in the top of a large double boiler over barely simmering water. Stir frequently until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl and let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in the sugar and vanilla. Stir in the eggs one at a time. Add the almond and rice flour mixture and stir until moistened, and then mix briskly about 40 strokes. Stir in the walnuts or pecans if using.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the brownies are slightly puffed all over and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out moist but clean. Cool the pan on a rack. Run a knife along the unlined sides of the pan to detach the brownies. Lift the edges of the parchment paper to remove the brownies. Cut into squares. Eat!
One of my favourite things to bake for the weekend is gluten-free banana muffins made from almond flour. I can probably make these with my eyes closed, so when it came to actually type up the recipe I realized that I have no idea where I first saw it. So I searched and searched and finally I found it. I like to give credit where credit is due! Click on this link to northdenvernutritiontherapy.com for the original recipe.
Makes 12 full size muffins
- 3 ripe bananas mashed
- 2 cups almond flour
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ¼ cup oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Mix bananas, eggs, vanilla, honey and oil together.
- In a separate bowl mix almond flour, salt and baking soda.
- Slowly add dry ingredients to the banana mixture.
- Scoop batter into a lined muffin tins
- Bake at 180° for 15-20 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean )
- Remove from oven and let cool
I have read similar recipes where they suggest using a food processor for the mixing. I rather enjoy mashing bananas, but if you prefer not to get your hands dirty and do not have a processor, place the bananas in a zip lock bag and smash away. The key here is to have ripe bananas. I have tried a version where I substituted the oil with apple sauce/puree and that worked just as well. I am tempted to throw on some kind of frosting to make this a little more tea-time and less breakfast but so far have resisted the urge – think adapting this to carrot muffins will then give me “permission” to add a cream cheese frosting – hmm stay tuned!