At work, I have been coming across more and more co-workers that are choosing not to have gluten for dietary reasons. And as some of you may know, dealing with teenagers on a daily basis can be a challenge sometimes, and sometimes a slice of cake is just what you need to sweeten up the day. The kids and I were able to come up with a recipe that is gluten free for some teachers/staff with (and without) gluten allergies to enjoy. This is an official version of the cake that we originally made for last year’s super birthday.
This super chocolate cake has a layer of chocolate almond crumble, chocolate flourless sponge, topped with a dark chocolate ganache. The chocolate flourless sponge is my go to chocolate sponge recipe for cake inserts for my entremets, it’s soft and moist, and can be cut and frozen after baking. I usually have a few spares hanging around in the freezer when I’m testing out cakes.
- 75g butter (cold)
- 25g cocoa powder
- 225g almond flour
- 75g sugar
- 8 egg yolks
- 75g sugar (1)
- 20g cocoa powder
- 80g dark chocolate
- 6 egg whites
- 75g sugar (2)
(note: enough for 2 x 8″ rounds)
- chocolate ganache recipe (Note: we added another 20g of butter to make it firmer and more sliceable, one recipe is enough for one 8″ cake, so you will need to double this recipe)
- small pot (2L)
- stainless steel bowls
- whisk/ spatula
- 2 stainless steel rings (8″)
- baking tray (half sheet pan), lined with a with silicone baking mat
- stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment
- For the crumble: In a stainless steel bowl, combine butter, sugar, cocoa powder and almond flour.
- Rub butter between the sugar, almond flour and cocoa powder into a crumbly texture, then into small/ medium chunks.
- Freeze in a single layer for roughly 30 minutes so that crumble maintain the shape during baking.
- Sprinkle half the crumble in each ring.
- Bake at 160°C/320°F for 20 minutes. Set aside for later use.
- For the chocolate sponge: In a stainless steel bowl, melt chocolate over a double boiler or a microwave and set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip egg yolks and sugar (1) on medium high for approximately 5 minutes, until light and fluffy (ribbon stage).
- Stir in cocoa powder and melted chocolate that has been cooled. Then transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl to free up your stand mixer (assuming you only have one) for the next step.
- In the stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites and sugar (2) until soft peaks.
- Fold egg whites into egg yolk/chocolate mixture and pour mixture into the rings, overtop of the (now cooled) crumble, roughly 290g per ring.
- Bake at 180°C/350°F for 20-25 minutes
- For the chocolate ganache: Once the chocolate sponge is cooled, make the ganache and pour onto the chocolate cake.
- Allow the ganache to set at room temperature for a few hours, slice and enjoy!
- If you are not a fan of super duper chocolate, you can easily substitute the chocolate ganache layer with other ganache flavours like passion fruit, cherry, raspberry.
- For an additional crunch, you can add chopped nuts to your crumble.
FAQs, Tips, Troubleshooting:
- If you only have one stand mixing bowl, make sure you wash the bowl properly after the whipping the egg yolks, any traces of fat will affect the egg whites. Alternatively, you can just whisk the egg whites using a hand whisk. (I didn’t say by hand because a student took those words literally once. lol)
- The finished gluten free sponge will fall, you didn’t do anything wrong, it’s ok!
- The cake should be eaten and stored at room temperature. Even though it contains dairy, it should be fine for a few days, even a week (if it lasts that long). The ganache recipe has been tested with the water activity machine – of course there are factors that also affect the shelf life: cleanliness, storage, relatively temperature and humidity.