Bulletin for all those chocolate lovers out there
you think a great chocolate cake is out of your reach on a
gluten-free diet, think again! Chocolate cakes can be prepared,
gluten-free, with spectacular results. From the every day
layer cake to extravagant multi-layer genoise with flavored
syrups and ganache, our gluten-free chocolate cakes are indistinguishable
from the gluten variety.
The best chocolate cakes, gluten-free or
not, are to a large extent the result of the quality of the
ingredients you use. If you intend to bake an extraordinary
cake, you should use the highest quality of ingredients that
you can. To this philosophy one can also apply common sense.
As an example, if you are making a Chocolate Hazelnut Cake
for guests, you may want to go the extra mile and splurge
on the best organic ingredients you can find; but on the other
hand, if you are making cup cakes for the kids, standard and
less expensive ingredients may be more appropriate. The following
are some tips on ingredients that will help ensure the success
of your cakes.
The great thing about chocolate cakes is
that gluten-free flour seems to behave wonderfully when combined
with chocolate. This is true for melted chocolate and cocoa
powder. We have achieved superb baking results using the following
gluten-free flour formula.
- 2 cups rice flour (white or brown)
- 2/3 cup potato starch
- 1/3 cup corn starch
- 1/4 teaspoon xantham gum
To simplify matters, double, triple or quadruple
this formula; mix well and fill your flour canister, then
forget about it. This gf flour can be used for anything calling
for flour, cakes, gravy, sauces, coatings for meat, poultry
or fish. For quick breads and cookies add up to an additional
1/4 teaspoon xantham gum. There are many other gf flour recipes
in other cookbooks and from a variety of other sources, but
we have found that many of these produce unreliable results.
There are also other types of flours that some flour recipes
use, such as garbanzo bean flour, and although they do provide
additional nutritional value, they add additional flavors
and textures to what is desired. And, lets face it,
are we really going after high nutrition value when we bake
a cake? No, we want a sinfully delicious dessert. You can
certainly experiment with other gf flour recipes, but be advised
that when making our chocolate cakes, you may get different
Dark Baking Chocolate:
We consider chocolate the star ingredient
of any chocolate cake and therefore, always use a top quality
chocolate. Our preferred chocolate for baking is Scharffen
Bergers. This chocolate is handcrafted, naturally gluten-free,
expensive and worth every penny.
baking chocolate is available in unsweetened, bittersweet
and semisweet. The difference between these is in the amounts
of chocolate liqueur, sugar and flavor additives that they
contain. Chocolate liqueur is also known as chocolate solids
and is the pure essence of roasted, skinned cocoa beans. It
actually contains no alcohol.
For the majority of cakes we bake, we use
Cocoa powder is available as nonalkalized
and alkalized (also called Dutch Process). To alkalize non-alkalized
cocoa, add a pinch of baking soda. Alkalized cocoa powder
is darker and has a milder flavor.
We are aware that there are still those
who avoid vanilla extract on a gluten-free diet. Our recipes
include vanilla extract, as we believe it is gluten-free because
the protein in gluten found in the alcohol ingredient is destroyed
in the distilling process.
There are many varieties of vanilla extracts
on the market and some that even identify that they are gluten-free
on the package. We always choose the most pure vanilla extract
that we can find.
We have the pleasure of raising our own
free-range and organic chickens and therefore have an endless
supply of eggs. Obviously, not everyone can raise chickens,
but if you can find free-range, organic eggs, you will discover
that there is a tremendous difference from regular store-bought
eggs. Free-range, organic eggs have deep orange yolks and
are very flavorful. Whichever type of egg you buy, be sure
to always select large eggs for baking. Eggs are essential
in gluten-free baking to assist in rising and in lightening
All our recipes use the correct number of
eggs to produce the desired result. If you wish to convert
a recipe to a gluten-free version, we recommend adding an
additional egg to the recipe.
Rule of thumb is always use unsalted butter
in not only cake recipes but for all general cooking. Salt
can and should be added as a separate ingredient and as necessary.
However, a key reason for using unsalted butter is that is
fresher. Salt acts like a preservative and therefore salted
butter can be kept longer before being sold. We prefer Land
O Lakes brand or any of the organic butters on the market.
Organic cream or milk are also far superior
that regular cream or milk, and of course more expensive.
If you can afford organic, you will find that it is worth
the extra cost in taste, not to mention the health factor.
When a recipe calls for whipping cream,
it simply means heavy cream that is whipped.
A key for whipping cream quickly is to pre-chill
the bowl and beaters. Cream will whip faster when the tools
you use are cold. Cream can also be whipped by hand with a
whisk. Again, the bowl and whisk must be chilled and it does
take a bit of wrist strength and endurance but its nice
to know that you can do it if you want or had to.
Whipped cream will keep for several days
in the refrigerator without change.
It is our belief that liqueurs are gluten-free.
As with vanilla, the protein found in gluten is destroyed
in the distilling process.
Liqueurs add spectacular nuances of flavors
and transform a cake from great to fabulous. Liqueurs are
also used in cake batters and in fillings like ganache.
Syrups are usually a combination of a liqueur,
sugar and water that has been heated into a syrup consistency.
Syrups are used to give a cake an additional hint of flavor
and to moisten the baked cake.
Were confident that any of the following
cake recipes will astound you. Not only are they gluten-free,
but they just might be the best chocolate cakes you have ever
made or tasted!
Almond Cherry Cream Cake