I'd meant to get to this recipe sooner, but like a lot of stuff at the end of the year, "shit happens" as the old saying goes. I cooked an Indian buffet for Alan's birthday last week and while I'd ordered the traditional Birthday Princess Cake from Scandia Bakery here in Sonoma, I had some gluten free guests coming and did not want them to feel neglected. Believe me, this cake is about as far from being neglected as one can get.
Even though there are more and more gluten-free products in stores and bakeries, the holiday season can be rough. When everyone else is stuffing their faces with cupcakes, brownies and cookies, sometimes adding a gluten-free dessert to the festivities can be an afterthought.
"Oh yeah, you're the one who can't eat gluten. Here have some of these quinoa chips and don't let the gluten hit you in the ass on the way out the door!"
I always ask about food allergies before people come to eat at our house. We entertain a lot and the last thing I want is to have is a guest/family member flopping around on the floor like a flounder while someone frantically searches for the EpiPen. Some people may think that a just a tiny bit of something (gluten) will never hurt someone if they don't know it's there, and I keep reading horror stories about how some chefs ignore their gluten-free customer's diets because they don't believe in celiac disease. Dude, celiac disease is not the Tooth Fairy or Santy Claus, it's the same as any allergic or religious dietary rule that one might follow. Take it seriously.
Of course the best possible answer when cooking for the gluten intolerant is to fix something that everyone can enjoy. I don't have any gluten restrictions personally, but quite a few friends do, and since I cook mostly Indian food, there are a lot of alternatives that fit well with that sort of diet. Of course that cake you see up there is no way no how an Indian recipe. That is a good old fashioned, classic flourless chocolate cake that I've added my own twist to. It takes almost no time to make and will send any chocolate lover to nirvana.
Gluten Free Chocolate Mandarin Orange Cake
Here's What You Need:
6 oz of chopped semi sweet gluten-free chocolate
1 stick of unsalted butter
1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
Zest of 1 orange
3/4 cup of sugar
1/4 tsp of salt
1 and 1/2 Tbs of unsalted butter
1 and 1/2 tsp of milk
1 and 1/2 tsp of honey or agave syrup
2 oz of CocoaPlanet Mandarin Orange chocolate
1/8 tsp of vanilla
7 inch tart or spring form pan
Here's What To Do:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Butter the bottom and sides of a tart or springform pan. You can also use cooking spray if it's gluten free.
Place a piece of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan.
Grease the paper too.
In a pan or skillet slowly melt the stick of butter with the chopped 6 oz of chocolate.
When the mixture has melted together add in the sugar and salt and stir until all the sugar is dissolved.
Add in the zest of 1 orange.
Take your pot or pan off the stove and whisk in the eggs, one at a time.
Make sure each egg is well blended. The cake batter should be smooth and shiny.
Use a mesh basket sieve and gradually add in the cocoa powder until it's all blended together. You don't want lumps.
Once again, mix everything together well.
Pour the cake batter into the greased tart pan.
Set the pan on a cookie sheet and slide it into the oven.
Bake the cake for about 25 minutes.
It may vary according to how accurate one's oven is. I usually have to bake mine a bit longer.
You can tell it's done when the cake is just barely firm in the center.
Set it on a wire rack to cool for about 15 minutes.
When it's cooled, turn it upside down on a plate and unmold it.
Now for the glaze.
On a low heat, melt together the 2 oz of Mandarin Orange Chocolate with the 1 and 1/2 Tbs of unsalted butter
When they've melted, add in the milk, honey, and vanilla.
Let your glaze cool for a couple of minutes.
Pour it onto the center of your cake.
Spread it across the top and down the sides with a rubber spatula.
That's it! Serve it up with a bit of unsweetened whipped cream. We're in teeny tiny serving territory here. A skinny little slice is what is called for as it's a very rich cake. I would imagine this cake would work equally well by adding Grand Marnier instead of vanilla. There are likely other combos that I haven't even dreamt of. Serve this cake to your guests. I guarantee no one will feel left out or seconded handed being in the gluten free zone.
Anne McKibben the founder and creator of CocoaPlanet came over with her husband to try a piece, bringing along a new wine discovery for our house.
La Sirena Moscato Azul. A stunning blue bottle with a lovely gold engraved cork.
Alan informs me it was delicious. We're lucky to live in the home territory of such great products.
Coming up next, party time is over and I get a whole lot healthier. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori