I recently(ish) managed to wander along to a Ladies Who Code event and being a woman who doesn’t really code but wants to learn I didn’t want to turn up empty handed. So I made cake. Jessica, the organiser, was on the lookout for gluten-free cakes for the event so I thought I’d have a go at making a flourless chocolate cake, mainly because I understand how much of a nightmare it is to have a food intolerance.
I checked out a couple of recipes and in the end did what I always do, make up my own. I find some chocolate cake a little cloying, particularly when very dark chocolate is used so I wanted to add another flavour. I’m a big fan of adding alcohol to cake, and chocolate-orange is such a classic flavour that gluten-free Cointreau seemed like a perfect choice!
Chocolate and Cointreau Cake
150g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids are ideal)
150g butter or margarine
6 eggs, separated
250g caster sugar
120g ground almonds
4tsp cocoa powder
- Using a bowl of water which sits over a saucepan of boiling water, melt the butter and chocolate together.
- Whilst the butter and chocolate are melting, separate the eggs yolks from the whites – you’ll need both, but keep them apart.
- To the egg yolks add the Cointreau and sugar, and mix. It’ll look a little lumpy at this point but it’ll be fine. Add the ground almonds and cocoa together and then add in with the rest of the dry ingredients and mix together.
- Once the butter and chocolate have melted and combined together, add them to the yolk/sugar/almond mixture and beat well so everything is nice and combined.
- In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until they triple in volume and are nice and aerated – use an electric whisk. This will prevent your cakes from getting too dense, and your arms from hurting too much.
- Carefully fold in the egg whites to the rest of the mixture, careful not to lose too much of the air you’ve just introduced.
- Add to your individual cake or muffins tray. I made muffins with mine as they were for an event. Fill up to about 3/4 of the tray which is more than usual, but they’ll puff up and then sink a little, so this ends up making a good size. The recipes roughly suggested this would make 12 but they made way more, so be prepared for that.
- Cook until you can poke them with a toothpick and it comes out clean. About 40-45mins for a big cake or 15-20mins for muffins (although to be honest I use the toothpick test more than time).
- Once cooked either serve warm with berries and ice cream or leave to cool and enjoy at room temperature.
Considering how little a fan of chocolate cake I am, these were really nice – and the people at the event seemed to think so too! As with the perks of being a cook, I tried them when they were still warm and I think this recipe would be just as good as an warm dessert with fresh berries and cream, although they were still delicious as muffins.
Definitely a recipe to go in the folder for a repeat!