Okay, here is my disclaimer; I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I have nothing against gluten. I love the stuff (stretchy, chewy white bread? Yes, please!). Still, sometimes I happen upon a fantastic little recipe that is coincidentally gluten free, and it is a double score seeing as I have other people in my life who (sadly) need to avoid the stuff for health reasons.
Last week was my grandma’s 87th birthday. She and I have always been close, and I can say that we have only grown closer as I’ve become an adult. We enjoy long evening chats on the phone even though she only lives a few minutes away–we talk about the kids, or current events, or family history research (a mutual passion), or thrift store shopping, or anything, really. She still lives on her own, drives, eats out, goes to movies at the Cineplex with her girlfriends, and shops up a storm. She also loves to get down on the floor and play with her great-grandchildren. Can you see why I love her so? And so, when her birthday came around on January 4th, I knew I had to track down a really fantastic gluten free dessert recipe for her because, in addition to all those other wonderful things about her, she also has celiac disease, which means she cannot eat gluten (boo!).
Now, in the past, I’ve tried all the usual suspects at family gatherings: black bean brownies (not a favourite), quinoa chocolate cake (was unpleasantly crispy and gritty), and garbanzo bean chocolate cake (while us girls didn’t mind that one, the boys were too disturbed by it). So, I thought I would try something a little more traditional this time, and I found THE. BEST. FLOURLESS. CAKE. EVER. In fact, I’m kicking myself that I tried all those beany alternatives in the first place, ha!
This recipe is transcribed from my cooking journal in my own words but is only barely adapted from its original (which can be found here from Allrecipes user, Shana Hillman). Although I do have a new digital kitchen scale care of my wonderful husband and his Christmas shopping, I weighed out the skimpy amount of chocolate asked for by the recipe and was horrified at how little it seemed to be (you do remember I’m a full-fledged chocoholic, right?). I also never have proper baker’s chocolate in the house. So, instead, I just used my own judgment (aka greed) and subbed in half a cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips. I also had a different sized cake pan so used that instead and just kept my eye on the cooking time (I’ve made this twice now, and in my oven, 28 minutes in a 10″ pan makes this torte to perfection!).
So, it’s Friday night, and I think this is exactly what you need in your life after your first full week back to the grind since the holiday season came to a sad end a few days ago. Scrounge your pantry or fridge for these few simple ingredients, cozy up to your significant other (or cat), invite all the neighbours or nearest celiacs over (or don’t), and pour some of that good espresso (or wine). Also, don’t forget a dollop of something creamy on the side, be it whipped cream or scrounged leftover candy cane ice cream like I’ve used both times–it perfects the entire thing. Your first bite will be the highlight of your entire week, I promise. TGIF!
Flourless Chocolate Torte
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
- Heat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease a 10″ round cake pan with butter and then coat it in cocoa powder by shaking and tapping it around the whole pan (bottom and edges).
- Using a double boiler method, melt together the chocolate chips and butter. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- Once somewhat cooled, stir in the remaining ingredients slowly, taking care not to scramble the eggs.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake 25-30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let the torte cool in its pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a plate. It may be served warm or cooled. Serve with powdered sugar overtop, or else with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream.