This French chocolate cake resembles a cross between a lava cake and a brownie. Because there are five eggs in the batter to provide structure, the cake works well gluten free. It’s deliciously gooey when warm, so I recommend heating the leftovers in the microwave before eating.
Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours
Yield: 9″ cake
- 5 large eggs
- 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup sugar
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
- 2 tablespoons coffee OR water
- 1/3 cup gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped OR semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons agave nectar OR light corn syrup
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter a 9-inch springform pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, butter the paper, dust the inside of the pan with flour, and tap out the excess. Place the pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.
- Separate the eggs, putting the whites in a mixer bowl or other large bowl and the yolks in a small bowl.
- Set a heatproof howl over a saucepan of simmering water and add the chocolate, sugar, butter, and coffee OR water. Alternatively, you can combine them directly in a small nonstick pot over very low heat, and stir constantly to make sure the chocolate doesn’t burn.
- Stir until the chocolate and butter are melted; the sugar may be grainy and that’s fine.
- Transfer the bowl to the counter and let the mixture sit for three minutes.
- Using a rubber spatula, stir in the yolks one by one, then fold in the flour.
- Working with the whisk attachment of the mixer or a hand mixer, beat the egg whites with the pinch of salt until they hold firm but glossy peaks.
- Using the spatula, stir about one quarter of the beaten whites into the batter to lighten it, then gently fold in the rest.
- Scrape the batter into the pan and jiggle the pan from side to side a couple of times to even the batter.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes (it will be closer to the upper limit for the gluten-free cake), or until the cake has risen evenly. It might rise around the edges and you’ll think it’s done, but give it a few minutes more and the center will puff too. The top will firm (it will probably be cracked) and won’t shimmy when tapped; a thin knife inserted into the center should come out just slightly streaked with chocolate.
- Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let the cake rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Run a blunt knife gently around the edges of the cake and remove the sides of the pan.
- Carefully turn the cake over onto a rack and remove the pan bottom and parchment paper. Invert the cake onto another rack. If using gluten-free flour, glaze the cake before it cools all the way, because the cake dries out easily and you want the glaze to hold in moisture. If using all-purpose flour, you can cool the cake to room temperature. As the cake cools, it may sink.
- Carefully turn the cooled cake over onto another rack so you’ll be glazing the flat bottom, and place the rack over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to catch any drips.
- Put the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl.
- Melt the chocolate over a pan of simmering water or in a microwave oven – the chocolate should be just melted and warm, but not hot.
- Meanwhile, bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan.
- Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir very gently with a rubber spatula until the mixture is smooth and shiny.
- Stir in the agave nectar OR corn syrup.
- Pour the glaze over the cake and smooth the top with a long metal icing spatula. Don’t worry if the glaze drips unevenly down the sides of the cake – it will just add to its charm. If using gluten-free flour, try to seal the entire cake with glaze.
- Allow the glaze to set at room temperature or, if you’re impatient, slip the cake into the fridge for about 20 minutes. If the glaze dulls in the fridge, just give it a little gently heat from a hairdryer.
- You can store any leftovers covered in the fridge. Reheat a slice for 10-15 seconds in the microwave to restore its warm gooeyness.
A friend baked this beautiful chocolate cake for a Winter Wonderland party, so of course I got the recipe from her.
Some notes on the decorations:
- The icing is made from butter, powdered sugar, and milk
- The cake is dusted with blue sugar
- The snowflakes are made from royal icing
Adapted from Add a Pinch
Yield: 12 servings
- 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
- 1/2 cup potato starch
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup flavorless oil (such as canola)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
- Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by spraying with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring.
- Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.
- Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter until well combined.
- Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center of the chocolate cake comes out clean. (Actually, my friend ended up tripling the baking time.)
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely.
- Frost and decorate as desired.
If you’re searching for a light, fluffy, gluten-free chocolate cake, look no further! Since whipped egg whites provide the structure for the cake, the lack of gluten is not noticeable. I can barely taste a difference from chocolate chiffon cake made with cake flour. If you want to get a little fancy, you can crumble a couple almond crackle cookies and sprinkle the bits over the top of the cake.
- Separate the eggs when cold, then allow the whites to come to room temperature before beating them.
- The gluten-free cake dries out fast compared to regular cake, so frost it as soon as it cools to seal in moisture. Then store it in an airtight container.
Chocolate Chiffon Cake
Inspired by Taste of Home
Yield: Two-layer 8″ cake
For the cake:
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 1/4 cup baking cocoa
- 1/4 cup+2 tablespoons boiling water
- 3/4 cup+2 tablespoons gluten-free OR cake flour
- 3/4 cup+2 tablespoons sugar (divided into 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup+2 tablespoons)
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
For the whipped cream frosting:
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
For the filling:
- After separating, let eggs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- In a small bowl, stir together cocoa and water until smooth. Cool for 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325°F and set aside an 8″ round baking pan with 3″ sides. If using gluten-free flour, line it with aluminum foil to make cake removal easier.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking soda, and salt.
- In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolks, oil, and vanilla.
- Add egg yolk mixture and cocoa mixture to dry ingredients. Beat or stir vigorously until well blended.
- In another large bowl, using clean beaters, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed until they form soft peaks.
- Gradually add 1/4 cup+2 tablespoons sugar and continue beating until stiff, glossy peaks form.
- Add a large scoop of the whipped egg whites to the yolk mixture and mix gently but thoroughly to lighten the batter.
- Add the remaining egg whites in 3 additions. Gently fold into the batter using a large wire whisk, making sure to scrape down the bottom of the bowl frequently.
- Gently scrape batter into pan and gently smooth top with a rubber spatula.
- Bake at 325°F for 25 minutes without opening the oven door during this time. Increase heat to 350°F and bake an additional 15 minutes. The cakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or when the surface springs back immediately after pressing on it with a finger.
- As soon as you remove cakes from oven, lay 2 thick wooden spoon handles (or chopsticks) across the top of each pan and place a shallow bowl upside down on top of the handles/chopsticks. Invert each arrangement and cool cakes completely upside down. This step is important, because otherwise the cakes will sink. It looks like this:
- Unmold cake carefully, because it is fragile, and slice in half horizontally.
- Using a mixer on medium speed, beat together heavy cream and powdered sugar until whipped cream holds stiff peaks.
- Scoop about 1 1/2 cups frosting into a small bowl, and fold in 1/3 cup marmalade to make the filling.
- Place one cake layer cut side down on a serving plate and spread with the filling. Top with the second layer cut side up.
- Frost first the sides and then the top of the cake with remaining whipped cream.
- Refrigerate the cake in an airtight container if you’re not serving it immediately.
My friends and I loved this flourless chocolate cake. It’s very rich and intensely chocolate-y.
Flourless Chocolate Cake
Yield: 8″ cake
- 4 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (plus additional for sprinkling if desired)
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 375°F. Butter an 8-inch round baking pan. Line bottom with a round of wax paper and butter paper. Make sure the paper sticks completely to the buttered pan and lies flat, or it will make an indentation in the cake.
- Chop chocolate into small pieces. In a double boiler or metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, melt chocolate with butter, stirring, until smooth. (Alternatively, melt chocolate with butter in a small non-stick pot over very low heat, stirring constantly. Be careful not to burn the chocolate.)
- Remove top of double boiler or bowl from heat and whisk sugar into chocolate mixture.
- Add eggs and whisk well.
- Sift 1/2 cup cocoa powder over chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined.
- Pour batter into pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until top has formed a thin crust. Don’t worry if the cake is domed when it comes out of the oven, because it will flatten as it cools.
- Cool cake in pan on a rack for 5 minutes and invert onto a serving plate.
- Dust cake with additional cocoa powder, if desired.
- The cake can be cooled completely and stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.