Gluten-Free Chocolate Torte
We drove through the mountains of Colorado and into the valley of Utah this afternoon. Met the grandparents at Burgers Supreme for chicken and fry sauce. Unpacked our bags in the guest room. And now the kids are whispering and giggling in their room, too wound up to sleep. Visits to Utah are so exciting.
For the kids.
I get excited, too. Don’t get me wrong. We have a house full of people here that we love, but do any of you get that cringe in your belly when you have to go back to the place you grew up? Maybe you LIVE in the place you grew up, in which case, I tip my hat to your bravery. I can not imagine walking the self-same streets I walked when once I was a flawed teenager dreaming of the perfect woman I would one day become.
And now I am a flawed woman. Whyever does it work that way? When do we get to become the cool saavy chicks we always knew we were?
I dunno. I think it all has something to do with chocolate. Or, perhaps it is chocolate that is keeping this ring around my belly. This soft little spot here and here. And that one there.
Except, you see, this chocolate cake is splendid. No flour. No sugar. Excepting a bit of powdered sugar on top, but that doesn’t count. It’s made with maple syrup and butter. But the butter doesn’t count either, of course. So there’s that.
I’m thinking. A slice of this once a week is definitely a mandatory step to becoming that flawless woman I once knew I’d be. Oh, not on the inside, mind you. I’m rather embracing being quirky and imperfect. It gives me room to grow, offers me space to learn a lot of lessons. And learning is splendid.
No, flawless in the midsection. And rump. And maybe a bit perkier up in the…
Don’t tell me this is the impossible dream, girls. Because I’m walking the streets of Utah tomorrow and would like to hold my head high knowing that once, I was a flawed teenager. And today, I’ve got a little junk in the trunk. But tomorrow. Chocolate cake and silky thighs.
Sheesh. What was I cringing for. Being back home is fabs.
Easy Gluten-Free Chocolate Torte
I love how simple and not-too-sweet this recipe is. It reminds me of the sort of cake you'd eat at a Parisian cafe, just minutes after drinking a hot cup of coffee and eating cheese on a baguette. It's that sort of a cake. Chocolatey and rich, soft and moist, a rather healthy treat compared to those over-frosted, hyper-sugared chocolate affairs one often endured post dinner.
2 tablespoons hot water
4 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup cocoa powder
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla
powdered sugar for garnish
Preaheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a tart pan with nonstick baking spray (the sort that has flour added in).
In a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until thick and light yellow in color, about 5 minutes. You want your beaters to leave a trail in the yolks for a couple seconds before the yolks drizzle back into the bowl. When it looks like that, you'll know you've arrived! Gradually add the 1'4 cup of the maple syrup to yolks and beat for several more minutes. Add half of cocoa powder and stir in with a spatula. Once the cocoa is in, stir in the remaining cocoa powder. Continue stirring with spatula, scraping sides as needed. When cocoa is mostly incorporated, add the melted butter and vanilla. Mix on medium speed with beaters until smooth.
Transfer this mixture to a large bowl, then clean the bowl and add the egg whites to the stand mixer. Beat egg whites just until almost at the soft peak stage. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup maple syrup and beat until soft peaks form. Now use a spatula to add 1/4 of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture. Stir together well.
Fold in half of the remaining egg whites. Don't overstir them! Once the are mostly incorporated into the chocolate mixture, add remaining egg whites and continue folding until batter has a consistent color.
Scrape into prepared pan & use your spatula to even the top of the cake out until it's flat. Bake for 18 – 22 minutes until the center is set. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before gently pulling the side wall of the pan away from the cake.
Sift powdered sugar over the top of your cake before serving. Serve with fresh berries.