Apr 13, 2010

Chocolate Cake, anyone?

Yesterday I was reading this fantastic cookbook that has brought me much joy(it contains my all-time favorite truffle recipe, which I'll have to share with you once I get some more chocolate). And guess what I found??

It contains no gluten and sugar. I find that a lot of chocolate cakes can be really dry(Like, it clogs up your throat unless you soak it in milk. Overnight. Ick.), especially if they're healthy. 
Well, as you might know, I am eating gluten-free because I've had joint problems for a few years. And eating gluten-free holds symptoms at bay if one has anklosing spondylitis(arthritis that affects the back, arms, hands, feet, etc). I also got my blood tested and found out that I have an extreme deficiency in Vitamin D(my level was 54, it's supposed to be about 250)- and the result of Vit. D deficiency is joint pain, among other things. So that's probably much of the reason, but because I was getting results with eating gluten-free as well, I decided to keep going with that just in case. 
Anyways, I got a bit off-track there. Where was I? So. I'm eating gluten-free, and also sugar-free because, well, sugar is pretty much poison. haha :) 
And this cake is JUST perfect! It makes me happy. :) 

So, without further ado, as you requested, my friends, here is the recipe!

Flourless Chocolate Cake(Gluten-free, sugar-free)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
8 ounces(squares) unsweetened chocolate, chopped into small pieces
5 large eggs, separated
Pinch of sea salt
1 cup light(or blue, or amber) agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Lightly butter or oil a 10-inch round cake pan.
2. Place the butter and chocolate in a double boiler and melt over lightly simmering water, or in a saucepan. Stir well to melt the chocolate completely(but don't burn!)
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, salt, 3/4 cup of the agave nectar, and the vanilla extract. Set aside.
4. With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 1-2 minutes. Gradually drizzle in the remaining 1/4 cup of agave nectar and continue to beat the egg whites until stiff and glossy, but not dry, approximately 1-2 minutes. 
5. Stir the egg yolk mixture into the chocolate mixture, then gently fold the egg white mixture into the chocolate, until no white streaks remain. 
6. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 75 minutes(1 hr 15 min), until cake is set. Remove from the oven and turn out the cake onto a large plate. Carefully invert again onto a cooling rack so that the top side is up. Cool until just warm. Slide the cake onto a serving plate using 2 large spatulas. 
7. Serve warm with any combination of sauce*, whipped cream**, and ice cream.

*Hot Fudge Sauce(Gluten-free, can be vegan)
3/4 cup light/blue/amber agave nectar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp unsalted butter(or substitute)
1/3 cup heavy cream(or substitute)
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. In a small saucepan, bring the agave nectar to a boil. Decrease heat to medium and simmer for 2 minutes. 2. Stir in the water. 
3. Return to a boil and add the cocoa powder. Decrease the heat to low and simmer for 1 minute, stirring constantly. 
4. Add the unsweetened chocolate, butter, and cream and bring back to a boil. 
5. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. 
This sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks; to serve, just warm in a saucepan on low(or microwave for 1 minute), stir well, and serve. 

**Agave Nectar Whipped Cream(Gluten free, too!)
2 cups heavy cream
5 tbsp light/blue/amber agave nectar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt

1. Beat all ingredients with mixer until stiff peaks form, approximately 2-3 minutes. Can be stored in fridge for 2-3 days. 
Tip: My Gram often adds cream of tartar to her whipped cream, to thicken it. 

I was going to try the fudge sauce and whipped cream, but I didn't have enough unsweetened chocolate, and I didn't know that we had cream. So...if you try it, can you let me know how it turns out? Thanks! :) 

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