By Judy Brotton
Last month’s HEALTH story was about eating gluten-free and the reasons behind it. Turns out, two people I know follow this regimen for various reasons. I presented this chocolate cake to my neighbor, Sharon, who was thrilled with the results. She shared a recipe that she uses, from Food Network’s Nigella Lawson, which includes the addition of orange zest and Cointreau. Paula Deen tops hers with a white chocolate glaze that uses white chocolate liqueur. I can’t wait for my next outing into the flourless world!
When baking anything that is flourless, be prepared for “the fall.” Your cake or cupcakes will appear rounded and firm when you remove them from the oven, and right in front of your eyes the center will cave in and even crack open. This is simply an opportunity to fill the completely cooled craters with ganache, cream filling or whipped cream topping. As if I needed a reason to add more chocolate or cream!
FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
- 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter cut into pieces, @ room temperature
- 6 large eggs @ room temperature
- 12 T. sugar, divided
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. instant espresso powder
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line 18 muffin cups with paper cupcake liners.
In a medium saucepan over low heat, stir chocolate and butter until melted, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from heat and stir occasionally until lukewarm.
Separate egg yolks and whites into separate bowls. Add half the sugar to yolks and beat on medium to high speed until thick and pale, about 3 minutes.
Fold chocolate mixture into egg yolks with a spatula, then fold in the vanilla and espresso.
In separate bowl with clean, dry beaters, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add in the remaining sugar, beating until medium-firm peaks form. Little by little, fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.
Spoon batter evenly into cupcake cups. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate pan, and bake 12 more minutes. Remove from oven and completely cool before icing.
- 8 oz. container gluten-free mascarpone cheese
- 1 T. liqueur
- 1 T. strong brewed coffee, cold
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 4 oz. cream cheese
In medium bowl, beat all ingredients until smooth and well blended. Spoon into plastic squeeze bottle and squeeze about 1 T. filling into the center of each cupcake. Top with chocolate ganache glaze or whipped cream and store in refrigerator.
- 16 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- ¼ cup chocolate, hazelnut of coffee liqueur
- 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 7 eggs @ room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 350° F. Before buttering a 9” springform pan, remove the bottom and trace a circle onto parchment paper, and cut out. Generously butter the pan, line with parchment circle (pencil side down) and butter this also.
Melt chocolate and butter in heavy pan over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from stove and stir in liqueur and vanilla, then set aside to cool.
Beat eggs and sugar on high until pale and fluffy (about 5 minutes, these will never form peaks like the egg whites). Gradually add eggs to chocolate mixture, folding with spatula. Spoon into buttered pan and bake for about 1 hour or until toothpick comes out almost clean. Cool in pan for 1 hour, then gently loosen springform and remove (run a knife around edge first). When completely cool, sprinkle cake with confectioner’s sugar or top with chocolate ganache glaze and store in refrigerator.
CHOCOLATE GANACHE GLAZE
- 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- ½ cup whipping cream
- 4 tsp. butter
In heavy saucepan, heat cream and butter over low/medium heat until mixture nears boiling, stirring constantly. Pour cream over chocolate, stirring until melted and smooth. Cool about 5 minutes, but don’t allow mixture to get too hard or it won’t pour properly. Pour over cake or spoon over cupcakes and allow to dribble down sides.
WHIPPED CREAM WITH ATTITUDE
- 1 container whipping cream
- 2 T. powdered sugar
- 1 T. liqueur of choice
Beat whipping cream until medium peaks form. Slowly add sugar and continue to beat until firm, adding liqueur at the very end. Dollop over cake or cupcakes.
Finish top of cake or cupcakes with a simple dusting of powdered sugar (sift over a paper doily to achieve a pretty pattern, but remember to remove the doily before serving) or drizzle with cooled chocolate ganache glaze. Decorate tops with chopped, toasted hazelnuts, chocolate covered coffee beans, dark chocolate pomegranate drops or fresh raspberries. And of course whipped cream with attitude!