I recently offered to make a birthday cake for my best friend's party. I wanted it to be both a cocktail party centerpiece, and relatively ‘healthy' to suit her taste and lifestyle. Turning to Pinterest and Google, I searched for flourless, sugarless, layer cake recipes. I found a few options, but the reviews were mixed. So, I went back to one of my favourite and trusted recipe books, Green Kitchen Travels, and decided to try their No-flour Chocolate Cake recipe.
The cake itself was easy to make, but you do need a food processor. Creating the layers and icing the cake takes a little more preparation, but is worth the extra effort. I made two cakes the night before the party and put them in the freezer. This made it easier to cut the cakes into layers without crumbling (thanks for the tip Martha Stewart). I struggled to find a sugarless icing recipe, so.... I went with an indulgent buttercream option instead. I added a layer of frozen raspberries between each layer, to offset the sweetness from the cake and icing.
I wanted to create a fresh flower cake topper, so bought flowers from the local supermarket and made a few small posies. To make sure it was food safe, I washed the stems and checked each flower for bug hitchhikers. I also used a layer of baking paper underneath the centerpiece, to prevent anything seeping into the cake from the cut stems. As a bonus, the baking paper also made it easier to remove the flowers when it came time to cut the cake.
And... it got two thumbs up from the party goers, and most importantly the birthday girl! I was really happy with how it turned out.
I’ve noted the cake recipe I used below, slightly adapted from the original. The quantities below are for one cake. If you would like to create a layer cake, then I recommend doubling the quantity and making two cakes, and cutting each one in half to give you the four layers.
Flourless Chocolate Cake
(Adapted from Green Kitchen Travels)
- 2 cups of hazelnut meal
- 25 fresh dates, stoned and roughly chopped
- 5 eggs separated
- Zest and juice of 1 orange
- 3 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 75g butter
- 150g 70% minimum cacao dark chocolate
1. Preheat the oven to 180’C. Line a 20cm springform cake tin with baking paper.
2. Place dates, egg yolks, orange zest and juice, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda in a food processor and pulse until it has become a sticky mixture. Transfer it to a large mixing bowl.
3. Melt the butter and the dark chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Pour it into the date mixture together with the hazelnut meal. Mix well.
4. Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites until it forms soft peaks. Fold into the rest of the batter.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for about 1 hour. Let the cake cool completely before trying to remove it from the tin.
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