Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake
As many readers will know, I grew up in a relaxed but traditional Jewish household. Whilst being Jewish was part of my upbringing, our family was very much part of the wider non-secular world and so for me the Jewish thing was more about family and food rather than anything particularly religious. Plus what decent family is going to deny their kids the delights of Christmas and Easter, we’re not monsters!
Of course as a food writer it’s wonderful to be able to draw on a bit of heritage when it comes to cooking and at this time of the year both Easter and Passover are the big festivals. The Passover meal is a very special occasion and it was always celebrated in style by my family. The food is symbolic of the journey our ancestors took to escape the Pharaoh. One of the things we’re not allowed to eat is any leavened bread or cakes. This represents the story that our ancestors didn’t have time to allow the bread to rise, so symbolically we clear our homes of any product that contains yeast and eat Matzo crackers instead. It also means that wily Jewish chefs have had to invent all kinds of clever ways to make cakes and breads which are essentially gluten-free. Like this glorious chocolate cake, which is adapted from a Claudia Roden recipe by way of my mum – but of course I’ve added some fun Easter elements which is why the poor thing is a little confused. It’s utterly divine and is more brownie than cake, with a wonderfully fudgy and dense centre. Quite frankly in my opinion this is the best chocolate cake I’ve ever eaten, gluten-free or not, so I’d highly recommend it any time of the year.
Pre-heat the oven to 170°C fan and grease and line a 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin.
Place the chocolate, butter and sugar into a pan and gently melt until combined. Once melted, pour into a large mixing bowl.
In another large bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff.
Stir the egg yolks, vanilla essence, baking powder and potato flour into the chocolate mixture and once thoroughly combined fold in the egg whites until fully incorporated.
Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for 30-35min. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack before icing. It will crack on the top, this is perfectly natural.
To make the chocolate icing, simply combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and then gradually pour in a little water, stirring until you have the desired consistency. Use this to spread around and on top of the cake. I’ve used some white and dark chocolate cigarillos and topped the cake with a selection of the Hotel Chocolat Quail Eggs.