Friday, 1 July 2011

Gâteau au Chocolat - Recipe with a Twist........gluten free

Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.  ~Voltaire

Cooking family meals was an expression of my mother’s love for her brood. Savouring it was our acknowledgement of her affection and efforts. As a child, cooking with mother was my way of spending exclusive time with her in a large, male dominated, family. And it provided first rights to licking out any bowls and spoons -  a right savagely guarded amongst 5 siblings. Whipping up a roux, making pastry, sweet, savoury or suet and baking blind was mastered before my age hit double digits. For me cooking is also a method of retreating from daily stressors. The tradition of cooking en masse continued with my daughter, but took a twist when she was diagnosed with celiac disease in her late teens. Cooking and my beloved Tante Marie now provide new challenges.
Subscribing to the notion that  Nine out of ten people like chocolate. The tenth person always lies. (John Q. Tullius), here is my gluten free version of a French chocolate gateau, or as my daughter calls it........

Miam Gâteau au Chocolat - gluten free....easy & delish
* 135g unsalted butter
* 3/4 (three-quarters) cup castor sugar
* 6 very large eggs, separated (if eggs are too small the cake will be dry)
* 150g grated good quality 85% dark chocolate (Lindt)
* 2 cups of home ground almond meal (process silvered almonds - bought almond meal is too dry)
* 1/3 (third) cup of dry rice crumbs (purchased in a packet at the supermarket) 
* pinch of salt added to the rice crumbs
* 1 tablespoon of dark rum
* additional 90g dark chocolate (for cake topping)
* additional 30g butter (for cake topping)
* turn on the oven to moderate
* line a 20 cm round cake pan with greaseproof paper (pan must be at least 6 cm in depth)
* cream sugar and butter until light in colour and texture (an electric beater is best)
* add egg yolks one by one, beating well after each egg is added
   stir in the almond meal, rice crumbs and grated chocolate (a large bowl may need to be used)
* fold the chocolate-almond mixture though the egg whites in 3 lots
* carefully pour the mixture into the lined cake pan and bake in the moderate oven for 50   minutes (test the cake with a cake skewer before removing from the oven)
* let cake sit in the pan for at least 5 minutes before placing on a wire   rack to cool
* when cold remove the paper lining and spread with the topping
* melt the additional 90g chocolate and 30g butter in a bowl over hot water
* let the mixture cool to a spreading consistency before covering the top   of the cake.
Slice thinly and serve with cream if desired
1. creaming of the butter and sugar is best done in a smaller bowl
2. the cake will be dry if you use smaller eggs and the quantity of the freshly ground almond meal is less than 2 full cups

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