I have dubbed this recipe my best flourless chocolate cake recipe because it has been flop proof on the last three occasions I made it. I first made it for my husband’s birthday last year. He requested a Keto chocolate cake, but I didn’t think there was any chocolate cake recipe out there, with artificial sweetener, or not that would not have had an effect on blood sugar levels. I opted for a flourless cake instead and came up with this recipe using cocoa powder as a substitute for flour. I have made a flourless chocolate tart before using ground almonds, I loved the taste but was not completely satisfied with the texture, so I was eager to try something new instead. I wanted to make a chocolaty cake that was dense and dark. I had envisaged a mud pie!
Why Cocoa as A Substitute For Flour
Both flour and cocoa are powdery in appearance, flour being the denser of the two. Apart from its chocolaty flavour, the main reason why cocoa is such a great substitute for flour is because cocoa is acidic, and when combined with a “base” like baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), they produce CO2, which makes cakes or whatever you’re baking rise when exposed to heat.
How to Make the Best Flourless Chocolate Cake
Making a chocolate cake without flour is no different from making any other cake. It requires a set of dry and wet ingredients. In this case cocoa, sugar, salt and bicarbonate of soda and wet ingredients include eggs, melted butter and melted chocolate. Both these ingredients harden when cold, which give this cake its character, as a thick, crumby cake. I used 65% dark chocolate, and Dutch processed cocoa powder. I also used reduced sugar content; I wanted to maintain the chocolate taste without it being too sweet. If you have a sweet tooth, simply increase the amount of sugar.
I start by melting the chocolate over a double pot system, my method is usually a small saucepan placed inside a pot of water. This melts the chocolate smoothly. I melt the butter and chocolate together making a thick silky mixture. Once melted, remove from stove and allow to cool.
Although sugar is a dry ingredient, I never combine it directly with the flour. In this recipe, I have whisked it with the eggs.
While the chocolate and butter cool, I prepare the remaining dry ingredients. Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Once the cocoa is cool, I slowly add in the egg and sugar mixture. I add little flour at a time to avoid lumps. The flourless batter should be thick, luscious and ready for baking!
Grease cake pans. I use oil then dust with cocoa powder to avoid sticking. I used two 14cm diameter cake pans because I wanted a double layer cake. You can also use a larger pan to make a single layer.
One of the reasons I love this recipe is that the cake bakes to perfection, it is not lopsided or cracked, it is just perfect!
Flourless Chocolate Cake Recipe
How to Decorate Chocolate Cake
My prefered method for decorating cakes for any ocassion is chocolate ganache and fresh berries.
Because of the dense texture of this cake, I opted for a thin, drippy ganache which hardened in the fridge but still added some moisture to the cake. I topped with fresh rasberries and dusted with icing sugar. The berries and sugar gave an added bittersweet taste sensation.
How to Make Chocolate Ganache
To make the ganache I warmed 1 cup of fresh cream and added 200g grated dark chocolate. I mixed to form a thick yet silky , drippy mixture that could be poured. I wasn’t quite sure how to decorate the cake, hence the contingency plan. I made the ganache a bit too runny! I placed the drippy cake in the freezer for 15 minutes then was able to better work the ganache. A simpler method would be to simply make a thicker ganach from the start. This can be done by stirring the mixture for longer until the desired thickness is achieved.