22 December 2010

Christmas Sweets Day #3 - Gluten Free Chocolate Torte

It wouldn't be Christmas without chocolate and so I am making my friend, Harold a chocolate torte so that he, too, can indulge his sweet tooth. This is another easy baking venture. My torte was adapted from a recipe in a cookbook that Hershey Foods published years ago. I like it because it's a single layer of rich dense chocolate ... the original recipe, having a chocolate glaze coating the torte. I forego the glaze and dust it with confectioner's sugar and cocoa and decorate it with sugared pansies in summer and holly in the winter ...

So ... the cast of characters ...

I have brazenly put that stick of margarine center stage because I really feel that when baking, a split of butter and margarine in many recipes makes for a less heavy butter fatty consistency. As an aside, try it in chocolate chip cookies and see the higher loft of the cookie ... not kidding. No more splat-flat chocolate chippers ... that is, unless you like them that way.

Gluten Free Fudgy Torte - printer friendly

Gluten Free Fudgy Torte


1 c. butter/margarine (a stick of each to equal the one cup measure)
1 ½ c. sugar
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
3 eggs, separated and at room temperature (reserve the egg whites)
2/3 c. good quality cocoa
½ c. brown rice flour
1/4 tsp. xanthan gum
3 tbsp. water
¾ c. chopped pecans or walnuts
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
1/8 tsp. salt
Royal Glaze (recipe follows)
Whole nuts for garnish
Parchment paper for lining 9-inch springform pan

This small tab lets me pull the cooled cake off the springform pad and onto a pretty plate without busting up the cake ... then, I hide it under a holly sprig or flower and use it to slide the cake spatula between the paper and the cake when serving that first slice.

Making the Torte:

1. Line the bottom of a springform pan with parchment paper. Butter the paper and the sides of the pan and set aside.

2. Pre-heat oven to 350° F.

3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the melted butter/margarine, sugar, and vanilla until creamy smooth.

4. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well.

5. In a 2-cup measure, whisk together the rice flour, xanthan gum, and cocoa.

6. Blend the dry ingredients into the wet and add the water. Stir well to make a smooth batter.

7. Fold in the nuts and set aside.

Stiff egg whites, thick and gooey chocolate batter - ebony and ivory . la-de-da la-de-da ...fold gently and just until it's combined!

8. In a small mixing bowl, whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar and salt until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites gently into the cake batter.

9. Pour into the prepared pan and bake 45 minutes or until the top begins to crack slightly. (Cake will not test done in the center.)

10. Cool one hour on counter top and then chill until firm.

11. Remove the sides of the pan and slide a spatula between the pan bottom and the parchment paper, sliding the cake to a pretty serving plate.

Okay. I dust the plate before I put the cake on it for two reasons. One - the sprinkles go right up to the edge of the cake and look pretty perfect. Two - the sugar dust makes a sort of glue that helps the buttery parchment paper stick in place on the cake plate, which is extremely helpful if you have to travel with said cake.

12. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and cocoa and garnish with flours or holly OR coat with Royal Glaze and garnish with whole pecan or walnut halves.

And there, we have it! Christmas Sweets Day #3 - GF Fudgy Chocolate Torte

13. Cover loosely to store.
Royal Glaze

In the top of a double boiler, melt:

1 1/3 c. semi-sweet chocolate
½ c. heavy cream

Stir and heat until the chocolate and cream are completely incorporated into a smooth sauce.

Continue stirring until the sauce begins to thicken slightly.

Cool slightly before pouring the glaze over the top of the torte, allowing it to run down over the sides.

Allow it to set before garnishing with nuts.


  1. Sprout Sara23/12/10 9:54 AM


  2. It's fun to see what other folks call things. When I saw "royal glace", I thought royal icing which is what I call that stuff you make with powdered meringue, water and confectionery sugar to decorate cookies. Your royal glaze I would call chocolate ganache - though I use bittersweet chocolate. Whatever you call it, the torte sounds yummy, and might just be our Christmas dinner desert.

  3. ... this GF torte is such that one cannot tell the presense of the rice flour ... I guess xanthan gum does the trick!

  4. This is gorgeous! I bet Harold was happy! :)

  5. Beautiful GF torte-Merry Christmas and I look forward to seeing more of your great recipe:)

  6. Aunt Sue, I was just checking out your gluten-free recipes since I am on a super restrictive diet. Just looking at your pictures and reading about it all is making me so hungry. I just wanted to tell you how impressed I am with your blog. If you have any recipes that are not only wheat and gluten-free, but also have no corn, soy, dairy, beef, nuts (esp. peanuts), sugar, please let me know. For desserts, I may cheat with honey every once in awhile.


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