Not all cakes require flour for structure. Whether you're an amateur baker or a seasoned pro, you've most likely stumbled upon a recipe or two for a flourless cake. Some fine examples are cheesecake, molten lava cake and certain tortes that substitute groundnuts for most or even all of the flour in the recipe.

Because these recipes contain absolutely no flour, the cakes are gluten-free, making for some of the lightest cakes on Earth. That's great, especially if you want to make a sponge cake like this lovely Flourless Red Velvet cake.

Light and airy as usual

A normal red velvet cake is light and airy like any sponge cake.

What makes it different is how rich it is. The main ingredient is melted semisweet/bittersweet chocolate which is further enriched with butter.

It also uses more eggs than the usual variety. These are separated with the yolks beaten into the melted chocolate while the whites are beaten stiff for that aeration. Hence, this cake is super-rich in flavor and super light in texture.

The recipe

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz chopped semisweet/bittersweet chocolate or chips
  • 2 sticks (or 8 tbsp) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs separated
  • 1 1/2 tsp white distilled vinegar
  • 3 drops red food gel coring
  • Confectionary sugar for dusting
  • Strawberries or raspberries for garnishing (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 176°C. Grease the insides of a 9-inch springform pan and set aside.
  2. Combine the chopped chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan or a double boiler half-filled with simmering water. Use a rubber spatula to stir the chocolate and butter together while they melt. Remove from the heat and let the melted chocolate cool down.
  3. Crack open the eggs and separate the yolks from the whites. Add the yolks to the melted chocolate and whisk together until fully combined.
  4. Beat the whites and vinegar in a clean bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks begin to form. Switch to high speed and add the granulated sugar by the spoonful. Keep beating until stiff peaks form. Do not overbeat or the whites will become too stiff and dry.
  5. Add 1/4 of the beaten whites to the chocolate mixture and fold using a rubber spatula to combine. Add the remaining whites and repeat the folding until everything is combined. Stir in the food gel by the drop until the desired hue is achieved.
  6. Pour the batter into the springform pan and level off the surface using the rubber spatula. Pop into the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until the surface cracks and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Remove the cake to cool. Run a sharp knife around the edges of the pan, unlock the ring and lift it straight upwards to free the cake. Dust the surface with the confectionery sugar. Optionally, you can decorate the surface with fruit like strawberries or raspberries. Serve.

Serves: 8

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