It must be the Valentine’s recipes in the magazines I subscribe to because I recently felt compelled to make a flourless torte, sugar free, gluten free, and Slightly Indulgent. This torte took me back in time…
A Little History
In my early 20′s I worked in an upscale diner and literally begged the head chef to teach me to bake the desserts. He finally showed me how to make the flourless chocolate roll filled with real whipped cream – I went home after work to a tiny shared kitchen and practiced it over and over until it was perfect.
Over a decade later, I’m still fanatically baking – only SS&GF style.
If you’re looking for the ultimate Death By Chocolate experience, this isn’t it. It’s lighter than many tortes as it uses only 4 tablespoons of butter and cocoa powder instead of melted chocolate. There’s no heavy cream in my version, either.
If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a healthier Slightly Indulgent, sugar free, gluten free chocolate dessert that is flavorful, moist, and light, rest assured that you can serve this torte with confidence. Heck, you can even have seconds without feeling too bad about it. This flourless chocolate torte is utterly divine. I found myself using the back of my fork to gather every luscious morsel.
The key to a good, flourless torte is perfectly whipped egg yolks and whites. Here’s what to look for when you’re cooking:
- The egg yolks will thicken and turn light yellow. When your beater run through the yolk it should take a couple seconds for the trail to disappear. They won’t remain this consistency once you add the agave.
- The egg whites should be whipped to soft, not stiff peaks. Whites that have been whipped to stiff peaks are difficult to incorporate without deflating them.
Soft Peaks? Stiff Peaks? Over beaten?
Some day I’ll do an illustrated tutorial on this, but here are the basics:
- Egg whites are at the soft peak stage when you pull your beaters out and the egg whites form a peak and the top falls back on itself. You can see a picture of egg whites whipped to soft peaks here.
- You’ve reached the stiff peak stage when the egg whites form a peak and the top stands straight up.
- Over beaten egg whites won’t form a peak of any kind and are kind of clumpy when you lift your beaters out. Throw them out and start over. I’ve tried to use over beaten egg whites hoping that maybe, just maybe, it would work just once. It never does.
- Watch very carefully – egg whites go from soft peaks to being over beaten quickly.
Looking for more flourless recipes? Shirley from Gluten Free Easily is the Queen of all things flourless. Take a peek at some of her creations:
- Flourless, Gluten Free Pizza
- Flourless, Gluten Free Chocolate Cake
- Flourless, Gluten Free Chocolate Banana Honey Walnut Cake
What are your best tips for perfectly beaten egg whites and yolks?
Monday is the start of a 6 week stint of give-aways at SS&GF so check back regularly. Next week you’ll have a change to win a $50 Shopping Spree from iHerb.com.
Also, January’s Gluten Free Progressive Dinner starts on Monday – we’ll be sharing soups and stews that will warm your bones without adding any meat to them.
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 4 large free-range eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup agave nectar, divided (I use Wholesome Sweeteners)
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted, plus extra to garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Very generously grease a 9 inch springform pan with 1 tablespoon of butter. (If you don’t grease the pan well, your torte will stick to the edges. )
- Mix hot water and espresso powder. Set aside. Melt remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and set aside.
- In a medium bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, beat egg yolks until thick and light yellow in color, about 5 minutes. Your beaters should leave a trail in the yolks for a couple seconds before the yolks meld back in. Gradually add 1/4 cup agave to yolks and beat for several more minutes. Add half of cocoa powder and stir in with a spatula. Once it starts to incorporate, add remaining cocoa powder. Continue stirring with spatula, scraping sides as needed. When cocoa is mostly incorporated, add espresso water and melted butter. Mix on medium speed with beaters until smooth.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites on medium speed until they are almost at the soft peak stage. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup agave and beat until soft peaks form. Add 1/4 of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture and stir in well. Don’t worry about deflating them – this will lighten the chocolate mixture enough to allow you to fold in the remaining egg whites.
- Fold in half of the remaining egg whites, resisting the temptation to stir. Once the are mostly incorporated, add remaining egg whites and continue folding until batter has a consistent color.
- Turn into well buttered springform pan and gently place in the center of your oven. Bake for 18 – 22 minutes until the center is set. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Using a thin metal spatula, loosen the torte from the edges of the pan and remove the outer ring. Serve warm or slightly chilled.
- You can make this the day before and serve the following day. Let torte sit at room temperature before serving.