This gluten free chocolate torte is another incredible gluten free recipe from the master, Carol Fenster. It is very challenging to bake gluten-free, but she was able to perfect this recipe without the use of egg! And those who are on a dairy-free diet, as well as gluten-free diet, or are vegan, can use dairy-free chocolate chips. I can picture making this gluten free chocolate torte, myself, for an afternoon with the gals. Us gals have to our chocolate! Thank you so very much, Carol!
Why Are Eggs So Important?
After baking hundreds of egg-free recipes for three different cookbooks (including my latest, 125 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes), I’ve come to truly appreciate the role of eggs in baking. If eggs are banned from your diet because of allergies or you follow a vegan diet, don’t despair. You can make delicious baked goods without them––with a little know-how.
Eggs are one of the hardest ingredients to substitute because they play such critical––and varied––roles in baking. They can be used as:
- binding agents (hold ingredients together)
- moisturizers (add moisture)
- leavening agents (make things rise) in baking.
And, it gets more complicated. Egg yolks and egg whites play separate roles in baking. The lecithin in egg yolks emulsifies ingredients, that is, it blends ingredients together that would not ordinarily blend––such as water and oil––and produces smooth, creamy textures.
Egg whites, on the other hand, are the actual leavening component of eggs. They make soufflés or angel food cakes light and airy. Knowing all this, you can see why the standard “fix” in gluten-free baking is to add another egg to the recipe.
My Favorite Egg Substitutes
I’ve tried several egg substitutes, but my favorite egg-free substitutes― which not only bind, but add moisture, are either soft silken tofu or flax seed––with puréed fruits such as applesauce, pears, or prunes, my next favorite. Tofu makes baked goods moist, with an appealing texture. The natural pectins in fruits, especially prunes, trap air which helps “lighten” baked goods. Since prunes are dark-colored, this egg-substitute works best in chocolate (such as brownies) or spice items (such as gingerbread).
However, for certain recipes ―like this Chocolate Fudge Torte―I use egg-replacer powder which is very easy to use. The moisture comes from the pureed pears and coffee and the cake is rich and dense―a trait I like in chocolate desserts, especially this one.
Egg replacer powder acts as a leavening agent in addition to the baking soda and baking powder. The pureed pears add much of the moisture, and are also the primary binding ingredient. If you prefer to use eggs, substitute two large eggs in place of the 1/3 cup hot coffee and egg replacer. This cake can be made ahead, frozen, and kept on hand for last-minute entertaining. It’s great with a chocolate sauce or perhaps fresh raspberries…or both!
A gluten free chocolate torte made without eggs, the weight of pound cake, and oh so delicious!
- 1/4 cup milk of choice
- 1/2 cup gluten-free chocolate chips
- 1 cup Carol’s Gluten Free Sorghum Flour Blend
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (not Dutch)
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon egg replacer powder
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 can (16 oz,) canned pears, drained
- 1/3 cup hot coffee
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
- 2 teaspoons water
- In small saucepan over low heat, combine milk and chocolate; stir until smooth. (Or melt in microwave) Set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 325?F. Grease 8-inch-round nonstick springform pan. Set aside. With electric mixer on low speed, in large bowl, beat together flour blend, cocoa, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, brown sugar, and egg replacer with oil and vanilla to make crumbly dry cake mixture. Set aside 1/2 cup. In blender or food processor, puree drained pears. (Discard juice.)
- To the dry cake mixture in the large bowl, beat in the pureed pears and hot coffee with electric mixer on Low speed until well blended. Spread batter in prepared pan. Spoon filling on top of batter. Stir nuts and 2 teaspoons water into reserved 1/2 cup dry cake mixture and sprinkle over filling.
- Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until top is firm. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes; then remove from pan. Cool completely before cutting into 12 slices.
Sidebar – More Thoughts on Baking without Eggs
When baking without eggs, use honey as part of the sweetener to help bind the ingredients a bit as well as add moisture. Honey is a humectant and holds moisture in baked goods.
Instead of applesauce or puréed prunes as a binder or moisturizer, try using baby food, such as Gerber’s 1st with no fillers. To make applesauce more effective, drain it for 30 minutes before using (discard liquid).
Generally speaking, egg-free baked goods raise less and have a denser texture than those made with eggs. For examples, egg-free cakes?like this
Chocolate Fudge Torte?will have a texture closer to pound cake than sponge cake, but still be delicious.
Visit Carol Fenster at www.CarolFenster.com.