Gluten Free Easter Chocolate Cake

Its chocolate cake season – like I need an excuse! I love chocolate and thought too long and hard on how to decorate this cake – there are sooo many chocolate ideas to use. Almost too many Easter chocolate ideas?

So I went with Cadbury Flakes (makes it look like a nest), Galaxy Golden Eggs, Cadbury Mini Eggs and Nestle Milky Bar  Eggs.

I also make some gluten free chocolate crispy cake mix to use as a ‘nest’ – obviously I made too much and there was plenty left over…….

I used my Sacher Torte recipe as the base for the cake of this creation and finished with a very fluffy buttercream before decorating.

For the cornflake cake;

  • 100g gluten free cornflakes
  • 50g melted chocolate

Once you have melted the chocolate, pour in the gluten free cornflakes and mix carefully until all the flakes are covered in chocolate. Leave to firm up by spreading the mix on some greaseproof paper. Once set, gently break up into bit size chunks and keep, ready for finishing off the cake (careful not to eat too many pieces!!)

Line the sides and the base of an 8″ loose bottomed cake tin and preheat the oven to gas 3, 140c fan, 160c

For the cake;

  • 180g milk chocolate (I used Callebaut)
  • 100g butter
  • 5 eggs separated
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 80g gluten free plain flour

For the filling;

  • 150g raspberry jam

For the buttercream

  • 100g very soft butter
  • 40g cocoa (I used Food Thoughts)
  • 160g icing sugar
  • splash of milk

Place the chocolate and the butter into a bowl and melt. Either by placing the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water – don’t let the bowl touch the water and stir occasionally. Or by melting in a bowl, in a microwave in short bursts of 20 seconds at a time – 20 seconds, take out and stir, 20 seconds, take out and stir – repeat.  If you over heat the chocolate it will ‘burn’ and go all grainy. You’ll have to start again if this happens – so take care and time. Once all melted – which ever method you use – leave to cool a little before adding to the egg mix.

Meanwhile;

In a separate bowl make a meringue – whisk the 5 egg whites until double the volume and the mix is ‘stiff’ add in to this – in 3 batches – 90g of the caster sugar. Whisk in each batch of caster sugar until fully combined and finish off whisking the meringue until its stiff and shiny – about 7-8 minutes start to finish.

In another bowl whisk 30g of the caster sugar and the 5 egg yolks and the vanilla essence for a further 5 minutes or until you have a fairly stiff mix and the mix holds the shape of the whisk – ribbon stage. Into this stir in the melted chocolate mix and the gluten free flour. Ensure its all fully combined before then mixing in a third of the meringue mix.

Then fold in another third of the meringue, once that has been folded in, fold in the final third – taking care to not knock all the air out of the mix.

Pour the batter into the tin and gently bake for 45 – 50 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Leave to cool in the tin before removing.

Once cooled you can either slice the cake horizontally in half or into three slices. Rebuild the cake by spreading jam onto each slice before then rebuilding the cake.

To make the buttercream beat the butter until light and fluffy, stir in the cocoa, icing sugar and milk before your then finish beating until its light and fluffy and ready to spread.

Spread the buttercream over the cake and decorate with your chosen confectionary.

 

Gluten free ‘Double Decker’ Bars

Thank you Mr Cadbury for the inspiration for this one. It’s not as difficult as one would first think. But it goes to show that everyone should be able to have anything available – with a little bit of though any one can.

Converting this to gluten free wasn’t  that difficult, after all it’s just the Krispies that needed changing and good old Cereal Partners Nestles’ Go Free ‘Rice Pops’ are now widely available.

The technical bit was the nougat. Too much sugar boiling and it’ll be tough as toffee, not enough sugar boiling and it would be sloppy. Top that with the right balance of liquid glucose and there is a disaster in the making.

For the nougat I must thank Martin Wishart for the inspiration for the recipe, I have adapted his recipe from GreatBritishChefs.com

Have faith, have confidence and the chocolate bar will turn out brilliant and everyone can enjoy the taste of the high street.

If you have them, you’ll need 2 small brownie pans, one to set the Rice Pops in, the other the nougat. You’ll also need a bit of time for this one. I made this overnight – making and setting the rice pops and cooling the nougat in the evening and covering with chocolate in the morning. It’s not a rush job by any means and it’s a bit messy 😀😀

Prepare 1 of the trays (roughly 28cm x 20cm) by lining it with cling film, line the other with greaseproof. You will need another sheet of each, but we’ll come to that.

There is actually no baking required here!

For the Chocolate Rice Pops;

  • 180g melted chocolate (I used milk chocolate)
  • 150g Nestle Cereal Partners Rice Pops

For the nougat;

  • 420g caster sugar
  • c100ml water
  • 110g liquid glucose (I used Dr Oetker)
  • 80g runny honey (it gives a little colour to the nougat)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

To cover in chocolate;

  • Approx 400g melted chocolate

Start by mixing the rice Pops and melted Chocolate, pour into your first prepared tray with cling film and squash into the corners and press as flat as you can. By using your 2nd sheet of film, press down the rice Pops firmly so that they compact well. Remember the finished product, you need it firm, crispy and ‘tight’ (for want of a better word!). Put this to one side to cool and set.

Next the nougat.

Have all the ingredients ready to hand and a sugar thermometer a must have here I’m afraid.

  1. 400g of the sugar and the liquid glucose in a large straight-edged saucepan – remember the sugar will boil, so it needs to withstand the heat and the sugar boiling up the sides – covered with the water – which should just cover the sugar. Have a pastry brush to hand also in a cup of hot water.
  2. Have the egg whites in a mixing bowl ready to whisk and the remaining 20g and of caster sugar – to make a soft meringue.
  3. have the honey ready and weighed in a small bowl
  4. and the essence ready to pour in.

So bring the sugar in the pan (with the sugar thermometer in) to a gentle boil and allow to boil until it reaches 135c. You will need to keep your eye on this – But don’t stir the pan – if the sugar solution starts to stick to the sides of the pan, brush away with the pastry brush in hot water – it’ll stop any sugar crystals forming in the nougat.

Just before the temperature hits 135c – once it gets about 125c it won’t take long – switch on the whisk to whisk the egg whites to soft peaks.

Add the honey to the sugar solution, by drizzling around the pan and leave this to then reach 145c.

Add the remaining 20g of caster sugar to the egg white and whisk till firm peaks – a la meringue. The sugar solution should now have reached 145c.

Now this is easier with a table top whisk, but if you haven’t, take great care, as the sugar solution if very hot. So with the whisk turned down to half or low speed, slowly pour the sugar solution down the side of the bowl and continue to whisk until all the solution has been poured in.  Then turn up the speed to full and continue to whisk for about 5  – 6 minutes. The nougat will start to thicken and cool a little.

Once done switch off the machine and scrap the nougat into the 2nd prepared pan. You’ll need to work a little fast here and ensure the nougat is all in the pan before you then cover with the 2nd sheet of greaseproof and squash the nougat into the corners, firmly using the back of a spoon to flatten the surface of the nougat. You can quickly remove the covered nougat from the pan and roll flat with a rolling pin,  ensuring you return the nougat to the pan to set.

Then leave the nougat to completely cool before assembling and covering in chocolate.

Once everything is cold, peel the greaseproof off the nougat and the cling film from the gluten free rice pops.

Place the rice pops on the nougat and trim any loose overlapping edges so that you have 4 straight and even sides. Then cut into bars. I cut mine into 15, but you could easily make these a little smaller. Just remember the next stage of covering in melted chocolate..

Once you have you second batch of melted chocolate ready, lift up each bar with a fork, hold over the chocolate and cover all sides using a spoon. The chocolate will hold the nougat and the rice pops in place, once the chocolate has set. Place the covered bars onto a wire rack to cool and set.

Great for any party or get together.