Thursday, April 11, 2013

Peppermint Patty Flourless Chocolate Cake...And yes, it's Gluten-Free!

Peppermint Patty Flourless Chocolate Cake decked out for Easter

One of my oldest and dearest friends, Michael, was the first person I ever met with Celiac Disease, the root cause of which is gluten.  He suffered terribly through college, fearing the worst and not being diagnosed until after we’d graduated and he’d moved to London. Never one to sit on his hands, he attacked his condition with wonderful gluten-free meals.  He’d always been a good cook, and he swung into overdrive and ended up writing a wildly successful Gluten-Free Cookbook called “Great Healthy Eating Gluten Free” (Carrol & Brown 2000).  With over 50,000 copies sold, it’s now out of print but you can pick it up used on Amazon.  Now he shares his words of wisdom on his website as he writes “Global Gluten-Free”, his foray into International gluten-free cooking. Michael has commented that not many recipes on Chewing the Fat are Gluten-Free.  He’s not wrong. But here’s one for him.

I always sympathized with Michael and felt he lost out on a lot of culinary adventures. Missing out on breads and pastries, pastas and pizza seemed like an awful price to pay. And it’s one that more and more of our friends seem to be experiencing.  So when we were planning our Easter menu we were determined that our gluten-free friend, Monique, wouldn’t feel left out at dessert.  Andrew truly came through. This outrageous cake is every inch a chocoholic’s dream with an added bonus of tasting like the most delicious after dinner mint.  It’s rich and sumptuous and, of course, gluten-free.  Dipping your fork into it, you would never for a minute think you were missing a thing. Because you’re not.   
Now this is not a cake that’s not all that easy to make. It should be baked the day before you are going to serve it.  But it is certainly worth the effort.  It has the depth of chocolate flavor that only a flourless chocolate cake can capture.  Then the cake is topped with a layer of peppermint-flavored white chocolate. Finally the whole thing is topped with bittersweet chocolate ganache. The recipe is from a book called “Vintage Cakes” (Ten Speed Press 2012) by Julie Richardson.  In the book, Ms. Richardson has gathered recipes for cakes from the 40s and 50s.  But this is not one of them.  It’s the baker’s homage to the popularity of the peppermint-flavored cakes of that era.   The blast of peppermint is similar to that of a peppermint patty or, as Monique reminded us last weekend, an After Eight Dinner Mint.  Remember those?  Here’s the recipe:
Recipe for Peppermint Patty Flourless Chocolate Cake from Julie Richardson in “Vintage Cakes” Makes 1-8 inch cake. Serves 16. 

For the Cake:
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 stick unsalted butter, cubed
1 tbls. vanilla extract
6 eggs, separated, at room temperature
1/2 c. plus 2 tbls. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 350.
Prepare a 9 inch springform pan by lining the bottom with a parchment paper circle.  Do not grease.

Melt butter and chocolate in a bowl over simmering water, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks on low speed and slowly add 1/2 c. sugar.  Turn the speed to high and beat until thick and fluffy, about six minutes. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture.

In another bowl, whisk the egg whites and salt until frothy, then slowly add the remaining 2 tbls. sugar, whipping until the whites hold medium soft peaks.

Carefully fold the whites into the chocolate batter.

Pour into the prepared pan, and place in the middle of the oven.

Bake about 45 minutes until the top is cracked, loses its shine and is firm to the touch.  The center can still be wiggly.

For the Filling:
8 oz. real white chocolate, finely chopped
2/3 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. peppermint oil or 1 tbls. peppermint extract

Place the chocolate in a small bowl.  

Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it begins to simmer, but not boil.  Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and cover with a lid for five minutes.  Whisk in the vanilla and peppermint.

With the cake still in the pan, pour the white chocolate mixture on top.  The cake should have a depression in  its center, and the white chocolate should fill it.  Place it in the refrigerator overnight, covered with plastic wrap.

Run a knife around the edge and remove the sides of the pan.

For the Chocolate ganache:
1/2 c. heavy cream
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Place chocolate in a small bowl. Heat cream in a small saucepan until it begins to simmer. Pour over chocolate and cover with a lid for five minutes.  When it's still warm, pour over the white filling.  Put back into the refrigerator and chill until serving time. 


  1. Me hungry, me likey! Thank you Monte!

    1. It is amazingly good Ana! I think you will love it!

  2. Update, Edward thought it was for him. I INTENDED it to be for him, does this count? As you are aware, he has made his point. I will make another! Tx Monte!

  3. "Intention is 9/10 ths of the law"...or is that "Possession is 9/10ths of the law"...whichever, so glad you liked it! Monte