|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 http://www.gluten-free-world.com/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: