Tuesday 20 May 2014

Chocolate brownie cloud cake (gluten free)

Gluten free chocolate brownie cloud cake
Cripes, it’s been over three months since I last posted on A Cup of Tea Solves Everything! Working on the unilateral assumption that you have inevitably missed my inane ramblings, I can but apologise for my tardiness. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to post something, it’s just that my busybee-ness levels seem to have gone off the scales crazy. The last few months have entailed not insignificant kitchen renovations, an equally not insignificant trip to Bolivia, a jaunt to the Italian Lakes, studying for and sitting Spanish exams, house-hunting, endless lengths in the local swimming pool, and of course the small matter of my day job. In light of all this, it feels I’ve barely had the time to breathe, let alone bake.
Gluten free chocolate brownie cloud cake
On top of all of the above – or perhaps because of all of the above – I also got ill. A most inconsiderate virus that wiped me out for a number of weeks. Given I’m usually sanctimoniously smug about how healthy I am (let’s neatly gloss over my obsession with all things cake at this juncture please) ergo how I never get ill, I was rather put out by this bug; however I did have a moment of clarity amidst the fever, coughing fits and indulgent wallowing in self-pity at my poorly state.
Gluten free chocolate brownie cloud cake
Said moment of clarity was realising just why I might be so obsessed with cake. You see my mother – let’s call her by her proper name shall we: K-Dub – so K-Dub insisted that to cure my cough I should take the special medication she used to feed me when I had a cough as a child. Pay attention now, as it’s a rather complex amalgam of ingredients: take some sugar; add in an equal amount of butter; beat well; and consume.
That's right, since I was a little girl, K-Dub’s answer to any cough I had was to feed me buttercream. In light of this fact, you tell me, what chance did I have of not loving cake?!
Gluten free chocolate brownie cloud cake
So now that we’ve established that my fixation with cake results from mummy's marvellous medicine and is nothing at all to do with the fact I am a ziggypiggy, I feel a lot better about life and am finally ready to share my next bake with you.
This cake started off as a brownie meringue layer cake but if I’m honest with you, I don’t much care for meringue, so then I made it again, without the meringue or the layers and instead with a delightful cloud of whipped cream on top to counteract the sweetness of the dense, moist brownie. Much simpler and much yummier in my opinionation.
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 350g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
  • Zest of two oranges
  • 300g light muscovado sugar
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 450ml double cream

Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan).
Grease and line the base and sides of a deep 8" springform cake tin.

To make the brownie, melt the butter and chocolate together in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the surface of the water does not touch the bowl.
Once the chocolate and butter have melted and are combined, add the orange zest and then the sugar, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved.
Remove from the heat and add the egg yolks, beating them into the mixture.

In a clean, dry bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. Fold a couple of tablespoons of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remaining whites using a rubber spatula or a large metal spoon.
Tip the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 65 minutes. Once baked, remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before taking the cake out of the tin and allowing it to cool completely.
Once the cake is cool, lightly whip the double cream in a large bowl (you want it to be runny enough to be able to spread it but not so runny that it isn't holding its shape and runs off the sides of the cake). Plop all the cream onto the cake and gently spread it all over the top with a palette knife.  Dust the cloud of cream with cocoa powder if desired.