Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Guest Post: Lisa's gluten free chocolate mousse cake

We knew Lisa would be baking something delicious as soon as she snapped up a spot for our June cakeup. We could sense her excitement all the way from her living room! So when she turned up to V Spot Cafe' we couldn't wait to see her creation and boy was it pretty; two decadent layers of chocolate cake topped with some perfectly crafted chocolate butterflies. And it got even better when we cut through and discovered the soft layer of mousse, so it was no surprise when everyone started asking for the recipe. 

Thank you Lisa for generously providing the recipe for the cake, we are sure it will be appreciated and replicated by many. It was a pleasure having you and look forward to having you at our future events! 

You Made My Day!

First off, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who baked and participated in the June cake up! You really made my day! I have coeliac disease, which means that a gluten free life is not a lifestyle choice or a fad, but something that I have to follow strictly. Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease where if I eat even the tiniest bit of gluten my body attacks itself. So when I heard that the June cake up was going to be gluten free I was excited. But when I got to the V Spot and saw all of the amazing cakes that were GF, I was absolutely thrilled! And I was even more impressed when I saw the detail that so many people took when listing their ingredients too. Something as little as using a GF baking powder instead of a non-GF one makes all the difference to a coeliac like me.

I’ve only been diagnosed in the last year after suffering with symptoms for years. And I’ve loved to bake since I was a kid so I was pretty devastated when I received my diagnosis. I thought “All I’ll be able to make is flourless chocolate cake or almond friands.” Wow, was I wrong. I’ve had such a great time over the past year learning how to bake all over again and I’ve discovered so many amazing GF recipes.  Before being diagnosed my signature baked item was chocolate brownies (I’m American by birth) but I have now found a brownie recipe that is GF AND just as good (if not better) than the non-GF one!

My family’s favourite cake at the moment is the one I made for the cake up – Chocolate Mousse Cake. Everyone who has had it can’t believe it is gluten free. So here is the recipe which I got from Gluten Free on a Shoestring which is a brilliant GF blog in the US. I’ve converted all of the measurements to Australian.  It may seem fiddly but it really isn’t once you figure out how to make a cake collar. Enjoy! 

And thank you once again. You really really really did make my day!

Prep time: 20 minutes       Cook time: 30 minutes       Yield: 20cm cake


1 cup + 2 tablespoons (158 g) plain gluten free flour
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum 
55g unsweetened cocoa powder 
3/8 teaspoon salt
3/8 teaspoon baking soda
150 g sugar
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon (127 g) sour cream, at room temperature
6 tablespoons (84 g) vegetable oil (I used rice bran oil)
1 egg + 1 egg yolk at room temperature, beaten
1/2 cup (120ml) + 1 tablespoon warm water (about 35°C/just about body temperature when you put your wrist under the tap)

20 g unsweetened cocoa powder 
120ml warm water
285g dark chocolate, chopped
56 g unsalted butter, chopped
475ml thickened cream
29 g icing sugar (pure, not icing sugar mixture)

  • Preheat your oven to 180°C. Grease or butter an 20cm round (or springform) baking pan and set it aside.  I use a springform pan for the entire process but you could use a round pan to bake the cake and then use the springform to attach the collar when you put the mousse on it (see below).
  • Make the cake. In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the sour cream, oil, eggs and water, mixing to combine after each addition. The batter should be very thickly pourable. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smooth into an even layer and place in the center of the preheated oven. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out mostly clean or with a few moist crumbs attached (about 30 minutes). Do not overbake. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before inverting onto a wire rack (or open the springform pan) to cool completely.
  • While the cake is cooling, make the chocolate mousse. In a small bowl, whisk the cocoa powder into the warm water until it dissolves completely. Set it aside. In a small, heat-safe bowl, place the chopped chocolate and chopped butter, and place over a small saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Melt the chocolate and butter over the simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth.  Remove the melted chocolate and butter, and whisk the cocoa powder dissolved in water into it until smooth. Set the bowl aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, whip the thickened cream on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Add the icing sugar, and whip again until stiff, shiny peaks form. Pour the chocolate mixture into the bowl of whipped cream slowly, carefully folding the ingredients together and taking care not to deflate the whipped cream more than necessary. Fold until no white streaks remain.
  • Assemble the cake. To assemble the cake, you will need a springform pan and a 10cm tall acetate cake collar or one fashioned out of aluminum foil, with the inside sprayed with cooking oil to prevent the mousse from sticking to it. I make one out of foil by ripping off a piece long enough to go around the cake and then folding the foil in half longways. Fit your cake collar around the cake, then clip the sides of the springform pan to the base to enclose the cake and collar. Spoon the chocolate mousse onto the enclosed cake, and smooth the top. Refrigerate the cake until the chocolate mousse is set (about 2 hours). Slice and serve chilled.  

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