Romantic Allergy-Friendly Chocolate Desserts
Nothing says love more sweetly than a decadent chocolate treat. And when the delicacy is gluten free and dairy free, it’s truly a gift that speaks from the heart.
We asked three chefs, all experts in special-diet baking, to give us their top dessert recipes most requested by customers, family and friends for Valentine’s Day. Here are the seductively delicious results. Prepare to fall in love at first bite.
Dee’s One Smart Cookie
Diane Kittle was a professional baker when a celiac diagnosis forced her to give up working with flour. “Baking was my passion,” she says. Happily, Kittle found a way to have her gluten-free cake and eat it, too. Two years ago, she opened Dee’s One Smart Cookie, a bakery that specializes in gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free and peanut-free goodies. (She also offers yeast-free items on Wednesdays.) Visit deesonesmartcookie.com or call 860-633-8000.
Our Cover Recipe
Mocha Chocolate Cake
MAKES TWO 9-INCH LAYERS, THREE 8-INCH LAYERS
OR 36 CUPCAKES
“When I began living gluten free, this was the first cake I re-created,” says Diane Kittle. “Coffee enhances the chocolate flavor.” Top with Mocha “Buttercream” Frosting or Chocolate Ganache Frosting.
1 cup hot brewed coffee (decaf works fine)
1 cup cocoa powder
1 cup hot water
3 cups gluten-free All-Purpose Flour Blend more for dusting pan
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 cup dairy-free margarine or organic shortening
2½ cups sugar or evaporated cane juice
4 large eggs,* room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans for Chocolate Mocha Cake on cover. Or prepare three 8-inch round cake pans for Chocolate Ganache Cake, pictured here.
2. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the coffee and cocoa powder. Add hot water and whisk until smooth.
3. On a piece of waxed paper, sift together flour blend, baking soda, baking powder, salt and xanthan gum. Set aside.
4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the margarine or shortening and sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time. Then add the vanilla and cream well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
5. Blend half the dry ingredients into the wet batter, followed by half the cocoa mixture. Blend in remaining dry ingredients and cocoa mixture, mixing on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.
6. Spoon the batter equally into prepared cake pans or standard-size cupcake tins. Bake in preheated oven for about 40 minutes. Watch carefully as time will vary depending on oven and pan size. Cake is done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
7. Remove cake from oven and cool in pans for 20 minutes. Then turn cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting. Frost tops of layers with Mocha “Buttercream” Frosting or Chocolate Ganache Frosting Assemble cake and frost sides.
Dairy Free, Too!
MAKES 8 CUPS
This versatile recipe makes enough to frost a 3-layer cake. For a wonderful Vanilla “Buttercream” Frosting, omit the cocoa and coffee extract and add 1 tablespoon vanilla extract.
6 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons sifted cocoa
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup boiling-hot water
2½ cups vegetable shortening, such as organic Spectrum shortening
¾ cups dairy-free margarine of choice
2 teaspoon gluten-free coffee extract
Fresh raspberries or shaved chocolate, for garnish
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine powdered sugar, cocoa and salt.
2. With a whip attachment, add boiling water and whip at medium-low speed until smooth and cool, approximately 5 minutes.
3. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula. Add shortening, margarine and extract to the sugar mixture. Whip at medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy, approximately 10 minutes.
4. Scrape down the bowl and whip an additional minute. Frost cake and garnish with raspberries or shaved chocolate.
Each cake serving with Mocha “Buttercream” Frosting contains 838 calories, 49g total fat, 18g saturated fat, 2g trans fat, 53mg cholesterol, 949mg sodium, 99g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 4g protein.
TIP Refrigerate leftover frosting in an airtight container for two weeks. Let frosting return to room temperature and then re-whip for 2 minutes before using.
*TIP For Egg-Free Mocha Chocolate Cake, mix ½ cup applesauce with 2 teaspoons baking powder in a small bowl. In another small bowl, thoroughly mix 4 tablespoons cold water with 1 tablespoon egg replacer. (For gluten-free egg replacer, visit ener-gfoods.com) Add egg replacer mixture to applesauce mixture. Then add the entire egg-free mixture to the creamed shortening and sugar and proceed with recipe instructions.
To create a Chocolate Ganache Cake, allow heated ganache to cool to room temperature. Then place it in a mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour until mixture thickens. Beat ganache for 1 minute using a mixer with the paddle attachment. This softens the ganache and makes it spreadable. Frost the cake and then keep it chilled in the refrigerator until one hour before serving.
Each cake serving with Chocolate Ganache Frosting contains 578 calories, 39g total fat, 21g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 94mg cholesterol, 494mg sodium, 62g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, 8g protein.
West Dover, Vermont
Chef and owner of Deerhill Inn, Michael Allen has wowed guests with delightful gourmet meals for over seven years. “The great advantage of working in Vermont is the rich supply of local products which helps me create food that’s both complex and straight forward,” says Allen. “Fresh vegetables and meat and cooking everything from scratch gives us abundant menu options for those who must ‘do without.’” Visit deerhillinn.com or call 800-993-3379.
Can Be Nut Free
Flourless Chocolate and Almond Cake
“What could be better than a chocolate-on-chocolate dessert?,” asks Michael Allen. “This recipe is always a hit. Ideal for gluten-free guests, it can be easily adapted for those with dairy allergy.”
1 cup whole almonds, divided, or ½ cup additional cocoa
¾ cup unsalted butter or dairy-free replacement, softened + 1 table-spoon for greasing pan
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup cocoa
2 cups good-quality chocolate ice cream or dairy-free frozen dessert (flavor of choice)
½ cup Raspberry Puree, for garnish
Whole raspberries, for garnish
Confectioner’s sugar, for garnish
1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease one 6-inch round cake pan or six 2½-inch ring molds. If using ring molds, arrange on sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
2. Toast almonds, if using, in preheated oven until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes. Finely grind 2/3 cup almonds. Coarsely chop remaining 1/3 cup almonds, reserving for garnish.
3. In stand mixer, lightly cream ¾ cup butter or dairy-free replacement and sugar. Add finely ground almonds and combine. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl occasionally. Add vanilla and salt.
4. Remove batter from mixer and sift in cocoa, folding into batter gently but thoroughly. Add additional cocoa here if omitting almonds.
5. Pour batter into prepared cake pan or divide evenly among ring molds. Sprinkle coarsely chopped almonds over top, if using, and place cake on center rack of preheated oven. Bake 6-inch cake for 40 minutes, ring molds for 28 minutes or until cake is firm to the touch and toothpick inserted comes out clean.
6. Remove from oven and cool cake on rack until room temperature. Remove from pan.
7. To assemble, place cake wedges or individual molds on dessert plates. Top each with a scoop of ice cream. Spoon Raspberry Puree around cake and garnish with whole raspberries. Dust each cake lightly with confectioner’s sugar and serve.
Each serving contains 716 calories, 46g total fat, 21g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 221mg cholesterol, 109mg sodium, 72g carbohydrate, 9g fiber, 14g protein.
MAKES ½ to ¾ CUP
12 ounces fresh raspberries or frozen raspberries, thawed and drained
⅓ cup confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1. Puree raspberries in a food processor.
2. Press puree though a sieve, catching the juice in a medium bowl. Discard the seeds. You should have at least ½ cup of juice.
3. Add sugar and lemon juice and blend. Refrigerate until used.
PatsyPie Gluten-Free Bakery
Pat Libling and two of her three daughters have celiac disease. In the years since her diagnosis, Pat tasted many gluten-free products but she missed the homemade goodies her family used to enjoy. In 2001, she started a one-woman, home-based business. In a short time, her biscotti, cookies, muffins and brownies gained popularity. Today PatsyPie sells its artisan baked treats by mail order and to stores throughout Canada and the United States. Visit patsypie.com or call 877-287-9743.
Dairy Free, Too
Clouds of Delight Cookies
MAKES 36 COOKIES
“This simple recipe is a family favorite,” says Pat Libling. “Everyone loves these cookies and nags me to make them, especially for Valentine’s Day. They’re eaten so quickly that they rarely make it to a plate.” In the unlikely event there are leftovers, store these cookies in an airtight container.
3 egg whites from extra- large eggs
¾ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup toasted coconut
Sweetened cocoa, for dusting, optional
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or use non-stick cookie sheets.
2. In a chilled bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks begin to form. Slowly add the sugar, a bit at a time. Add salt and then vanilla. Continue to beat mixture until it becomes very stiff, like meringue.
3. Using a spatula, carefully fold in the chocolate chips and coconut.
4. Use a teaspoon to form cookies, placing them on prepared cookie sheets.
5. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 20 to 25 minutes with the oven light on. Keeping oven door closed, watch carefully to make sure cookies don't overly brown. Cookies are done when they’re slightly golden.
6. Remove from oven and cool on pan. Dust with a little sweetened cocoa, if desired.
Each cookie contains 52 calories, 2g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 2mg cholesterol, 27mg sodium, 8g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 1g protein.