Sunday, October 07, 2007

european chocolate cake, hold the flour

an extremely good european-style rich chocolate cake for either snacking or serving dinner guests, this one is entirely flour-free and remains moist for a few days. served with a thick layer of whipped cream and fresh raspberries or sliced sweetened strawberries atop that, it makes for a nice presentation.

since there is no wheat flour in this recipe, it is gluten-free and can also be made dairy-free by using a parve margarine. if you can't or don't eat eggs, well you're out of luck here! this one has 4 of them.

instead of using wheat (all purpose or cake) flour, potato flour/starch is used. commonly used in european (and jewish passover) baking, potato flour is the starch of floury type potatoes which acts to bind and thicken baked goods.

potato flour can be purchased in a variety of places, such as large grocery stores, european specialty stores, jewish grocers, and health food stores. it is very inexpensive and keeps forever.

the texture of potato flour is silky like that of cornstarch however it does feel a bit different. it can be used for cakes, cookies and sometimes as a component in breads.

baked as an 8 inch cake, the batter can also be put into small ramekins which have been lined with parchment paper to make removal easy. of course, you'll have to adjust the baking times, testing along the way to see when they've baked completely (most likely approx 20 - 25 min). though i've never tried it, i'm sure they could also be baked in paper cups that one would use to bake cupcakes or muffins.

european chocolate cake

makes one 8 inch cake


6 oz (150 g) semi sweet chocolate or 18 tbsp choc chips
1/2 c (4 oz /100g) butter or margarine
4 eggs, separated
1/2 c (4 oz / 100 g) sugar
1 tsp (5 gr) baking powder
1/4 c (2 oz / 50 g) potato starch
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
pinch of salt


separate the eggs and place the yolks in one bowl and the whites in another and let them come to room temperature.

meanwhile preheat the oven to 350F (180C).

prepare an 8 inch spring form pan and cut a round of parchment paper. grease the sides of the pan very well. set aside.

in a microwaveable bowl, melt the butter. it should be fairly hot.

place on the counter and add the chocolate chips. if using squares of chocolate, make sure they are chopped up to make melting easier.

mix well until completely melted.

place the mixture in a large bowl and add the vanilla, sugar and the eggs. do not add the eggs if the chocolate mixture is still hot or you will cook them.

mix well to blend.

add the potato starch, in two additions, into which you've blended the baking soda. again mix well.

in another bowl, mix the egg whites until foamy. add a pinch of salt and continue to mix until it is the texture of whipped cream and holds peaks.

add the egg whites, by hand with a spatula, by increments, to the chocolate mixture blending well after each addition. be careful not to be too rough as this is what helps give structure to the mixture while it bakes.

once well mixed, place the batter in the pan and smooth the top.

bake for 45 minutes. it will look domed, as if it has risen in the center; it has not — it is, in actuality, flat (see below)*. as it cools further, the top will crack more.

remove and let sit about 10 minutes. remove the spring form and continue to cool completely.

*you will notice that it will look like it has risen in the center, this is just a very thin layer. just push it down — the top of the cake will look flaky; this is perfectly normal for this type of cake and probably one of the best things about it (you'll have to try the recipe to see what i mean).

the cake slices nice and cleanly and is perfectly sweetened.

serve with powdered sugar and/or whipped cream. the cake will remain moist for a few days.



Emily DeVoto, Ph.D., said...

ohhh, yum... and with whipped cream, omg, I think I may swoon... You'll have to post this again (or a link to it) on Pesach!

Allergic Girl® said...

do you think i could use natural sugar, like raw or turbinado, i know that flavor may change/deepen but should be okay, yes?

Anonymous said...

always surprise me boy!knew about a similar torte but it called for ground nuts instead of potato starch.i won't be able to find the potato stuff here,will rice flour suit?btw i'll have to start gym,which i hate,bec of your posts.i'm growing fatter and fatter!:-(

burekaboy — said...

emily - c'mon, you know everything is better with whipped cream! LOL. i stuck a passover label on it so it'll be easy to find come pesach.

hi AG - thanks :) i'm sure you can substitute those kinds for the regular white sugar but i'd suggest processing the turbinado if the grains are larger than reg sugar so that the measurements are right and it dissolves at the same rate. you're right the taste will be a bit different but it'll work nicely. have you ever used sucanat? that would work fine here. hope you like the cake if you decide to make it.

hola sara - lmao. yeah, right, blame me! ;p i'm sure you could try using rice flour or even ground almonds as it's much the same concept. sabes que puedes hacer este potato starch tu mismo en casa? quando estas preparando las papas para latkes, por ejemplo, after grating them and soaking vas a ver que hay una cosa blanca en la parte inferior de la taza -- drenarlo (el agua) y dejarlo secarse; eso es el almidón de patata. you'll probably have to do it a few times (make latkes or something else where you grate the potatoes) to get a 1/4 cup but it's exactly the same thing. tal vez, pedir en la panadería si utilizan y pueden venderte un poco.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Oh, one of my favorite chocolate cakes! Your "Fondant Au Chocolat" looks very yummy!

Unknown said...

I think I left a question in the wrong post, as I am having a problem with blogger this morning. My question is, most chocolate chips from the regular grocery store has some form of milk or milk fat in them, so what can be substituted to make this cake chocolatey?

burekaboy — said...

rosa - thanks :) j'ai toujours aimé ce gâteau aussi.

hi lannae - lol, i was wondering why you were commenting on chocolate in the parchment post!

you're right, many (baking) items are now made with dairy or dairy based derivatives. so, first, check the packages and look for a small symbol on the package that says 'OU' on it or 'pareve' - those two are from the rabbinate and indicate that there are no dairy products at all in them. (i think hershey's makes non dairy ones, actually). if you have a kosher aisle in a bigger store or can check at trader joes or whole foods, chances are you'll find non dairy ones. short of that, you can use 6 oz worth of chocolate bars broken up (bittersweet will work - just add an extra 3 tbsp sugar) or this formula: 6 T cocoa (NON DAIRY) + 7 T sugar + 1/4 c shortening or non dairy margarine. oh yes, be careful about margarine as that also always has dairy in it these days. kosher brands will likely be completely non dairy (fleischmann's is one example but check to make sure). hope that helps.

TopChamp said...

of course this looks stunning!

Sorry to mis-comment but I'm confused about thie bisquick stuff. What do pies come out like? Looked at the recipes and it seems that you just add it into the pie. Does it set solid?

burekaboy — said...

hey TC - that's funny, i was just thinking about you today when i heard something about scotland this morning. hope all is well your way :)

try the chocolate cake; it's TC safe! LOL -- if you can get the potato flour, use reg flour or ground almonds.

as for the bisquick, it's really just an american invention of ready made pancake {or as you call them griddle cake} mix. it all depends on what is added to it in terms of how you use it.

as for the texture - it does set solid but it all depends on what you're aiming for: often it's like a soft scone texture, something like a dumpling, one which is dropped on top of a casserole and not rolled out. it's hard to say exactly because there are tons of recipes. look here for examples. do a search, too, and you'll get a ton of results for ideas. basically, think pancakes, soft scone mix, american bisuits (like scones but salty and eaten with stews, etc). there are many ways to use it, give it a whirl.

burekaboy — said...

TC - forgot to say, i'm sure it could be used for pie crusts but i've never done it.

Anonymous said...

well hello there burekaboy, just dropping by to say that looks mighty good!

Roo said...

Hey hey - save me a slice, as we are still on micro cooking here, with few weeks to go before the build is finished!

I'm just glad the rain held until walls and roof where on!



Beenzzz said...

I just wanted to say that after being officially diagnosed with celiac last April, that this recipe is SO VERY WELCOMED! Thank you for posting it. I will make this. It looks wonderful!

Chanita Harel חני הראל said...

כמה שאני אוהבת, העוגה שלך נראת טעימה מאוד.:-)

burekaboy — said...

aria - why hello back, dearest wifi bunny lady ;) LOL. thanks for stopping by to compliment my chocolate cake :))

hi roo - slice reserved. sorry, i still 'owe' you some ideas (email me, ok?). hope the renovations are going well. they did my bathroom last year and it was two weeks of hell; can't imagine only having the microwave to rely on (i hope you're bbq-ing!).

hi beenzzz - wow, i didn't realize you had celiac's. po' you :(( that's gotta be awful — plus having to cut out everything glutenful (then again, better to cut it out than suffer the consequences). hope you enjoy the cake, it's really worth trying out.

hi chanit - ahalan v'todah - gam ani ohev otah; hee lo rak l'pesach! LOL.

Anonymous said...

אני מאוד אוהבת לקרוא בבלוג שלך אבל יש לי בעיה כאשר אני רוצה להכין מתכון עם הכמויות של המוצרים אפשר לרשום אולי לפי כוסות/גרמים זה מאוד יעזור לי בכל אופן תודה לימור

burekaboy — said...

לימור - ברוכה הבאה ותודה על תגובתך. אני שמח לקרוא שמצאת דברים שאהבת בבלוג שלי.

אני מצטייר על חוסר החמויות [של המוצרים] במתכונים. אני אשים משהו שאולי יעזור לך עם זה בקרוב ואנסה לשים את הגרמים

בינתיים יש
הוא מאוד טוב אבל צריכה לשים לב האם רוצה לדעת על משהו נוזלי או מזון מוצק - תני מביט ותראי

מקווה שהבנת את העברית שלי! תודה על הביקור

TopChamp said...


have a look at the recipe for cold tea cake - sounds interesting. If I hadn't just made cherry cupcakes I'd give it a go.

Potato flour is not so easy to get hold of but your cake is very appealing. I will certainly give it a go... I'll have you know I'm a dab hand at cake baking.

burekaboy — said...

hey TC - thanks for the link; i'll check it out.

i'm sure you can find the potato flour or starch in any health food store. you can also use reg flour or finely ground almonds instead of the potato starch.

and btw, you know i was only teasing you ;) cherry cupcakes sound really good right about now!

TopChamp said...

I thought it was funny! Have been inspired to bake again though through your blog and the teacake one - this week I've made and frozen scones - which work brilliantly from frozen - and we had fairy cakes. Mmm...

I'd forgotten that it is easy, cheap and fun to do this kind of cooking.

burekaboy — said...

TC - glad to have been able to re-inspire your inner martha (stewart). did you see {insert shameless self promotion} the welsh scones recipe i have on my blog? do me a favour and try them one time and let me know what you think. there, you now have homework! LOL.

what's a fairycake, btw? same as a cupcake?? and yes, home baking is much cheaper and fun to do. now, off you go to the kitchen to bake something good!! ;)

Anonymous said...


I just came across your site as I was searching for an eggless cake. This one looks delicious.

I am wondering how substituting dark cacao powder would work in this recipe.


burekaboy — said...

hi nora - thanks for your visit and comment :)

this is a great cake which stays as fresh as the first day you made it, up to a whole week. this one, however , is made with 4 eggs and therefore (obviously) not an eggless cake.

were you perhaps referring to another recipe? i do have an eggless chocolate cake here.

in answer to your question regarding the substitution: 6 tablespoons dark cocoa powder plus 7 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 cup (4 tbsp) fat, i.e. butter, margarine or oil, can be substituted for 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate. adjust it accordingly.

hope that helps you out.

~M said...

Hi Burkeka Boy! Shavua tov! This looks awesome and I will have to try it both ways - with potato starch and with ground almonds. I am always stockpiling non-gebroktz/gluten-free Pesach dessert recipes.

By the way, there is a difference (in English, at least) between potato starch and potato flour. Check out Ener-G's website FAQs for further information. I'm pretty sure you intend to use potato starch here. I realize this is especially confusing as the bag of potato starch in the photo is translated as "kemach tapuchei adamah," and I normally think of kemach as flour. Take care! :)

burekaboy — said...

hey ~M - shavua tov to you, also.

don't wait til pesach to try this one :) it's a great everyday kind of cake, too. it'll keep fresh and still moist for a full week, unbelievably. i have another which is very similar that i make at pesach but it's half mousse and half cake — unbelievably good.

thanks for the link and info. i actually did know about the diff between the flour and starch; i hardly ever use the flour (my allergic-to-everything friend used it for her baking all the time, in addition to the starch). even in some health food places which sell bulk items, it's written up as flour when it's the starch. easier just to buy the kosher brands as they are always starch.

you're right, the hebrew IS translated directly as 'kaymach' but they really mean starch; i've never seen israeli true 'kaymach' from potatoes. it is a misnomer in translation; just to add, it's noted as starch (and not flour) in the ingredients list for the cake. in any case, it wouldn't work here as what is need is the starch not the flour.

thanks for your input :)

~M said...

Hi BurekaBoy!
I made this cake this afternoon and it's tasty. I was wondering whether you meant baking powder or baking soda since you list powder in the ingredients list but soda in the photo caption... I ended up using a Kosher l'Pesach baking powder. I think next time I'm going to try making this with 1/8 cup (2 T) each of almond meal and potato starch as my version ended up a tad drier than I would like and I think the almond meal would help provide moisture. Or...maybe processing some unsweetened coconut flakes into coconut flour for 2 T worth of the starch/flour for moisture. My fiancé really likes how this gluten-free/flourless cake has a crumb! Thoughts? Thanks, and take care!

burekaboy — said...

~m - hi there. sorry to hear it ended up drier than you liked. i find that a bit surprising as i've never had that occur and others who have made it have always found it to be moist. did you, perhaps, bake it too long or maybe your oven is not well-calibrated? if it's higher than what you set it at, you need to reduce the cooking time. i always have a thermometer in mine to make sure it's at the right temperature. other things could have been perhaps adding too much potato starch? did you use large eggs?

'my bad' about the baking soda, it should have read baking powder. i will amend that; thanks for pointing it out to me. you can try to add almond meal but i don't think that will add to the moisture content. two or three tablespoons of a plain applesauce or prune paste would. i cannot guarantee results with that as i've not tried it. the coconut wouldn't really add moisture either. not sure how it would fare in this cake as it would change the texture. that, of course, is merely my opinion. who knows, it's worth a try maybe ;)

maybe give it a try another time one of these days to see if you get the same results. if you do, then you will know that you do not find its moisture content enough for your tastes. the crowning glory of this recipe/cake was/is the fact it DOES stay moist and "as good as day one" for a full week.

i hope it was at least edible ;o