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.