You never know what you’ll see posted on Facebook or Twitter, but once in a while you find something that really inspires you. The other day I found a recipe that I knew I wanted to try immediately. Rick Bayless posted a recipe for Rustic Chocolate Cake that looked easy and sounded delicious, so I got together the ingredients to give it a try.
The cake is a gluten free cake that is similar to many flourless chocolate cake recipes that I’ve tried. The bulk of the cake is made with chocolate, butter, sugar and eggs – but it also included amaranth flour. Amaranth is a gluten-free grain that is commonly used in Mexican and South American cuisines. Amaranth is high in protein, calcium and fiber, as well as many other vitamins and minerals, and with the growing popularity of gluten free grains, it is easier to find than ever these days. When ground into a flour, amaranth is often included in gluten free flour mixes. It absorbs water easily and can help baked goods to stay nice and moist, although it can lead to dense baked goods if not used in the right recipe.
This particular cake was easy to make and turned out beautifully, although I did find it needed a little extra time in the oven to set up completely. There are only a few ingredients, so the only unusual ingredient you might need to pick up is the amaranth flour (which I just happened to have on hand, by random luck, when I read his post ). It was dense, but not heavy, and had a tender texture that just kind of melted in your mouth. It is very, very moist and that just makes it seem even more decadent than it is. The chocolate flavor was great and the cake wasn’t too sweet – and it was a huge hit with the crowd I served it to.
The crisp crust on the cake will crack a bit as you slice it, so I dusted mine with cocoa powder before serving. It would also be great served with a little whipped cream. If you don’t have amaranth flour, you can bake this cake using other gluten free flour mixes (I tried it with Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Mix and it turned out beautifully) as well, so it is a great choice for any kind of gluten free baking. It is so good and so decadent, that people will never know that they are eating gluten free when you serve this to them.
Rick Bayless’s Rustic Amaranth Chocolate Cake
8-oz dark chocolate (60-65% cacao), coarsely chopped
8-oz butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
1 cup amaranth flour
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease an 8-inch springform pan.
In a medium sized, microwave-safe bowl, melt together dark chocolate and butter, stirring every few seconds until mixture is smooth. Allow to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, combine sugar and eggs and beat at medium-high speed until mixture is fluffy and has doubled in volume, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla and salt.
Stir in the chocolate mixture, then sift in the amaranth flour and stir it in until no streaks of flour remain visible and batter is uniform. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until cake is set and jiggles only slightly when the pan is gently shaken. Allow to cool completely before slicing. Cake may fall as it cools.