This beautifully buttery and decadent cake from the cookbook Sweet: Desserts from London’s Ottolenghi is striking for its rich flavor and texture and shiny, syrupy dark chocolate glaze, but also because it happens to be gluten free. Finely shredded coconut and vanilla bean seeds perfume the rich almond meal cake, which is topped with a thin, glossy, and intense chocolate ganache that runs gorgeously down the golden sides. This tastes even better served at room temperature the day after baking, and will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container, if it lasts that long.
Looking for more gluten-free desserts? Try our Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Fresh Berries recipe, or our Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies recipe.
For the cake:
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing pans
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup finely shredded coconut
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- seeds scraped out from 1 vanilla pod
- 4 large eggs
- 1 2/3 cups almond meal
For the ganache:
- 2 ounces dark chocolate, roughly chopped into 1/3 inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup
- 3 tablespoons water
- seeds scraped out from 1/4 vanilla pod
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
To make the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the base and sides of a standard 8 1/2 × 4 1/2 inch loaf pan or a 9-inch round springform pan and line with parchment paper, then set aside.
- Place the butter, sugar, coconut, vanilla seeds, and salt in an electric mixer with the paddle attachment in place. Beat on medium-high speed, until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Turn the speed to low, add the almond meal and mix until just combined.
- 3Scrape the mixture into the pan and bake for 40 minutes if using the loaf pan or 50 minutes if using the round pan, or until the cake is golden brown on top and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and set aside to cool in the pan before inverting onto a serving plate. Set aside until completely cool.
To make the ganache:
- When you are ready to serve, place the chocolate in a medium bowl and set aside. Put the sugar and corn syrup in a small saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Stir to combine and, when the sugar has melted, increase the heat to medium and bring to a boil, stirring gently from time to time. Continue to boil for about 7 minutes, until the color is a pale amber. Remove from the heat and carefully pour in the water. Don’t worry if the mix seizes; just return the pan to the heat, add the vanilla seeds and stir gently and continuously until it returns to a boil and the sugar has melted again. Remove from the heat and wait for a minute before pouring the water-caramel over the chocolate. Allow to stand for about 3 minutes, then whisk to combine. Add the butter, a couple of cubes at a time, whisking after each addition. Continue until all the butter has been added, whisking to combine until the consistency is that of thick syrup.
- Spread the ganache over the top of the cake, letting it run down the sides a little, and serve.