May is the month of Celiac Disease Awareness and I have to say that I’ve been eating more and more gluten-free meals these days. Not that I have celiac or was ever diagnosed with a gluten-intolerance condition but naturally I started to prefer gluten-free ingredients. But the main reason why I got interested to know more about gluten-free diets happened recently when a family member was diagnosed with Meniere’s disease. Although there isn’t officially a link between that condtion and the intolerance to gluten, there have been many testimonials of people with the same condition that went on a gluten-free diet and started to feel better and barely have any symptoms anymore. For those of you not familiar with this, Meniere’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear that provokes vertigo, nausea, tinnitus and sensation of pressure in the ear, terrible headaches and what is called of “drop attacks” which makes the sufferer to fall without warning. It has no cure and treatment focus more on preventing the symptoms. Besides the remedies to improve symptoms, patients are advised to avoid caffeine, tobacco, alcohol and prescribed a low-sodium diet.
Since some people after going on a gluten-free diet experienced an overall benefits and in many cases the total absence of symptoms, I suggested to try it out. It’s totally natural and even though each person has its own sensitivities and different clinical history and therefore the results may vary, why not experiment with it? I really hope it helps. It is not difficult to do a diet like this if you are aware of what ingredients are forbidden. There are so many delicious recipes out there and an increasing number of dedicated gluten-free food bloggers. So, it’s easy to find good stuff. For all these reasons, I created a grocery category in my store with gluten-free ingredients. Amazon is also having a Celiac Awareness month with up to 30% off gluten-free products, so you might find something worth buying around there.
Before posting this recipe, I want to disclose that I don’t intend to use ingredients like xantham gum or other alike. I also don’t have any appeal to buy processed food labeled gluten-free. For me, gluten-free is all about choosing the naturally gluten-free ingredients. All the vegetables and fruits are gluten-free and there are a lot of grains and nuts to pick as well. Simple.
Now, about this cake. The use of grounded walnut “flour” gives it a nutty flavor and combines very well with the chocolate. This last one is overload in the topping glaze and in the batter with the crunchy little pieces. The beaten egg whites folded into the batter brings a light and fluffy texture to the cake. I made it low-sugar, but if you like it more sweet, go ahead and increase the amount of sugar in the ingredients list. Here nobody complained and it was not long until it was all eaten.
- 1 1/2 cups walnuts
- 8 oz of semi-sweet chocolate
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 8 egg whites
- 8 oz semisweet chocolate
- 2 tbsp butter
- Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
- Grease a 10 inch springform with butter and rice flour.
- Chop the walnuts in the food processor until crumbled but not too granulated. Do the same with the chocolate.
- In a bowl of a stand-mixer, whisk the butter and sugar until creamy and pale yellow.
- Add the egg yolks to this mixture, beating after each addition.
- Incorporate the nuts/chocolate mix into the batter and add in the vanilla extract and cinnamon.
- In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks.
- Gently fold approximately 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter, adding the rest of it after that.
- Pour the batter in the prepared springform pan and bake for 35 minutes.
- Let it cool to room temperature.
- After it cools, prepare the chocolate glaze.
- Put the chocolate and butter in a bowl and melt in the microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring well until smooth.
- Pour over the top of the cake.