Chocolate is one of those alluring ingredients that inspired me to create something simple and decadent when Camp Joy Gardens, a small non-profit organic farm in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California, received 25 pounds of cocoa powder in their bulk order. The beautiful 4 acre farm is run through an apprenticeship program that is greatly influenced by Alan Chadwick's model of biodynamic organic farming techniques. I was fortunate enough to be welcomed into the program and have been overcome with splendor, as food is a communal affair and everyone gets to create wonderful meals from the fresh produce we grow. I really wanted to keep this cake gluten free, as one of my peers is intolerant. With most dietary restrictions, it’s difficult to retain the integrity of a recipe without using a substitute that hinders the flavor. This wonderful snacking cake however gets too much of its flavor and texture from the ground almonds and is completely gluten free without anything being lost without flour.
You may notice that this recipe is also written in grams. Within the last couple of months I have become fond of working with a digital scale when baking. When you multiply a recipe, proportions can easily be thrown off and working with a scale takes the guess work out of multiplying a recipe, and helps you remain exact, which is so important in baking!
Buckwheat Chocolate Almond Cake
as adapted from David Lebovitz
6 oz (170g) chocolate*
1/2 cup (115g) butter
4 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
1/3 cup (80 ml) yogurt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup almonds, roasted
1/4 cup buckwheat flour (35g)
powdered sugar & cocoa powder, for dusting
Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 8 inch cake pan. In a double boiler, melt down butter and add chocolate. Once melted remove and allow to cool. In a bowl, separate eggs into whites and yolks. Whisk the egg yolks, half of the sugar, yogurt, vanilla, and salt, stir in melted chocolate. In a food processor pulse almonds until fine and add in the buckwheat flour. Stir into chocolate mixture. In a mixture (or by hand if you want a work out!) whisk egg whites until soft peaks form, add the remaining sugar and beat until firm peaks form. Slowly fold into chocolate mixture. Scrap bowl into greased pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. Center should be slightly soft. Cool and remove from pan and dust with powdered sugar & cocoa powder. Enjoy with a scoop of ice cream for added decadence!
* I used semi-sweet chocolate chips, but dark chocolate would be amazing as well.