Friday’s Festivities. Chocolate cake and pink champagne!

Recipe: Gluten free Chocolate Cake with Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting

When I’d last made a Squidgy Chocolate cake from Phil Vickery’s Seriously good! Gluten-free baking my husband decreed it one of his favourites and proceeded to request it whenever I asked him what type of cake he thought I should make.

But it was never one of my favourites. Until now.

I’d organised to have three ladies around to afternoon-tea yesterday. And as I’d recently been out of the country for one of their birthdays, it was a prerequisite that the afternoon’s festivities included cake!

I adapted the recipe to make a smaller 20cm cake with 3, 2cm high layers. I made the recipe more dense, used Schar gluten free flour and guar gum and I substituted the frosting for a Swiss Meringue Buttercream flavoured with Lindt’s Fleur de sel dark chocolate. The recipe is now absolutely, decadently, delicious! The addition of a little bit of salt cuts the cloyingly sweet flavours that can often result with cakes of this type.

If you don’t wish to make a gluten-free cake. Just use your favourite chocolate cake recipe and make up a batch of the buttercream recipe below!

I also quickly made up a rose out of modelling chocolate I had leftover from my Kawaii Halloween Cupcake Toppers. It was the first time I’ve attempted a rose and I was quite happy with the result. I can’t wait to try again when I have more time!

Proof was definitely in the eating. The three ladies I had to afternoon tea all were determined to limit themselves to one small piece. But all of us went for seconds! And may have been convinced to go for thirds had the last remaining piece not been allocated to my Husband.

Also, one of the lovely ladies I’d recently done a little work for,  gave me a bottle of pink champagne and on a whim we decided that it would be much more appropriate to our Friday afternoon festivities. So the tea and coffee were put aside and we quaffed pink champagne from tea cups. Definitely my favourite type of tea!



150 grams of Schar Patisserie Mix C Gluten Free flour or an alternate gluten-free flour of your choice (plus flour for dusting cake tin)
3/4 teaspoon of Guar Gum
3/4 teaspoon of gluten-free baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
35 grams of cocoa powder
70 grams of unsalted butter, softened (plus additional butter for greasing the cake tin)
165 grams of muscavado sugar
2 medium eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of glycerine
135 ml of milk

    1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius. Grease and flour a 20cm cake tin with a little butter and gluten free flour.
    2. Sift flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa powder and guar gum together, put aside.
    3. Cream the butter and muscavado sugar together until light and creamy. Add the eggs, vanilla and glycerine and beat until well combined.
    4. With your beater on a slow speed, add tablespoons of flour mixture alternately with milk until all of the ingredients are well combined.
    5. Pour batter into floured cake tin and place in the middle of the oven for about 50 minutes. The cake is cooked when a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
    6. When cooked, leave the cake in the tin to cool for the first 10 minutes; then turn out onto a wire rack to continue cooling.



3 large egg whites
150 grams of caster sugar
pinch of salt
260 grams of unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into cubes
80 grams of Lindt Fleur de Sel dark chocolate or add 80 grams of your preferred dark chocolate and 2.5 grams of sea salt

    1. Melt chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Put aside and allow to cool.
    2. Place egg whites, sugar and a pinch of salt into a heat proof bowl and place it over a saucepan of simmering water. Ensure that the water doesn’t touch the  bottom of the bowl. Whisk the mixture over the simmering water until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is hot to the touch.
    3. Remove the bowl from heat and using an electric mixer, beat until the mixture is cool, fluffy and glossy. At this point your mixture should be able to form stiff peaks. Takes about 10 minutes.
    4. Add the butter a few tablespoons at a time. Mixing well after each additional until all of the butter has been added.
    5. Add melted and cooled chocolate, beating until the buttercream is well combined and completely smooth.
Note: It’s possible to speed up the 3rd step by placing the bowl in a sink of cold water and beating with a hand held beater. This however is only recommended if you’re in a hurry and are not likely to do something silly like dropping the hand held beater into the sink (hence my doing it the longer way).

To Assemble
  1. Cut cooled cake into three layers
  2. Placing first layer of cake onto serving plate, add a layer of buttercream. Repeating with alternate layers until complete.
  3. Coat cake with a small amount of buttercream. Place cake in the fridge for 10 minutes to allow buttercream to set slightly. This is your crumb coat and refrigerating it slightly ensures that your final coating of frosting does not get pieces of cake in it.
  4. Add final layer of buttercream. Smooth over and add any decorations you wish
Note: Don’t refrigerate your cake if you intend to serve it the same day you made it. The Swiss Meringue Buttercream doesn’t taste good cold. If you need to refrigerate it; remove the cake from the refrigerator at least an hour prior to serving.



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