Even typing the word is a little painful. It’s been so long that I’ve been on the low-FODMAP diet that I can barely remember the last time I ate piece of soft, rich, chocolate cake. Sure, I’ve daydreamed about it, I’ve walked past cupcake bakeries with yearning in my eyes—but it wasn’t until last week that I actually yielded to temptation and had a slice (or several, if we’re being honest here). Was I beset by the same painful symptoms I experience within 24 hours of consuming wheat flour?
I was not.
The reason why? The cake we baked contained no wheat flour whatsoever. No flour at all, in fact. No, what we indulged in was a flourless chocolate cake—a great example of a recipe that is naturally low in FODMAPs without any weird or unsatisfying substitutions. It’s almost hard to believe you can bake a flourless cake, but believe me, it’s true. (You just need a lot of eggs.) With its crisp top, it reminds me of the brownies I loved as a kid, and of which I have been so cruelly denied lately.
There’s plenty of recipes for flourless chocolate cakes out there, but the one I like the most we adapted from Martha Stewart, adding our own flourishes like cinnamon and sliced fruit (optional). Try it for yourself and let me know if it hits the sweet spot for you. With so many desserts (ice cream, regular cake, pie) off the table for us low-FODMAPers, it’s nice to find something so rich and delicious and guilt-free (well, one kind of guilt).
- 6 tbsp unsalted (or salted, if you like savoury-sweet combos) butter
- 8 oz semi-sweet baker’s chocolate
- 6 large eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup sliced strawberries or small blueberries (optional—you can also serve them on the side or top the cake with them)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- Confectioners’/icing sugar and cinnamon (for dusting)
- 1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. While it’s heating, butter the inside of a 9-inch springform pan.
- 2. Melt the butter and chocolate together, either over a double boiler, stirring frequently, or in the microwave (make sure you zap ’em in short increments of 30-60 seconds, checking regularly and stirring each time). Let cool a bit.
- 3. Whisk the egg yolks into the butter-chocolate mixture.
- 4. In a big bowl, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Slowly pour in the granulated sugar and continue whisking until the peaks are stiff and gleaming.
- 5. Whisk 1/4 of the egg white/sugar concoction into the butter/chocolate mixture, then fold in the remaining whites and the fruit.
- 6. Pour the batter into the pan, making sure it’s evenly distributed and the top is flat (use a spatula if need be). Bake until the cake pulls slightly away from the sides of the pan and is set in the center—about 45-50 minutes.
- 7. Cool on a wire rack with the sides of the pan removed. When cooled, dust with confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon if so desired, slice, serve and try not to eat the entire cake by yourself.