Friday, August 6, 2010

Gluten-Free Chocolate-Pear Torte

I think the word torte sounds a little pretentious, so I'm just going to call it a very rich cake, ok?

My father has celiac disease. The real version of wheat (gluten) intolerance, not the new-age, hipster, I'm-choosing-not-to-eat-wheat-because-it-clouds-my-aura gluten intolerance. The real deal. So when I saw this recipe*, I thought I'd try it to surprise my dad with a gluten-free version. Too bad I forgot he's out of town for the week...

But we move on. Torte freezes, right?

My substitutions:

I had no dried pears (although I do have some drying), so I used some of yesterday's pear jam, adding a little less sugar since the jam is so sweet.
I didn't have poire williams, so I used plain brandy.
I didn't have quite enough chocolate, so I used what I had (7 oz) plus 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder.
And of course, I used gluten-free baking flour instead of all-purpose.

Going into the oven:
I baked it 10 minutes shorter than the recipe suggests, and it was nice and moist.

I decided to forgo the suggested chocolate glaze, as the comments on Epicurious said the pear flavor was lost. So I left it untopped and gave my guests the option of pear jam, leftover cream cheese frosting, ice cream, or no topping. It went well with the cream cheese frosting*, as well as vanilla ice cream.

The result? The torte is TASTY. And VERY RICH. However, the pear flavor is completely lost, as is the brandy flavor.

My suggestions?
Skip the pears. Use applesauce.
Double the brandy.
The almonds are tasty and good for you. Add more.
Only use 6 ounces of baking chocolate.
The glaze is excessive. Leave it out.

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