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Are flourless cakes as good as the real deal?


Flourless cake- Jack Kennard, Flickr

Photograph by Jack Kennard/Flickr

Flourless cakes have become extremely popular in recent times thanks to the need to cater a niche that cannot process gluten or does not want gluten in their diet. But cakes instantly bring to mind pillow-like fluffy pastry with some decadent dressing, colourful icing and topped with a good amount of whipped cream for added measure. For flourless cakes, the ingredients used in these are pretty much standard except for flour: sugar, eggs, fat (butter or sometimes cream), flavouring, and the occasional nuts or fruits.

Do they taste as good as regular cakes made with flour? Mumbai based-baker, Rhea Bharucha, who runs an independent baking company called Baked by Ree, says that flourless cakes can pack in fantastic flavour and texture. So far so good, where’s the catch? You can’t do much with it, since flour is a rising agent in baking. “Flourless chocolate cakes tend to sink in the center, which means it won’t make for a sturdy birthday cake,” says Bharucha. You certainly cannot have fanciful icings, decorations and all the fluff that makes regular cakes pretty.

But the best part is that a flourless cake is far more moist and dense than a regular cake baked using flour, which can at times turn out dry. No surprises then that the most popular flavour for flourless cakes is chocolate. Although Bharucha is quick to caution that how good your flourless chocolate cake is depends on the quality of the chocolate or cocoa used.

So don’t scrimp on the cocoa and get inventive with flavours. For instance, a dark chocolate cake tastes fantastic with bits of orange rind in it or even a drizzle of orange liqueur on top.