Salted Caramel Chocolate Espresso Cake {gluten-free}

This gluten-free Salted Caramel Chocolate Espresso Cake is one of my favourite cakes from the cake stall. A chocolate lover’s sponge sandwiched together with silky salted caramel swiss meringue buttercream and drizzled with thick luscious salted caramel.

This gluten-free Salted Caramel Chocolate Espresso Cake is one of my favourite cakes from the cake stall. A chocolate lover’s sponge sandwiched together with silky salted caramel swiss meringue buttercream and drizzled with thick luscious salted caramel. Happy Valentine’s Day!

This gluten-free Salted Caramel Chocolate Espresso Cake is one of my favourite cakes from the cake stall. A chocolate lover’s sponge sandwiched together with silky salted caramel swiss meringue buttercream and drizzled with thick luscious salted caramel.

To me, Valentine’s Day is really just an excuse for being a bit fancy. Not just any old flowers will do, it should really be roses. Not just any old bottle of plonk will do, it should really be champagne. If you think a bar of Dairy Milk will suffice, even if Fruit and Nut is your favourite, then you are kidding yourself. Valentine’s Day surely means an assortment of Paul A Young chocolate individually selected. And if there is not a Salted Caramel in there then Valentine’s Day might as well be off.

This gluten-free Salted Caramel Chocolate Espresso Cake is one of my favourite cakes from the cake stall. A chocolate lover’s sponge sandwiched together with silky salted caramel swiss meringue buttercream and drizzled with thick luscious salted caramel.

So, if nothing says romantic to you than chocolate cake, then for one you are in fine company, and for two, the chocolate cake really needs to be intimately involved with Salted Caramel to make it Valentine’s Day worthy.

This gluten-free Salted Caramel Chocolate Espresso Cake is one of my favourite cakes from the cake stall. A chocolate lover’s sponge sandwiched together with silky salted caramel swiss meringue buttercream and drizzled with thick luscious salted caramel.

When I transitioned my cake stall over to gluten-free then this Salted Caramel Chocolate Espresso Cake was the first to make the transition as it’s an absolute favourite of mine and my customers. It looks beautiful and it really delivers on chocolate flavour with a hint of espresso. If you are not a coffee lover then you can easily leave it out, bar a couple of teaspoons which helps to amplify the chocolate flavour. With both cocoa for richness and 70% melted chocolate folded into the batter, the result is true luxury. Buttermilk gives the sponge a gentle tanginess and using a light olive oil instead of butter makes the cake light and moist.

This gluten-free Salted Caramel Chocolate Espresso Cake is one of my favourite cakes from the cake stall. A chocolate lover’s sponge sandwiched together with silky salted caramel swiss meringue buttercream and drizzled with thick luscious salted caramel.

To make the cake gluten-free I swapped plain wheat flour for a combination of oat flour and white rice flour which is a great alternative, especially as oat flour gives the cake a toasted butterscotch flavour that sits so happily here.

This gluten-free Salted Caramel Chocolate Espresso Cake is one of my favourite cakes from the cake stall. A chocolate lover’s sponge sandwiched together with silky salted caramel swiss meringue buttercream and drizzled with thick luscious salted caramel.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream is the best way to finish this cake, it smoothes over the sponge like a dream with it’s buttery silky texture and is never too sweet. It is so much easier to whip up than you think and the generous pouring of salted caramel into the finished buttercream amps up the end result to 11 and then some.

This gluten-free Salted Caramel Chocolate Espresso Cake is one of my favourite cakes from the cake stall. A chocolate lover’s sponge sandwiched together with silky salted caramel swiss meringue buttercream and drizzled with thick luscious salted caramel.

I recommend treating yourself to a generous slice of Salted Caramel Chocolate Espresso Cake over Valentine’s Day. It’s ideal for lovers, broken hearts and happy friendships. Plus it’s just a little bit more fancy than your regular chocolate cake.

This gluten-free Salted Caramel Chocolate Espresso Cake is one of my favourite cakes from the cake stall. A chocolate lover’s sponge sandwiched together with silky salted caramel swiss meringue buttercream and drizzled with thick luscious salted caramel.

Print Recipe
Salted Caramel Chocolate Espresso Cake {gluten-free}
A chocolate lover’s sponge sandwiched together with silky salted caramel swiss meringue buttercream and drizzled with thick luscious salted caramel.
This gluten-free Salted Caramel Chocolate Espresso Cake is one of my favourite cakes from the cake stall. A chocolate lover’s sponge sandwiched together with silky salted caramel swiss meringue buttercream and drizzled with thick luscious salted caramel.
Prep Time 1-2 hours
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
12 generous servings
Ingredients
  • 125 g 70% dark chocolate
  • 165 g white rice flour
  • 60 g oat flour
  • 90 g cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons espresso powder
  • teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 400 g buttermilk
  • 160 g caster sugar
  • 160 g soft light brown sugar
  • 170 ml light olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon vanilla extract
Salted Caramel
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 300 ml double cream
  • 40 g butter
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt I used Fleur de Sel
Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • 240 g egg whites around 8
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 200 g light soft brown sugar
  • 500 g unsalted butter at room temperature, cubed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ quantity of salted caramel see recipe
Prep Time 1-2 hours
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
12 generous servings
Ingredients
  • 125 g 70% dark chocolate
  • 165 g white rice flour
  • 60 g oat flour
  • 90 g cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons espresso powder
  • teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 400 g buttermilk
  • 160 g caster sugar
  • 160 g soft light brown sugar
  • 170 ml light olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon vanilla extract
Salted Caramel
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 300 ml double cream
  • 40 g butter
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt I used Fleur de Sel
Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • 240 g egg whites around 8
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 200 g light soft brown sugar
  • 500 g unsalted butter at room temperature, cubed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ quantity of salted caramel see recipe
This gluten-free Salted Caramel Chocolate Espresso Cake is one of my favourite cakes from the cake stall. A chocolate lover’s sponge sandwiched together with silky salted caramel swiss meringue buttercream and drizzled with thick luscious salted caramel.
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 170°C and line and grease 2 x 8 inch round cake tins.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a bain marie then set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flours, cocoa powder, espresso powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt until well mixed.
  4. In a separate bowl mix together the buttermilk, sugars, olive oil, eggs and vanilla then beat into the flour mixture.
  5. Finally mix in the melted chocolate until completely incorporated.
  6. Divide the mixture between the 2 cake tins and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
  7. Turn out the cakes and cool on wire racks before filling with buttercream.
Salted Caramel
  1. To make the Salted Caramel pour the caster sugar into a small saucepan into an even layer and heat on a medium temperature until the sugar melts. Do not touch with a spoon but you can encourage the melting by swirling the saucepan around occasionally if you like.
  2. Once melted, carefully stir in the double cream and butter, the caramel may harden slightly but just keep on stirring the bubbly mixture until the caramel is smooth. Remove from the heat then stir in the salt.
  3. Chill the caramel for a few hours until it has thickened up.
  4. Use half of the cold caramel in the buttercream, reserving the rest for drizzling over the cake.
Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  1. To make the Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  2. heat the egg whites and caster sugar in a bain marie, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the temperature has reached 71°C.
  3. Remove the egg whites and sugar from the heat and pour into a stand mixer with whisk attachment. Whisk until the mixture forms firm peaks.
  4. Change the attachment to a paddle attachment. On a low speed add the butter slowly cube by cube. When you have almost added all the butter the mixture will look curdled. Do not fret – this is supposed to happen and just means you are nearly done. Just continue to add all the butter. Once the butter is totally incorporated the buttercream will miraculously become a smooth velvety consistency.
  5. Add the salt, vanilla extract and half of the chilled salted caramel. Mix until thoroughly combined.
Assembly
  1. Spread the buttercream over one of the chocolate cakes, then place the second chocolate cake on top. Cover the cakes with a thin layer of buttercream as a crumb coat. This will ensure the first layer of buttercream catches all the loose crumbs of the cake. Place the cake in the fridge for an hour for the crumb coat to firm up.
  2. Once the crumb coat is firm then cover the cake with the rest of the buttercream. Place back in the fridge for an hour for the second coat of buttercream to firm up which will help form a solid base for the caramel drizzle.
  3. Warm up the reserved caramel in a saucepan for about 30-60 seconds until it is just at pouring consistency.
  4. Pour the caramel all over the top of the cake, starting at the centre and working out, encouraging some of the caramel to drip over the side.
  5. Serve the cake at room temperature.

Favourite Gluten-Free Cakes

I sell my cakes at local farmers’ markets in London but lucky for those who don’t live nearby I also love sharing the recipes for all the cakes I sell and if you want to receive more of my cake stall recipes then I have a FREE mini e-book of the top 3 Favourite Gluten-Free Cakes which are on my stall including Fig, Almond and Salted Honey Cake, Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes and Minted Brownies. The recipes are really special to me and if you want a copy of them then just click the button below!

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Decadent Gluten-Free Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

Decadent Gluten-Free Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

I was so proud on how kind I’ve been to my body lately by totally removing gluten from my life which I had been completely failing to do since Cole was born nearly a year ago (eek!), so I thought it was cause to celebrate with a totally delicious, decadently rich Chocolate Hazelnut Cake which is both gluten and grain-free. However, it is sugar-full so let’s not pretend I’m being some sort of a martyr here.

Decadent Gluten-Free Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

I’m trying to develop more gluten-free recipes for my cake stall at the moment as since that is where my heart lies it seems only natural to explore that baking arena.

There are only a handful of gluten-free bakes on this site as up until now I couldn’t really see the point. I don’t eat foods containing gluten on a daily basis but if I’m treating myself and am prepared to reap the consequences then I usually wouldn’t mind helping myself to a cheeky slice of wheat led banana bread or shortbread or maybe a scone or a bit of cheesecake. Ooh, how about a huge great slice of victoria sponge with jam and fresh cream and…evidently I could go on.

Decadent Gluten-Free Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

At the moment though I really want to see what cutting out gluten for the long term can do for me and how far I can take it. I’m feeling the best I’ve done since giving birth, my back problems, foot problems and general tiredness are at bay for now, I have even been attempting to get back into running and so living a gluten-free life will hopefully contribute to my well-being.

This Chocolate Hazelnut Cake is amazing and is a perfect weekend treat if you’re following a gluten-free existence or not. It is pretty much just chocolate and ground hazelnuts with just a touch of espresso to lift all that chocolate and nuts so it is luxurious and satisfying. If you don’t mind separating the eggs and whisking the whites to fold in at the end then it is a very simple batter to put together as well.

However I do like to soak the sponge, whilst warm, with a chocolate syrup. It isn’t wholly necessary but does add another layer of chocolatiness and added succulence to the crumb. A third layer of chocolatiness is then spooned on top in the form of a glossy and decadent chocolate glaze. If you can resist not helping yourself to the majority chocolate glaze with a large dessert spoon before it’s put on the cake then more power to you.

Decadent Gluten-Free Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

The final piece to the puzzle is the salted hazelnut praline scattered over the top of the cake. I can’t resist the crunch a good salty praline gives to the main event and can often be found throwing it hither and thither over most of my cakes at the stall. My cakes don’t tend to cater too well for nut allergists I’m afraid.

This cake doesn’t really need to be tagged with the Gluten-Free moniker as it should stand on its own without being solely classified in the ‘special diets’ category but for the sake of hoping as many people enjoy it as possible then I am proud to call it my celebratory Decadent Gluten-Free Chocolate Hazelnut Cake. It’s pretty darn anygood.

Decadent Gluten-Free Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

Oh, and for the sake of trying stuff out I can also confirm that if you take a slice, warm it up for a few seconds in the microwave then drizzle some single cream over the top then that’s also an acceptable way to serve it.

Decadent Gluten-Free Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

For the cake
200g dark chocolate (I used 70%)
6 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
175g golden caster sugar
250g ground hazelnuts
20g cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon espresso powder
50ml whole milk

For the chocolate soaking syrup
50g water
45g soft light brown sugar
¼ teaspoon cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

For the salted hazelnut praline
2 tablespoons caster sugar
A pinch of sea salt
50g roasted and skinned hazelnuts

For the chocolate glaze
150g dark chocolate chips (I used 70%)
50g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon golden syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt

The Cake

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 150°C and line and grease a 20cm round cake tin.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water or a bain marie then leave to cool slightly whilst you get on with the rest.
  3. Whisk up the egg whites in a food mixer or by hand until they hold a stiff peak and set aside.
  4. Beat the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla extract until pale and thick.
  5. Pour the melted chocolate into the egg and sugar mixture and beat in to combine thoroughly.
  6. Add the ground hazelnuts, cocoa powder, baking powder and espresso powder and mix well. Stir in the whole milk to slacken the mixture.
  7. With a metal spoon add a third of the egg whites into the batter gently folding it in until just combined then fold in the remaining whites.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 10 minutes then turn the oven up to 160°C and continue baking for around 35-40 minutes until firm to the touch and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Once the cake is ready, remove from the oven and leave in the tin whilst you prepare the chocolate soaking syrup.

The Chocolate Soaking Syrup

  1. For the chocolate soaking syrup heat up the water and sugar in a small saucepan until the sugar has melted and it has reached a gentle boil. Whisk in the cocoa to dissolve then remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
  2. Poke holes in the surface of the cake with a cocktail stick, pour the syrup evenly over and let the cake cool in the cake tin before removing.

The Salted Hazelnut Praline

  1. To make the hazelnut praline heat the caster sugar in a medium sized saucepan, without stirring, until it has all melted and is turning a golden brown. Add the sea salt then very quickly pour in the hazelnuts, turning into the melted sugar, then pour out onto baking parchment.
  2. Leave the praline for about 5 minutes until just cool enough to handle then pull the nuts apart so that the caramelised sugar is pulled into strands. Then roughly chop some of the hazelnuts. Leave to cool whilst you prepare the chocolate glaze.

The Chocolate Glaze

  1. To make the glaze mix all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat until it has all melted together and smooth.
  2. Remove from the heat then pour over the cake, allowing some of the glaze to drip down the sides.
  3. Sprinkle the whole nut praline and the chopped nuts onto the top of the cake. Leave for the glaze to set then serve.
Decadent Gluten-Free Chocolate Hazelnut Cake