“Lighter than Air” Chocolate Cake

My sister brought this naturally gluten-free cake (no flour) over yesterday to cheer me up. She joked that she brought me a “lighter than air” chocolate cake in hopes that I would feel lighter than air instead of nine months pregnant. HILARIOUS. It is an awesome recipe and it did make me feel better! I will be making this cake for years to come because it was that good!

lighter than air chocolate “Lighter than Air” Chocolate Cake


For cake layers:
12 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
6 tablespoons water
12 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 1/3 cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder

For filling:

2 cups heavy cream
6 tablespoons confectioners sugar, sifted
4 tablespoons Grand Marnier*

* My sister substituted 4 tablespoons cocoa and 1 teaspoon vanilla since she did not have the Grand Marnier with excellent results!

lighter than air chocolate2 “Lighter than Air” Chocolate Cake


To Make cake layers: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease four 9-inch circular cake pans and line bottoms of circles with a piece of parchment paper.

Melt chocolate with water in a small heavy saucepan over very low heat, stirring. Cool to lukewarm.

In your stand mixer, beat yolks, 2/3 cup sugar, and salt until thick and pale for about 5 minutes.  Stir in melted chocolate until combined.  In a separate HUGE bowl, beat 12 egg whites until they hold stiff peaks (clean your beaters).  I use hand held mixer with a very large stainless steel bowl for this-

Add remaining sugar and beat until whites just hold stiff peaks. Fold one third of whites into melted-chocolate mixture, then fold in remaining whites carefully.

Spread batter evenly over four baking pans.   Bake until the cake has puffed and the top is dry to the touch, maybe 16 minutes.  I rotated my cake pans once to ensure they cooked evenly.  Once the cake is done, cool the cake pans on cooling racks for about 10 minutes.

If you wish, sift cocoa powder over top of cake layers.  Then place a piece of waxed paper over the top of the cake pans. Place a cookie sheet over paper and invert cake onto it, gently peeling off wax paper lining. For best results, place all of the layers in the freezer for at least 2 hours or until they are firm enough to be carefully lifted without breaking.

In order to make the filling:  In a clean large bowl, beat cream with powdered sugar and Grand Marnier (or cocoa powder)  until it just holds stiff peaks.

To assemble the cake:

Bring first cake layer out of the freezer (leave the others in the freezer until you are ready for them) and arrange on your cake plate, cocoa side down. Spread 1/4  of filling evenly over the cake layer. Bring the next cake layer out of the freezer, placing it gently over the filling, again cocoa side down. Repeat until the cake is assembled!

Keep cake in the refrigerator until serving time.  The cake layers should thaw after about 2-3 hours of being in the refrigerator and the cake will be ready to serve.

Dark chocolate grated into curls with a vegetable peeler makes for an excellent garnish. OR writing out the word ‘BABY’ with gluten-free chocolate chips is awesome too.

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