Things to do in Basel

Be my valentine – glutenfree chocolate torte

A recipe by Jim and Louise

We can all agree that the last year has been rather testing so what better way to feel better than indulging in a bit of chocolate heaven? This particular piece of chocolate heaven has the added bonus of using only gluten free ingredients so we can even pretend it’s borderline healthy. This easy flourless chocolate torte is the perfect way to forget about life’s woes and can be served hot or cold.

Gluten-free Chocolate Torte

Ingredients for cake (german in brackets)

250g ground almonds (Mandeln gemahlen)

250g margarine (Margarin)

250g dark chocolate (Dunkle Schokolade)

(I use around 55% cocoa, use whichever you like though, its your cake) 

250g soft brown sugar (Rohrzucker)

250ml (5 large) egg


Ingredients for ganache 

100ml double cream

130g chocolate of your choice. 



  1. Heat the oven to 170°C

  2. In a mixing bowl combine the ground almonds and brown sugar. 

  3. Slowly beat the eggs and add to the dry mixture

  4. In a microwave bowl add the chocolate and margarine. Melt these together gently, once these are melted they will mix easily to a smooth consistency. They can be added separately if you prefer but this method will stop the chocolate setting to your mixing bowl in step 4 and washing one bowl from the microwave is far better than washing two.

  5. Add chocolate and margarine. This will look like a very loose batter at this point, don’t worry! As your chocolate and margarine cool, your batter will begin to stiffen up. If mixing by hand simply beat until a smooth batter, if using an electric mixer use a slow speed and try not to over mix. 

  6. Pour into a lined (or very, very well greased) 23cm diameter x 5cm depth baking tin

  7. Place in the centre of the oven for around 25-30 minutes at 180°C. You will know when your torte is ready as it will start to shrink in from the sides of the tin. At this point, pop a knife in the top of the cake and if it comes out clear you’re onto a winner and the cake is ready.  Set the torte aside to cool.

Making the Ganache

Warm your cream gently using either a pan on medium heat or a microwave.  Once the cream is around 50°C, remove from the heat and mix the chocolate into it. When the chocolate is completely melted the mixture will be silky smooth and have a lovely shine….. If the cream wasn’t warm enough the chocolate won’t melt properly but don’t worry, simply pop it back on a very low heat or back in the microwave. So long as you don’t burn the chocolate it will melt together with the cream, just fine.

Serving suggestions

If serving hot

Portion the torte and serve with ice cream or cream and a generous covering of ganache.

If serving cold

Add ganache to the cake whilst slightly warm lifting and allowing to flow over the cake. If it takes your fancy, sprinkle some lightly toasted, flaked almonds over the ganache and leave to cool. The ganache will set in around 1 hour in the fridge or 3-4 hours at room temperature. Cut with a clean knife, dip the knife in hot water and wipe between slices. 

There you have it. A deliciously simple torte with a decadent and easy ganache, perfect for a valentines supper, date night or a birthday treat.

We hope you have enjoyed trying this recipe, lots of love,

Jim and Louise

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Who is Jim?

Jim Whittam is head baker and the manager of The Haselmere which is a bakery, tea shop and deli, located in Grange-over-sands, Cumbria, UK.  He also happens to be Louise’s cousin.  During lockdown in 2021 Louise and Jim decided to start to draft and test recipes together, Jim uses his expert baking knowledge to write the recipes and Louise tests them in her kitchen in Basel, Switzerland.  The successful recipes are being shared here on the Things to do in Basel blog.  

They hope one day to compile a Cumbrian cook book that shares the recipes of their childhoods, recipes they wish to hand down to the next generation of Cumbrians and to the thousands of people who enthusiastically visit Cumbria each year, to enjoy the lakes and mountains and the great local, food and drink.

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