Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite's gluten free chocolate torte recipe

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This week's technical challenge is all about gluten-free desserts...

gluten free pistachio and chocolate torte
It's the quarter finals of The Great British Bake Off tonight (8 October) and the contestants are gearing up to work with unconventional flours to create unusual desserts that push their creativity to the max.

For the technical challenge, the bakers will be tasked with making a dacquoise - three layers of fragile coiled meringue, sandwiched with coffee custard and topped with hazelnut praline, a dessert which also happens to be gluten free.

If you're up for trying a gluten-free dessert, but don't have the energy to make meringue, coffee custard-y, praline-y creations that take forever and a day, then this chocolate torte recipe is for you.

Created by 2012 champion John Whaite exclusively for National Baking Week (14-20 October), it's rich, moist, packed with pistachios and perfect with a cup of tea.

John revealed, "Gluten intolerance seems to becoming more and more common. In my eyes though, that is no reason not to enjoy home baked goodies. This torte is spectacular, and really hits the sweet spot. Due to the large amount of nuts, it does keep particularly well and is probably even better the day after it is made!"

Gluten free pistachio and chocolate torte

Serves: 8-10

You will need:
23cm loose bottomed round cake tin, greased and the base lined with baking paper
Food Processor or Mini Chopper


  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 150g pistachio kernels, unsalted and de-shelled
  • 120g ground almonds
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 1tsp gluten free baking powder
  • 150g Billington’s Unrefined
  • Golden Caster Sugar
  • 150g Billington’s Unrefined
  • Light Muscovado Sugar
  • For the Topping:
  • 100g milk chocolate
  • 100g white chocolate


Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/gas mark 3.

Place the egg yolks and one white into a large mixing bowl, and the remaining whites into another.

Place the pistachios, ground almonds, cocoa powder, baking powder and Billington’s sugars into a food processor or Mini Chopper.

Blitz into a fine powder and beat this powder into the egg yolks to make a very thick batter.

In a separate Pyrex mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form.

Gently scoop these on top of the other mixture, and fold together carefully – you will need a bit of elbow grease, but try not to deflate the egg whites.

When well incorporated, pour this into the prepared baking tin, and into the preheated oven.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the torte gently springs back when lightly touched.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes, before turning out from the tin and resting on a wire rack until completely cool.

To finish, melt the chocolates separately – the best way is in Pyrex heatproof bowls over pans of barely simmering water.

Drizzle the chocolates randomly over the torte to create a messy, chocolaty pattern.


30-45 minutes


Less than an hour

Great British Bake Off Winner John Whaite


John won the competition last year...but who will be 2013's champion?

READ: John Whaite Bakes: Recipes for Every Day and Every Mood, £20, here.

Do you eat gluten-free?



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