Chocolate cake

I bought a Sophie Dahl cookbook 10 years ago after her lovely BBC series. Her aubergine parmigiana became a regular part of my cooking repertoire for many years. During lockdown I’ve been leafing through all of my old cookbooks and coming across old and new recipes one of which was her flourless chocolate cake that I had never tried. It sounded divine! Loaded with my new 6 inch pan confidence, I kinda halved the recipe and hoped for the best.

If you are a chocoholic like me you just have to make this. A thin crispy top giving way to a creamy chocolate fudge interior that needs to be served cold with lashings of crème fraîche. In this version I used a hazelnut flavoured coffee powder and a bar of cadbury’s bourneville. Next time I’ll try a higher percentage cocoa chocolate and plain espresso powder to compare.


150g dark chocolate
100g white sugar
90ml boiling water
100g butter
3 eggs separated
1/2 teaspoon of instant coffee

teaspoon of vanilla extract

Line your 6 inch pan with greaseproof paper so it overhangs the pan and preheat your oven to 160 degrees C. Unless you have a loose bottom tin which I don’t. The cake is quite moist so won’t come out intact otherwise.

In a food processor whizz the chocolate and sugar together into a fine crumb. Then add the coffee, boiling water, butter, egg yolks and vanilla and pulse until smooth.

In another bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff and then add to the food processor and pulse for a few seconds. Pour the mixture into your tin and bake for 45 minutes.

The cake will crack and go crispy on top. Leave to cool for around an hour and then put it into the fridge to firm up. The cake is amazing cold straight from the fridge with creme fraiche. It’s not one of those molten gooey cakes, you’ll see!



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