Claudia Roden’s Flourless Chocolate Cake

After yesterday’s virtuous crowing, I felt it was only right to chart some more calorific endeavours and if you are going to have a calorie (which even the hardened diet wizards of Weightwatchers and Slimming World allow you to do every once in a while), then I really think you need to make the calorie count. Which is to say really, don’t go mad and inhale 3 snack size Mars bars but use your calories on something really delicious, not only will it sustain you through your next week of celery and cabbage soup but it will leave you feeling much more rewarded than silly empty calories.

This is the kind of cake that calories were born for. It’s singularly one of the most delicious things ever invented. I’m a huge fan of flourless cakes but I am not a fan of buttering and flouring the cake tin as is suggested in the recipe. This has never worked for me, I think for some reason it seems to make the tin stickier and less willing to part with the cake but if it works for you, I’m rather jealous! What I do love is the pre-cut baking parchment circles made by Lakeland (available here:

I made this cake earlier in the week for a lunch and it went down really well. I added orange essence because I adore the combination of orange and chocolate but you could leave it as it is in the recipe or include a spoon of brandy, cointreau or rum. If you are going to add any kind of flavour, I would recommend adding it to the egg yolks and sugar as you beat them.

lovely chocolate cake

Claudia Roden’s Gateau au Chocolat

serves 10-12

23 cm non stick cake tin

  • 25og dark chocolate
  • 100g unsalted butter (plus extra for greasing)
  • 6 large free range eggs, separated
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 100g ground almonds
  • flour for dusting
  1. Preheat your oven to 180C and grease your cake tin, dust it with flour (or use a liner if you don’t want to cry into the tin when it won’t come out!)
  2. Melt the chocolate and the butter in a heatproof pan over boiling water and set to one side when melted.
  3. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until light and fluffy, you want to incorporate as much air in the mix at this stage as possible.
  4. Add the ground almonds and the melted chocolate and butter and mix thoroughly.
  5. In a large clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff and glossy and fold them into the mixture. To make this easier, ‘wet’ the mixture by mixing a spoon of egg white into the chocolatey mixture, this will loosen the texture making it easier for you to fold the rest of the egg whites in without losing your air.
  6. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes and decorate with orange zest.
  7. Serve with lashings of double cream!

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