Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's dark chocolate cake recipe

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Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's chocolate cake recipe is so easy. The secret to this really rich, velvety and moist chocolate cake is to use good-quality choc with at least 70% cocoa solids.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's chocolate cake
Preparation Time25 mins
Cooking Time30 mins
Total Time55 mins

Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s dark chocolate cake is easy and irresistible, with a surprise molten middle.

You’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who can resist Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s dark chocolate cake. The River Cottage chef’s recipe is incredibly simple to make, using just six ingredients and taking 50 minutes to prepare and bake. The secret to this rich, velvety, moist and easy chocolate cake is to use good-quality chocolate with at least 70% cocoa solids. Be sure to serve with a dollop of thick cream or creme fraiche, which will complement the glossy, gooey centre. Delicious.


  • 250g dark chocolate (around 70% cocoa solids), broken into chunks
  • 250g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 4 medium eggs, separated
  • 200g caster sugar (or 100g caster mixed with 100g soft light brown sugar)
  • 50g plain flour
  • 50g ground almonds

You'll also need:

  • 23cm springform cake tin




  1. Grease a 23cm springform cake tin and line the base with baking parchment.
  2. Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and place it over a pan of barely simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the base of the bowl. Stir occasionally until the butter and chocolate have melted.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a large bowl until well combined.
  4. Stir the melted chocolate and butter into the egg and sugar mixture. Combine the flour and almonds and fold these in, too.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they hold firm peaks. Stir a large spoonful of egg white into the chocolate mixture to loosen it, then carefully fold in the rest of the egg whites with a large metal spoon or spatula, trying to keep in as much air as possible.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Place in an oven preheated to 170°C (gas mark 3) and bake for about 30 mins, until only just set.
  7. It should still wobble slightly in the centre - this means the cake will have a divinely sticky, fudgy texture once it’s cooled down. Leave to cool for 10-15 mins before releasing the tin.
  8. Serve warm or cold, on its own or with a dollop of thick cream, creme fraiche or Greek yogurt. For a more adult version, you could stir a slug of whisky into whipped cream sweetened with a little icing sugar and serve it spooned over each slice of cake.  

Tips for making Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s dark chocolate cake:

If you use the caster and muscovado mix, the cake will have a lovely hint of caramel, but caster sugar on its own is fine too.

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