Sophie Dahl’s flourless chocolate cake recipe

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  • Nut-free
serves: 10
Skill: easy
Cooking: 45 min
(may need an extra 5 mins)
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  • This easy, rich chocolate cake recipe, with real chocolate pieces that you don’t have to melt, is from Sophie Dahl’s BBC2 series, The Delicious Miss Dahl.


    • Butter for greasing
    • 300g broken plain chocolate
    • 225g caster sugar
    • 180ml boiling water
    • 225g salted butter, cut into cubes
    • 6 free-range eggs, separated
    • 1tsp instant coffee powder
    • 1tbsp vanilla extract
    • To top the cake:
    • Raspberries, strawberries and redcurrants or blueberries and blackberries
    • 200ml of crème fraiche


    • Grease and line the base of a solid-bottomed 23cm (9inch) round cake tin (a springform is best).

    • Preheat the oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan, gas mark 4).

    • In a large food processor, pulse the chocolate and sugar until fine. Add the boiling water, butter, egg yolks, coffee powder and vanilla extract.

    • In a glass bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff and then fold them into the chocolate mixture.

    • Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake in the hot oven for about 45-55 mins. The top will be cracked like a desert fault line.

    • After you take the cake out of the oven, it will collapse into itself quite a bit. This is OK – it’s not meant to be a proud cool cake, it’s meant to be slightly rough around the edges and the crème fraiche and berries will hide any dips and cracks.

    • Let the cake cool, then put it in the fridge for a few hours. When you are ready to serve, remove from the tin, smother the top in crème fraiche, then raspberries, strawberries and redcurrants (or blueberries, blackcurrants and blackberries). You can also grate some more chocolate on top or dust some icing sugar.

    Top tip for making Sophie Dahl’s flourless chocolate cake

    Top tip: Use a metal spoon rather than a wooden spoon (which retains moisture) to fold the ingredients together at the end of step 4. Cut and fold the mixture with your metal spoon to keep the air in your mixture. Never beat at this stage!

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