Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Flourless chocolate fudge cake

This year I volunteered to bring a dessert to Christmas dinner because a lot of people, including me, don't like the traditional English Christmas pudding. I decided to make the chocolate fudge cake from Ottolenghi.  It turned out really well, so I decided to make this cake again for New Year's Eve. I think it'll become a tradition at dinner parties and special occasions.

The book describes is recipe as simple to prepare, but typically with Ottolenghi the instructions are quite precise and involved. It's baked in two layers so that you'll have a firmer one on the bottom and a mousse-ier one on top. The whole process takes a few hours at least. You are allowed to bake it all at once, "for a less discerning audience, or if you want to hasten the process or are feeling lazy." In case you were afraid they were judging you!

I was unable to follow the instructions precisely because this is my kitchen scale. I think it was part of the "furnishings" of our first house, and somehow got packed with our things.  It's precise to the nearest 25 g at best. I'll give you ladies my measurements, with the book's measurements in brackets.

Chocolate fudge cake (from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook by Yottam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi)
250-ish g unsalted butter, cut into cubes (240 g)
275-ish g dark chocolate, 52% cocoa solids (265 g)
100-ish g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids (95 g)
300-ish g whatever golden brown sugar you have (290 g light muscovado sugar)
4 tbsp water
5 large eggs, separated
A pinch of salt
Cocoa powder for dusting

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius.

Put the chocolate and butter in a large bowl.

Heat the sugar and water over medium heat until they boil.

Pour them over the chocolate and butter and stir until it is smooth. Stir in the egg yolks one at a time. Allow it to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, beat the egg whites and salt to a firm, but not too dry meringue. Fold the meringue into the chocolate sauce a third at a time until fully incorporated, but it's ok to see small bits of meringue in the mix.

Pour 800 g (about 2/3) of the mixture into a prepared cake tin and level it. I don't have a palette knife so I used a spatula. Bake for 40 minutes until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out almost clean. Leave to cool.

When it is cool, flatten out the top (again I used a spatula) and don't worry about breaking the crust.

Pour in the rest of the batter and level it again. Bake again for 20-25 minutes, until a skewer comes out with moist crumbs.  This time you can't really level it.  It's supposed to look like that.

Allow to cool while you drive to visit your friends.  This is a picture of the gorgeous English December weather. I bet you're all jealous.

Dust the top with cocoa powder before serving.  The one I made for Christmas was made the day before and it was much neater to slice than this one.  We served with whipped cream but I think plain yoghurt or creme fraiche would be nice, too. That slight tang goes well with rich chocolate desserts like this.



  1. LOOKS AMAZING!! Thank you for posting!!! Now, I need to figure out where I can get cocoa solids in Missouri. How big is your cake tin, diameter-wise?

    1. Sam the descriptor "minimum (x)% cocoa solids" means a chocolate bar, like Lindt, or Walmart brand, or whatever, it jut must be these proportions. This would be like one bar of 70% Lindt and two bars of their 50%, roughly. Or whatever y'all eat down south!!

    2. I used a 23 cm springform pan but the recipe calls for a 20 cm one.

      I think 70% is a sort of cut-off for fancy dark chocolate. They are required to list percentages in the ingredients of chocolate here so I've learned that cheaper or less posh dark chocolate is usually around 50%.

  2. Sooo excited to try this!! Now I just have to find/create an occasion to do so...!

  3. Your writing makes me LOL btw

  4. I visited this post like a billion times.