Thursday, May 07, 2020

Flourless chocolate cake

April 25, 2020

Yes, it's more cake from the Lab Farewell Cookbook! And it's another classic style of recipe that's worth having in one's repertoire: a gluten-free chocolate cake shared by Bron. 

The preparation and final product both reminded me of brownies as much as cake. The batter builds up from melted butter and chocolate in a saucepan, fills out with almond meal instead of flour, and develops a distinctive elasticity when the eggs get mixed in. The egg yolks, anyway... the spot where this differs from a brownie is when you skip the baking powder, separate the eggs, and fold in puffy whipped whites at the end. It's a neat way to deal with what's otherwise a very dense batter.

I most appreciated Bron's advice on baking time: 
undercooked = creamy mousse, overcooked = cakey. Can't go wrong!
Since I like my baked goods closer to fudgy than cakey, I picked the minimum cooking time of 55 minutes. By my assessment, this generated a texture right on the boundary between fudgy and cakey. I'll be tempted to try a 45-50 minute bake next time round to see just how fudgy this can get!

Bron's other excellent parting advice was to serve this cake with thick cream or yoghurt, and some strawberries. I did, and they set it off perfectly.

Flourless chocolate cake
(a recipe shared by Bron in the Lab Farewell Cookbook,
where it's credited to Sue Shepherd's Irresistibles for the Irritable)

1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup water
150g butter
150g dark chocolate
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 1/4 cups almond meal
4 eggs, separated

Preheat an oven to 150°C. Line a 22cm springform cake pan with baking paper, and grease it.

Set a medium saucepan over low heat, and add the cocoa, water, butter and chocolate. Continue cooking and occasionally stirring until everything is melted and smooth. Turn off the heat and whisk in the sugar, almond meal, and egg yolks. (I didn't get going with the egg separations until after I turned off the heat, which gave everything a little time to cool down.) Transfer the chocolate mixture to a large bowl. 

Place the egg whites in a small-medium bowl and beat them with an electric mixer until they form soft peaks. Gently fold half the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then follow up with the second half. Pour the cake batter into the cake pan.

Bake the cake for 55-65 minutes, and allow it to cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes. Serve with plain yoghurt or thick cream, and strawberries.


  1. I love this sort of cake - it has been too long since I have had flourless chocolate cake - makes me long for a good work morning tea! I assume your notebook brings back many happy memories of morning teas

    1. Yes, Johanna, I also miss the morning teas from my workplaces!