Sophie Dahl's flourless chocolate cake

While watching “The Delicious Miss Dahl” the other day on BBC Lifestyle, I jotted down Sophie’s recipe for a decadent flourless chocolate cake. For those who haven’t had the pleasure of being introduced to a flourless chocolate cake: it is a thing of beauty. Prepare to indulge in a magnificently rich, dense, moist cake made with lots of dark chocolate, sugar, butter and eggs. It rises high in the oven, almost like a soufflé, then sinks back down in the pan while cooling, creating this chocolatey, moussey, soufflé/cake creation.

So how can this meltingly soft cake break a food processor? (my prized almond-coloured Kitchen Aid food processor, I might add…). Well, let me explain. According to Sophie, she doesn’t melt her chocolate before adding it to the mixture. She just chops her chocolate in her food processor along with the sugar. So that is what I did. But then in my case, one of the blades came off and it kept on processing with the loose blade inside – THE HORROR. It sounded like I was trying to process metal (well, actually I was).  So I continued to finish the batter in my stand mixer.

Did I use chocolate that was made of diamonds? Nope, just regular dark chocolate, not even the great quality 70% stuff. So hopefully the kind people at KitchenAid can repair the damage, and hopefully I didn’t completely savage the rest of the machine’s insides. I suppose it was the universe’s way of trying to tell me to bake less. Or to be more persistent. I choose the believe the latter. I’m sure your chocolate wouldn’t break your food processor too. Just be carefull, I would say!


  • 300 g/10½ oz dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  •  225 g/8 oz caster sugar (superfine sugar)
  • 175 ml/6 fl oz boiling water
  • 225 g/8 oz salted butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
  • 6 free-range eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • whipped cream and fresh berries to serve


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
  2. For the cake, grease and line the base of a 23 cm/9 in springform baking tin with baking parchment.
  3. Blend the chocolate and sugar in a food processor until a fine powder forms (some small chunks can do no harm). Add the boiling water, butter, egg yolks, coffee powder and vanilla extract and blend until well combined.
  4. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then gently fold into the chocolate mixture.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the tin, then transfer to the fridge for 2-3 hours.
  7. To serve, carefully remove the cake from the tin, carefully remove the baking parchment, and place on a serving plate or cake stand. Serve with cream or crème fraîche topped with the berries of your choice.
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  1. Ek het gou a die resepte deurgelees en is MAL oor jou site. Kan sien jy wee waarvan jy praat. Ek dink ok ons is tydgenote want ek kan met alles identifiseer – het ook dieselfde smaak is kos. Ek het ook ‘n “new lease on life” gekry met ‘n cream caramel met suurlemoen in – maak dit vir spesiale geleenthede want baie room ens.,maar dis HEMELS! Dit moet die lekkerst dink op aarde wees. Gaan jou malvapodingprbeer – kon nog nooit ‘n great een maak nie – destyds by Boschendal was die beste malvapoeding, maar weet nie wat hulle geheim was nie. In elk geval – dankie vir lees en eetgenot – ai, hoe moet ‘n mens nog maer ook bly?
    Groete C

    1. Hi Carmen, dis so lekker om te hoor iemand kan identifiseer met my herinneringe en stories! Jy moet tog asb vir my daai creme caramel met die suurlemoen se resep stuur, dit klink fantasties. Ek sal creme caramel eet vir ontbyt, middagete en aandete (ek het al). PS: daai malva poeding is die lekkerste resep wat ek nog teegekom het, jy gaan dit baie geniet! 🙂

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