Flourless Chocolate Cake

There are some people you always associate with certain foods. My mother makes a mean lasagne, my auntie’s strawberry mousse is better than birthday cake and Dad’s beef stroganoff is the best in the business.

For one of my oldest chums the recipe most associated with me (and one she constantly nags me to bake) is a richer than rich chocolate cake. It’s not what I’d call a signature bake – I made it once and she fell in love, but after years of begging (literally) and considering she’d cooked me some delicious dinners I owed her one. 2014-08-26 19.13.25-1There’s no flour in the recipe and the ground almonds set off the rich chocolate flavour without being overpoweringly nutty. It doesn’t need a ganache but my friend did say it added an extra bit of luxury, admitting she missed it this time around. Lesson learned – sometimes, more is more!2014-08-26 22.38.19

  • 160g dark chocolate (70 – 80%)
  • 160g cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 160g ground almonds
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs, separated

Grease and line a 23cm cake tin

Preheat the oven to 180C

  1. Break up the chocolate and place it in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water
  2. Allow it to melt slowly, once smooth turn off the heat (but leave the pan there) and drop in the cold butter – let it melt a little bit before you stir then leave to sit until it melts completely before stirring again.2014-08-26 15.59.51
  3. Meanwhile, separate the eggs and whisk the whites until they form soft peaks, add caster sugar and stir until the peaks begin to stiffen.2014-08-26 15.56.20
  4. Stir the butter into the chocolate until smooth and glossy.
  5. Whisk the egg yolks into the melted chocolate and butter one at a time.
  6. Fold the whisked egg whites and sugar into the chocolate mix, very gently until just incorporated.
  7. Finally fold in the almonds light-handedly, keeping as much air in the mixture as possible.2014-08-26 16.15.49

Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Allow to cool in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

2014-08-26 17.03.03

To make a simple chocolate ganache use equal parts chocolate and cream. Chop the chocolate finely, heat the cream until nearly boiling but not quite then pour over the chopped chocolate whisking until smooth. Leave to thicken slightly before using.

2014-08-26 22.38.24Alternatively you could just drown it in cream….2014-08-26 22.42.18


Snickers Birthday Cake

I’d like to describe it as ‘decadent’ but that’s such an adult word.  This cake is not mature, there’s enough sugar in it to kill a small child.  However, it’s rich and fudgy and tastes just like a snickers bar. Winner.


The chocolate cake recipe is the same as the one I used for the peanut butter cake but this time I replaced the buttermilk with sour cream. The filling and frosting was where the real fun came in. A snickers bar – layers of chocolate, nougat, peanuts and caramel, delicious combinations but how could I make them work as a cake? I decided against a caramel or vanilla flavoured sponge, birthdays are all about chocolate cake and Snickers is a chocolate bar after all.  So, starting with the sponge:

Chocolate cake:

  • 200g chocolate
  • 200g butter
  • 1 tbsp. instant coffee in 125ml cold water
  • 80g self raising flour
  • 80g plain flour
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200g light muscovado sugar
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 5tbsp sour cream (75ml)

Preheat the oven to 140 C (160 gas)

Grease and line a 20cm cake tin

Put the butter and sugar in a saucepan over a low heat, add the coffee and heat gently, stirring once or twice to check it’s all melted and heated through.

Weight your dry ingredients into a separate bowl and get rid of any lumps with your hands, or a fork.

Whisk the eggs and sour cream together.

Add the eggs and melted chocolate to your dry ingredients and mix well until you have a smooth silky batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 1hr 25 – 30 mins


Once the cake is cooked leave it to cool in the tin before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely. I wrapped mine up and left it overnight before I put the whole thing together.

Fillings & Decoration:

The peanut butter frosting I made in the last post had been an experiment for this cake. I’m glad I did experiment because it led me to trawl the Internet for something even better and I came across this recipe for peanut nougat. She’s hit the nail on the head. Genius. The peanut nougat filling tastes EXACTLY like a snickers bar and I’ m about to share it with you now:

Peanut nougat:

  • 60g butter
  • 200g sugar
  • 100ml evaporated milk
  • 120g cups marshmallow fluff
  • 125g peanut putter
  • 160 – 200g chopped peanuts

Marshmallow fluff is the strangest thing I’ve ever come across, but its what makes the nougat-y texture.


Melt the butter in a saucepan

Add the sugar and milk, dissolve and bring to the boil

Turn down the heat and leave for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally

Add the fluff, peanut butter and vanilla essence

Stir until you have a smooth consistency

Fold in your chopped peanuts and leave to cool at room temperatureImage


 You can make your own or just use a tin of Carnation (or any other caramel)

  •  100g sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 2 x 397 cans of condensed milk
  • 150g chopped peanuts

Melt the butter and sugar together in a saucepan until the sugar is fully dissolved

Add the condensed milk and stir continually until the sauce begins to darken, allow it to thicken but not too much as it’ll get more toffee like as it cools.


Add your chopped peanuts and mix them in well

Tip: I also tried this caramel with leftover evaporated milk but didn’t really like the tangy taste, I think it’d be delicious made with cream. Caramel experiments will definitely be popping up here in future.

Chocolate ganache:

  • 200ml double cream
  • 250g dark chocolate
  • 2 tbsp golden caster sugar


Chop the chocolate finely and place in a bowl

Heat the sugar and milk until barely simmering

Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir until you have a smooth silky consistency

I’d use this immediately before it starts to firm up too much.

Peanut Brittle

This was so unexpectedly delicious, I think it’s probably my favourite bit of the whole cake.

  •  100g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 100g chopped peanuts

I followed the same idea as in the butterscotch banana cake. Heat the sugar and water until it turns a reddish brown, watch it like a hawk as sugar is infamously easy to burn.

Don’t worry if it goes crusty but whatever you do, DO NOT stir it. Swirl the pan if you like but never stir. Image

Once you have your caramel a nice dark colour take it off the heat, add your chopped peanuts and stir.

Pour onto a piece of baking paper and flatten out.

Leave to cool before smashing into little pieces to scatter over the top of the cake.


Tip: You could make this brittle with absolutely any type of nuts, scatter it on tray bakes or cakes for decoration or mix it into brownie batter.

Assembling the cake:

Cut the chocolate sponge horizontally into three.

You might need to warm the nougat filling to spread it, I found it did stick to the cake and was quite tricky to get an even layer without lifting the sponge. Much easier when it was slightly softer.


Pour a layer of peanut caramel over the layer of nougat.

Place the second layer of the cake on the caramel.

Repeat, covering it with nougat and then caramel.


Place the final layer on top.

Make your ganache and spread evenly over the top and round the sides.


Scatter or ‘sprinkle’ (for want of a better word. I’m not the type of person who sprinkles anything.) your peanut brittle over the top of the fully covered cake.


Finally, you’re all done! If, like me, you feel a very sugar induced kind of sick after so much taste testing then pawn the cake off on some poor unsuspecting friend or family member.  They’ll probably thank you for it, until they suddenly developed type 2 diabetes.