Diana Henry’s Bitter Flourless Chocolate Cake w/- Coffee Cream

Do you know about Diana Henry? If not, get edumacated. She’s the absolute shit (‘the’ prefacing shit transforming it into a High Compliment) and her book, ‘Simple’, ought to be renamed ‘Just Cook Something, Anything, From This Book And It’ll All Be Ok’.

We’ve a fairly constant rotation of lunch guests throughout December and the impending January here at BakAv Towers. If I thought I could get away with it I’d just make the previously posted pavlova for every pudding but even the Boyfriend might get slightly boggle-eyed at yet again being presented with something involving kiwi fruit.

I am thus forced to seek alternatives and this, my friends, is an excellent one. It’s kind of brownie-ish but also totally isn’t. It can be made the day before and, as with most things dusted in icing sugar (bar me), looks pretty enough to blag its way through any post-main course lethargy.


For the cake:

160g unsalted butter, and a bit more for the tin

320g good quality dark choc, at least 70% cocoa please

145g caster sugar (I used golden, it makes literally no difference if you do or don’t)

5 large eggs, separated

40g ground almonds

Later on, just prior to serving, you’ll want:

300ml double cream

1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder, dissolved in about the same of boiling water (I used hot from the tap, don’t own a kettle, hate drinking tea, etc etc)

2 tablespoons each of whiskey and icing sugar (DH recs up to 3 of icing sugar but I don’t think it needs that much)

Pre-heat your oven to 180C/gas mark 4, and butter a 20cm round tin, springform ideally unless juggling cake is a particular skill of yours and you are 100% confident in your tin-buttering skillz.

Over a little saucepan of gently simmering water, place a bowl (not touching the water) and chuck the broken up chocolate, the chopped up butter and the caster sugar in. Stir as required, until melted. Let it cool for a bit, off the heat, once done, 4-5 mins. Then stir in the egg yolks, one at a time. I used a fork for this bit.

Yum. Would already eat as-is.

Now you need to beat your egg whites (electric beaters, please) till they form what Lady Diana describes as medium peaks – stiff but with drooping peaks. She may as well be describing my post-child tits during this Winter weather, but she isn’t so let us move swiftly on. Look:

Cute little eggwhite Clanger.

Using a big metal spoon – wooden ones destroy all the lovely air you’ve managed to get into the whites – fold the ground almonds into the cooled chocolate mix, then about half the whites. It’ll look like the below:

Then gently combine the remaining whites into the mix and pour the done batter into the tin.

Into the oven for 35 mins. Do you know, writing this now, I have an AWFUL feeling I may have cooked mine for 55 mins. Fully average of me. The takeaway is that if I did, it was STILL bloody delicious so either way you can’t go wrong. Take it out of the oven and let cool completely in the tin.

The above pic is said cake immediately post-oven. It sinks and satisfyingly cracks as it cools. Also smells bloody amazing.

Right – once you’re ready to serve, whip the cream a bit till it starts to consider holding its shape, add the coffee, booze and icing sugar, whip briefly till combined. Cream is almost always infinitely better if you whip it just prior to consumption. Just like m….no. No.

Slice up the cake and dollop very generous blobs of cream on or next to it. I was half pissed by the time we ate this so no good pics to share other than the icing sugar’d glory as demonstrated below.

Eat. Enjoy. Also, leftovers. Also, I’m having cream with booze and coffee in it always from now on.

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