My friend C isn’t gluten or wheat free, but finds that too much flour generally doesn’t agree with her. It therefore seemed obvious that I would bake her a flourless cake for her birthday.
C requested that her birthday cake be chocolatey and naturally, my first thought was to bake an almond meal based cake, or perhaps a hazelnut meal cake. C then mentioned that she had seen a wonderful chocolate cake recipe in Nigella’s How to be a domestic goddess. Perfect.
This cake is a little strange in that it has no flour or flour equivalent – it is just chocolate, eggs and butter. The trick is that the cake is baked in a water bath, a concept I have always found slightly scary, ever since an incident where I didn’t properly seal the tin and we ended up with waterlogged cake.
But water bath issues aside, this is easy to make and the result is a surprisingly light and airy cake that really does seem mousse-like. The cake is quite rich so no frosting is needed, just dust with a little icing sugar. I like to serve this with crème fraiche as the slight tartness of the crème fraiche works very well with the richness of the cake. Give this cake a try – I guarantee it will be a winner!
Chocolate mousse cake
310g dark chocolate (I used 70%)
60g milk chocolate
170g unsalted butter
8 large eggs, separated
100g brown sugar
70g caster sugar
1 tbs vanilla extract
pinch of salt
- Pre-heat the oven to 175C and boil the kettle.
- Line a springform tin with aluminium foil. Press the foil firmly into the sides and bottom of the pan.
- Melt the chocolates and butter and leave to cool slightly.
- Separate the eggs.
- In a separate bowl, cream the egg yolks and sugars until thick and pale.
- Stir in the vanilla, salt and cooled chocolate mixture.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
- Add a small dollop of the chocolate mixture to the egg white mixture. Gently pour the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture and fold in.
- Place the prepared tin into a large roasting pan and pour the mixture in.
- Pour hot water from the recently boiled kettle to about 3cm up the sides of the tin. Place the roasting pan carefully into the oven.
- Cook for 50 minutes to an hour. The inside will be soft but the top should look cooked and dry.
- Let the cake cool completely before serving. Dust with icing sugar and serve with crème fraiche. Enjoy!