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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

From Nigella’s How to be a domestic goddess

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!
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7 Responses to “Chocolate mousse cake (Gluten free!)”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Phoodie, Emily. Emily said: New post: a light and airy chocolate mousse cake (gluten free!) http://t.co/YNCWZDf […]

  2. Ashley Ng says:

    Oh my goodness, 8 eggs?! How delicious that sounds! 🙂 Will definetly have to give this a try!

  3. Hannah says:

    Phwoar! I’ve seen recipes like this before but I simply cannot let myself make it, because I cook just for me and I know I’ll eat the entire thing myself, even if I intend to give it to someone else…

    • Emily says:

      Just commit that you will bring the cake somewhere – then you can’t eat it all yourself, you will be publicly shamed into sharing it.

      I usually offer to bake for someone’s birthday etc, that way you can’t show up sans-cake!

  4. I like the sound of this cake – if I can not think about the 8 eggs going into it!

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