Be thankful for… decadent flourless chocolate cake

by Jeanne on November 27, 2008

in Dessert, NaBloPoMo 2008, Recipes - baking, Recipes - gluten-free, Recipes - vegetarian

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Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers! And a special thank you to my lovely friend Courtney who invited Mr Cooksister to share Thanksgiving dinner with her and a Certain Someone :)

I’ve always rather liked the concept of Thanksgiving – the secular universality of it (Christian? Jewish? Muslim? Hindu? Not a problem – let’s celebrate!), and the underlying idea of focusing on the things we have to be thankful for. The older I get, the more I try to make a conscious effort to remind myself of how good I have it, and try not to take anything for granted. So as my small celebration of Thanksgiving, here is what I am thankful for right now:

1. My slightly-chubbier-than-it-could-be, strong, healthy body. It can walk up mountains, it can run around parks and it can ski down mountains… umm, hills. Every morning I open my eyes, swing my legs out of bed, stand up and walk to the bathroom without having to think about or doubt the possibility of any part of that process. And every morning I am thankful, because thousands of people can’t do this.

2. My husband – nearly nine years of marriage and still no family murder! :o) Yes, sometimes I want to smother him with a pillow, but other times he will do or say something that will make my love for him flash like a bolt of white hot lightning, and I’ll think “Ok, we can do another nine years of this”.

3. My brother (the only person I know with a more encyclopaedic knowledge of trivia and 80s music than me, and the person who can without fail tell me what new music I’ll like. And he cracks me up. And he reads my blog! You rock, bru.) and my sister-in-law, whom I love at least as much as if we were related by blood.

4. My nephews – Davey’s smiles, Sam’s deep voice, their totally different personalities – I love being an aunt!!

5. My parents: the wonderful relationship I had with my mom and the wonderful memories I have of her. She and I were so similar that my dad used to refer to us as The Clones, and there’s nobody I’d rather have been cloned from. I’m thankful that I still have my dad around at age 86 and that he and I probably have a better relationship now than at any other time in my life.

6. My inner circle of friends, many of whom I’ve known since childhood and all of whom I would trust with my life – especially the Lurpak Girls, who know who they are ;-)

7. My job and my witty, erudite colleagues who make every working day a pleasure.

8. The opportunity to live in London, one of the most vibrant cities on the planet. If my nineteen-year-od self knew that she would one day be able to live in this city of her dreams, she would probably have swooned with pleasure.

9. A roof over my head (one that I like so much I’ve been renting it for 8 years!), enough food in the cupboard and on my table, and a working boiler (!).

10. The fact that, by sheer good fortune, I am here in London and not in Mumbai, Zimbabwe, Congo or any other place where people are living in terror, poverty, hunger and despair.

So what do YOU have to be thankful for right now?

Well, let me give you something to be thankful for – how about a flourless chocolate cake so decadent it’ll knock your socks off? The recipe comes from Caffe Caldesi where I attended a cooking class a couple of years ago. The class (never blogged, aaarrgh) was excellent and I managed to produce a delicious focaccia and pizza bases. But the best thing I gained from Cafe Caldesi was this recipe. Not only is it salvation on a plate for gluten-free friends who are tired of being served only fresh fruit platters after a meal (as if being gluten-free automatically makes you chocolate-adverse too!)- it’s so delicious that your coeliac friends will have to defend their cake against gluten-eating raiders! Go ahead – make one today. You can always thank me later.


20080501 FlourlessChocolateCake2Web

  Follow me every day in November as I complete National Blog Posting Month – a post a day, every day, for 30 days! Here’s what I’ve written so far.

Decadent flourless chocolate cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This flourless, gluten-free chocolate cake is super-simple to make and decadently delicious with a dense, chocolatey texture. One slice will never be enough!
Recipe type: Baking
Serves: 6-8 slices
  • 225g good quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 175g icing sugar, sifted
  • 4 large free range eggs, separated
  • mascarpone to serve
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C and grease a loose-bottomed 25cm cake tin.
  2. In a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water, melt the chocolate and butter together.  In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and icing sugar together until they are creamy.  Fold the melted chocolate into the egg mix.
  3. In a clean bowl (and using a clean whisk), whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form.  Fold the egg whites gradually into the chocolate mix, in three or four portions.
  4. Using a spatula, pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake at 180C for about 30 minutes, until the top of the cake is slightly cracked but it is still gooey in the middle.  Allow the cake to cool on a rack and then remove from the tin.
  5. Sprinkle with sifted icing sugar, cut and serve with a dollop of mascarpone.

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Sally Alexander November 28, 2008 at 1:33 am

Hi Jeanne,
You are right – Thanksgiving is a great holiday to celebrate, and it is a wonderful excuse to eat!


Manggy November 28, 2008 at 2:18 am

Happy (American) Thanksgiving Jeanne! We are thankful for your enormous talents in cooking and writing, too :)


nina November 28, 2008 at 3:12 am

We have indeed a lot to be grateful for……like this cake! I am so happy that you shared this recipe!!!!!


Natalian November 28, 2008 at 4:44 am

Looks like heaven in a mouthful!


Charlotte November 28, 2008 at 6:01 am

I’m bookmarking this immediately for Sunday lunch! I love flourless baking. Thanks Jeanne.
I agree with you that Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday and I am thrilled by my first-ever T’giving invitation tonight – I am looking forward to trying new food.


Gemma November 28, 2008 at 7:37 am

Yum, I love flourless chocolate cakes and keep looking at the list of caldesi cookery classes so good to hear that you enjoyed it. I love the idea of Thanksgiving as well,a good way to remember how many ways we are fortunate.


Peter November 28, 2008 at 8:38 am

I love the flourless chocolate cake and it’s something rather easy to make too!
Courtney is a doll for hostessing and it comes as no surprise.


Gourmet Chick November 28, 2008 at 9:58 am

This cake looks so bad for you it must be good. There is something so rich and dense about chocolate cake without the flour.


Bellini Valli November 28, 2008 at 10:50 am

We all have so much to be thankful for Jeanne. I am thankful that even though life is not a bowl of cherries at the moment I still have friends, family and a roof over my head. My daughter has found the man of her dreams (and the man of my dreams for her) and is happy, healthy and looking forward to a wonderful future!!!


courtney November 28, 2008 at 12:58 pm

It was our pleasure to have him hope he wasn’t bored with us and our lowkey day.He spoilt us with goodies form the Christkindle Market and excellent wines! I think every country should have a Thanksgiving. My mother raised me to count my blessings and when things get down, I do.We do take so much for granted.
Thanks for this great recipe. I admit I have only made this type of cake from a mix(shame).


RecipeGirl November 28, 2008 at 3:47 pm

What a wonderful list of thankfulness! This chocolate cake looks amazing :)


Browniegirl November 28, 2008 at 4:29 pm

Stunning cake. I do a similar one, only difference is it has a bit of ground almonds in it…..and some Van der Hum yum yum…..I shall have to try yours. Thanx so much for the recipe :o) xxx PS November is almost over….well done to you!!! :o)


Claudia PAS Bjørgum November 28, 2008 at 6:58 pm

Beautiful post Sister!


The Underblawger November 29, 2008 at 12:35 am

I think that you were right to put number 1 right where it is. So long as you have your health, everything else can be dealt with. I’m thankful that you’re healthy too. May we all be healthy some day. Happy Thanksgiving across the Atlantic!


giz November 29, 2008 at 5:24 am

Food is always central isn’t it? This cake is out of control delicious and around here they call it the “to die for” cake. I never tell them how really simple it is to make.


Stop Smoking November 29, 2008 at 6:50 am

The mascarpone is a great idea! Great photo, too!!


Johanna November 29, 2008 at 6:56 am

That cake looks like food to be very thankful for – will put this recipe aside in hope of having an opportunity to try it as it looks absolutely wickedly decadent!


Chocolate Shavings November 29, 2008 at 5:33 pm

That cake looks deliciously moist!


myfrenchkitchen November 29, 2008 at 6:09 pm

I raise my “koekvurkie” with you to all the good things I too recieve! What a delicious cake!


Laura Niemi November 29, 2008 at 7:06 pm

This flourless chocolate cake looks so moist and lovely! This is definitely going in my must-try recipe folder…Would it be just as moist and chocolatey if i made them in mini cake pans?
Laura N. Finland


Miri November 29, 2008 at 10:19 pm

Oh my, this kind of cakes makes my feet weak. Looks so great and decadent!


Charlotte December 1, 2008 at 12:21 pm

Returning to squeak with joy! I made the cake yesterday for the First Advent Sunday when Germans invite their friends around for coffee and cake. There were three other cakes, and cupcakes, and the chocolate cake was finished first – adored by adults and children alike. I served it with the marscapone and my special touch: pomegranate seeds sprinkled with rosewater. Divine!


grace December 1, 2008 at 1:48 pm

would you look at that density? good googa mooga. decadent is an understatement. :)


johanna December 1, 2008 at 1:58 pm

my word!!! i have to make this right now. what a mouth-watering picture! might serve mine with white chocolate icecream, to which i am addicted… yum! please let’s make that for our next sleepover!!! pretty please?


Jude December 2, 2008 at 7:24 am

With everything that’s been going on, I also share your #10. Nice post :)


Susan from Food Blogga December 4, 2008 at 12:59 am

Dang! That is one wickedly good looking cake. I’m thankful for chocolate! ;)


megan December 4, 2008 at 5:03 am

My mom made a flourless chocolate cake a while back-I loved it so much but for some reason I haven’t thought about it since. Seeing this post is making me crave it again-yours looks so moist and delicious!


Paz December 6, 2008 at 1:41 am

Thank you, Lord!
And thank you, Sister, for this post!


Dani July 16, 2010 at 10:30 pm

I absolutely LOVE your blog!!! I have never found so many recipes that are this yummy from a single blog :) Im reading this from SA, and I must say, although you no longer live here, you probably post more South African meals than most SA food bloggers :P
Thanx for all the inspiration, I hope to start my own blog one of these days too :)


Suzanne Rothwell March 19, 2013 at 11:57 am

Had a friend coming for lunch who has to have a Gluten free diet so this was perfect, I served it with a lovely dollop of Creme Fraiche


Luis March 25, 2013 at 9:45 pm

Already made the cake…
Wow, it’s delicious, really! And so easy to prepare!
Already ate half of it! :)


Abigail March 29, 2013 at 12:10 am

This cake looks seriously good. I can’t believe how simple it is. I’m going to try this asap!


Olga August 16, 2013 at 2:52 pm

This cake looks so good, and pretty easy to make! Thanks :)


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