Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Flourless chocolate cake with lemon creme fraiche

Chocolate chocolate chocolate! I know there's other types of cakes out there but despite my best efforts to cook something else, chocolate beats everything for me, (unless it's coffee-chocolate in which case, I go into a frenzy of caffeine and need to be stopped.)
This cake is rich, grown-up dessert. It's low in sugar, wheat-free and gluten-free, and extremely quick to make requiring only 15 minutes in the oven! And the filling is a very smooth process as well, requiring no icing sugar.
It's a squidgy, moussey, truffley dream with a consistency that means you will leave teeth marks in, which I love. It might need a bit more sugar to make it palatable to everyone, but if you are a fan of dark, bitter cocoa flavours then give it a shot unchanged. The most challenging part of making this is seperating the eggs - so it is a cinch! It also survived going to a picnic in Hampstead Heath without any trouble, as even if it gets a bit squished, it's still just fine. It's even nicer, if I dare say it...
Ready to be baked

Flourless chocolate cake with lemon creme fraiche
  • 8 medium eggs
  • 400g chocolate (the more cocoa the better, 70% is suggested)
  • 150g butter
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 300ml creme fraiche
  • 1 lemon (zested)
  • Pinch of sea salt
Mine never looks as good as the picture :(
You're going to eventually mix everything in the bowl that you melt the chocolate in, so bear this in mind when mixing and cracking.
Pre-heat your oven to 180C and line the base of your cake tins with greaseproof paper. I have to stress this - greasing is good too, but importantly the lining will save you a disaster with a cake like this. Separate your eggs into two clean bowls, with yolks in one and whites in another, and quickly whisk the yolks with the salt. Meanwhile, put a heatproof bowl over some simmering water and melt the chocolate and the butter together. If you're careful, you can just do this directly in the pan, but I think the double-boiler method is better. Be wary of the chocolate burning - stir often and don't forget about it, then take off the head and leave to cool (or transfer to a cooler mixing bowl if melted directly in the pot.)
While it's cooling down, beat the egg whites with an electric whisk until stiff, then fold in the sugar. You can double or even triple the amount you use to make the cake sweeter, depending on who you're cooking for. Then fold the egg yolks into the chocolate and butter mix, followed by the egg whites. 
And you're done! Divide the mixture into a large cake tin, or two or three smaller ones. The original recipe suggests 2x18cm. I did 3x14cm I think. Put in your oven, and take out after 15 minutes or so, or when cooked through. To make the filling, put the creme fraiche and lemon zest and mix, using it to sandwich the cakes together when cool. Finally, If you feel fancy, cut out a shape in paper and scatter icing sugar over so it leaves a nice picture on top. 

Credit: Leon - Naturally Fast Food (Book 2)


  1. A cake that bakes in 15 minutes? Bookmarking this one for emergencies. Nb, also sounds a lot nicer than what the people next to us on the Heath were eating on Sunday. Tesco sandwiches and Fosters Beer. What is the world coming to?

  2. Hovkonditorn - Yeah, it's delicious! The texture is what makes it for me... oh my.

    Tori - Ooh glad to hear it! Let me know how it goes if you do! Tesco sandwiches and cheap booze (and a few pork pies and hummus for props) is usually what we feast on if I'm honest but this was for a special birthday picnic so we made the effort. :)


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