Friday, April 16, 2010

Must. Have. Sunken Chocolate Cake

Chocolate cake.
What more is there to say?

Quite a bit, actually.  I came across this recipe in the same old magazine that had the marbled quail eggs I made last week.  Under the heading of 'Choc Tactics' were chocolate offerings from celebrity chefs such as Jamie Oliver, Jill Dupleix, Nigella Lawson and Delia Smith. What a lineup!

This is Rick Stein's Sunken Chocolate Cake.  It is sunken because there is only a little flour to hold it up, and it's very like a brownie in looks - crisp, cracked top and fudgey, rich interior.  The texture, though, is more like a souffle, a light-as-air, chocolatey, melt-in-the-mouth experience.

It is well worth the many mixing bowls I had to wash up after making the cake... 

Sunken Chocolate Cake
serves 8

225g unsalted butter
225g good-quality dark chocolate, broken into pieces
50g almond meal
60g plain flour
6 medium eggs, at room temperature, separated
50g light soft brown sugar
175g caster sugar
Icing sugar, to dust
Thick cream, to serve

1.  Preheat oven to 180 deg C.  Grease a 23cm springform cake pan and line with baking paper.
2.  Place butter and chocolate into a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water (don't let the water touch the bowl). Leave until melted, then stir until smooth.  Set aside to cool slightly.
3.  Sift together the almond meal and flour. 
4.  Place the egg yolks in a large bowl with the light brown sugar and whisk until pale and creamy.  Gently fold in the melted chocolate, followed by the almond meal and flour mixture.
5.  Place eggwhites in a large bowl and whisk until soft peaks form.  Then whisk in the caster sugar, a little at a time, to make soft meringue (do not let the eggwhites get too stiff, or they will be difficult to fold in).  Fold into the chocolate mixture with a large metal spoon.
6.  Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes until a skewer poked into the cake comes out a bit wet (the cake is best when slightly undercooked).
7.  Cool, then remove cake from the pan. Serve with icing sugar dusted over, and with a dollop of thick cream.

Recipe from delicious (April 2003)

Some of the delicious ingredients. Rick Stein recommends using Valrhona Noir Gastronomie chocolate. I used Lindt with 70% cocoa solids, which is a brilliant substitute.

Lots of debris while making this cake, including about 4 mixing bowls

My cake didn't sink very much, but its light texture was not compromised. 
Served with a dollop or two of pure cream.


  1. It's almost like a recipe for flourless chocolate
    cake. It looks delicious.

  2. I love how there are so many variations on chocolate cake and all of them are perfect in that they make us happy and our tastebuds dance.

    This cake seems like it would make me jump for the skies with the amount of chocolate, butter and eggs it has in it. supermoistfantastic! thanks for sharing

  3. Love flourless cake. Mr foodwink made something similar (Bourke Street Bakery Flourless Choc Cake recipe) recently and complained about the number of mixing bowls required! But it was all worth it in the end.

    Yours look delicious. Any leftovers?

  4. Sounds delicious. I really want chocolate cake now!

  5. oh wow! i love your blog! must try the receipe, looks amazing!

  6. Mmmm chocolate! Bad thing to look at when I haven't eaten yet. Looks so delicious!

  7. I saw somewhere a version of this cake but it had really sunk. I have to tell you, your version actually looks better! It looks so delicious Belle.

  8. Doing all that strenuous bowl cleaning means you're able to eat as many slices as you like!

    Looks awesome.

  9. Gorgeous cake. In the process of making my very first chocolate cake. I hope it turns up half as well as yours!

  10. Oh my! Look at all of that chocolate!! YUM! The cake looks great.

  11. hi belle who does not love chocolate cake? not me !!! very classy with the pure cream ! pierre in Päris

  12. Agree with Kath - almost flourless cake! That can only make for the fudgiest, moistest texture...mmmm!

  13. Very nice mise en place you have there! Everything is in its place and I like the little bowls! :) It's such a gorgeously rich cake isn't it!

  14. That cake looks fantastic! I love your description of it, especially if it's light but also with a crisp top.

  15. Great looking cake. I is filled with badness. Over a kilo of butter, sugar or chocolate. Lol :)

  16. Mmm, melt in your mouth. Sounds like a divine cake!

  17. Wow I had to double check to see if I read it right, haha I suually associate Rick Stein to Seafood =D This looks like such a decadent cake, ooh i want some of that with ice cream

  18. I'm in for anything chocolate and the amount of chocolate in this is ridiculous! Wonderfully, gloriously ridiculous!!

  19. The two worst times to be food blog reading... first thing in the morning and last thing before bed... now I am feeling hungry for chocolate cake damn it! =D

  20. That looks really really good! I'd put a much bigger dollop of whipped cream though ;)

  21. Nice substitute with the Lindt! How did you resist eating them before the melting! I would've had to but two blocks just incase.

    I would go with 5 dollops of that cream, smuther it all over the top and eat it with my bare hands. Why? Because I'm told I have no shame when it comes to cake.... :)

  22. Yum, I'm not supposed to want chocolate for breakfast, but I do! That top photo is scrumptious and pretty...
    Very nice, Belle, as always...

  23. all the dirty mixing bowls looks like it was worth it! yum!

  24. Ooohh mmyy *Looks*... and *drools* hee he love your tagline - just like a souffle, only sunken

  25. Looks mouth watering! Every once in a while I'll splash out and eat something chocolatey and this looks like it will become my next hit. I'll see how it works with gluten free flour...mmmm dollops of double cream.

    Lovely styling Belle,
    Emma Louise @ The Food Rookie x

  26. Can't thank you enough for posting this superb chocolate cake recipe - this is by far the best chocolate cake I have ever had! THANKS!