Flourless chocolate cake

This rich, chocolate sponge with mousse and chocolate tuille decoration makes a sophisticated celebration cake and can be made up to two days ahead.

Equipment and preparation: You will need 2x14cm/5½in diameter chefs’ mousse rings for this recipe.


For the sponge
For the chocolate mousse
For the chocolate tuille

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C/340F/Gas 3½. Take two 14cm/5½in diameter chefs’ mousse rings and wrap the bases with greaseproof paper, then wrap with foil and set onto a baking tray. Butter and line the foil base and sides of the rings with baking parchment.

  2. For the chocolate sponge, whisk the egg whites in a bowl with a hand-held electric mixer or free-standing mixer for about three minutes, adding the sugar gradually, until firm peaks are formed when the whisk is removed.

  3. Add the egg yolks to the egg whites. Give the mixture a quick whisk and then fold the egg whites and yolks together. Once incorporated, gently fold in the cocoa powder.

  4. Split the mix between the two cake rings and bake for 15 minutes, or until springy to the touch. Allow to cool for an hour before turning out the cakes out and removing the paper. Slice the crust off the top of the cakes. Clean the chefs’ rings and place onto serving plates and then tuck the cakes back into the rings.

  5. For the chocolate mousse, place the chopped chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water (do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water) and very gently melt the chocolate to around 50C/122F. Remove from the heat. With a hand-held electric mixer, whisk the egg whites and sugar to the firm peak stage. Take a quarter of the whisked egg whites and stir into the melted chocolate. Using a spatula add the remaining egg whites and gently fold through, ensuring fully mixed.

  6. Divide the mousse between the chefs’ rings, topping the chocolate sponge evenly. Any left-over mousse can be placed in ramekins to eat separately. Allow to set in the fridge for a minimum of two hours.

  7. For the chocolate tuille, in a pan over a low heat stir together the sugar, cocoa powder and 80ml/2½fl oz water until the sugar has dissolved. Add the butter, chocolate and glucose, and gently bring to the boil for 10-20 seconds. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.

  8. When the mixture has cooled, pour the mixture onto a tray lined with a sheet of baking parchment and cover with another sheet of parchment.

  9. Using a rolling pin, roll the tuille as thinly as possible. Pull the two sheets of parchment apart and place (with the chocolate facing up) on two baking trays.

  10. Bake the tuille for about five minutes - the tuille is cooked when it bubbles quite a lot in the oven. Allow to cool before breaking into large pieces.

  11. To serve, run a knife around the edge of the mousse-topped cakes and carefully lift the rings off. Alternatively you can use a cooks’ mini-blow torch to heat the outside of the rings and easily remove the cakes. Arrange the pieces of the tuille on top of the mousse and serve.

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