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Thursday, August 04, 2011

Dawn (and Sallys) Flourless Chocolate Cake

The first night that we spent in Scotland we were welcomed most graciously by our friend James' parents, Ali and Sally. They welcomed us with open arms even though we were strangers and were so full of warmth we instantly felt at home. I have to preface this story by saying that all of the food that we were fed that weekend was top class. We had the most amazing seafood and steaks, fruits, vegetables and herbs that I have had in a long time. Sally and Ali strongly believe in cooking fresh, seasonal, local food as much possible. And by local I mean the farmers and markets within a few mile radius. With the closest big town with a supermarket a good half hour or so away, you better believe they get as much as they can from their small village.

That being said, this chocolate cake was hands down my favorite dish from that weekend. And I don't say that lightly, there were a lot of contenders. 

The recipe for the cake was given to Sally by Dawn, a local woman from their small town, Ardfern, who is well known as being a wonderful cook.
Sally served the cake with some fresh strawberries, raspberries and fresh cream. It would go amazing with a scoop of good quality vanilla bean ice cream. But really, you don't need all that jazz. Just a cup of coffee (or tea if that's your thing) or and extra large mug of ice cold milk will do just fine. This cake is dense and fudgy, with a great big crumb that you can easily squash on the underside of your fork and savour after the last bite is gone. Think part undercooked brownie part molten lava cake (once it's cooled). It's a flourless cake, and the richness of the eggs and chocolate really shine through. If there is ever a time to splurge and get the good chocolate (think Ghirardelli or Valrhona - basically the best quality chocolate that you can get your hands on) this is the time.

But wait!

There's a surprise hidden in this cake...cookies! Shortbread cookies to be exact. The shortbread is a genius match with this cake as it adds a delicious crunch. It doesn't steal the show away from the chocolate, rather it compliments it with its buttery taste and crumbly texture. And if you want/need to make this a gluten free cake, simply omit the shortbread (or replace it with a gluten free alternative). It's a win-win for everybody!

Dawn (and Sallys) Chocolate Cake

5 eggs
10 oz sugar
12 oz 70% dark chocolate (use the good stuff, the chocolate plays the staring role in this cake!)
8 oz butter
4 oz crushed shortbread biscuits

- In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs and sugar until doubled in volume (use the whisk attachment on your electric mixture if you don't have arms of steel).

- In a heat proof bowl melt the dark chocolate and butter together over a pan of simmering hot water (Alternatively, heat in a microwave on short 30 second bursts until melted, stir after each 30 seconds to combine)

- Pour the melted butter and chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and whisk together. Fold in the crushed shortbread.

- Pour into a lined 8" or 9" tin lined with parchment paper (circle is my preference, but if you only have square that will work too!)

- Bake in a hot oven at 180*C for 30-40 minutes, until the top starts to crack. Cool in the pan.

This cake keeps very well, but I doubt it'll be given the chance!

ps - If you omit the shortbread this cake is gluten and nut free - bonus!

pps - you will need to hide this cake from yourself...give it away to friends so a) they will love you more and b) you don't eat the whole cake in one sitting.

You're welcome.


  1. Hi there! I L-O-V-E Flourless Chocolate cake!! I definitely make this one soon!! Thank you for the great recipe and interesting stories!! Always looking forward to check your new article.

  2. @ayaka - thank you! If you make this let me know how it goes. I hope you like it as much as I did!