Thursday, 19 November 2015

Sophie Dahl's Flourless Chocolate Cake - And A Book Review

smothered in crème fraiche and berries   

Of course we all love watching Nigella and Jamie, but one of my favourite TV cooks is Sophie Dahl.  Sophie Dahl?  I know Roald Dahl, you may be thinking (her grandfather). Sophie was a model in a former life, and a plus size at that.  She changed course to become a writer, a cook and a mum.

Sophie's recipes are usually healthy, and often vegetarian as her hubby Jamie Cullum the musician is a card-carrying vego.  That's not to say that she doesn't indulge in OTT desserts like this one, which is pulsating with chocolate and cream.  I love watching the calm way she goes about her business, while indulging herself and the viewer with the occasional bit of poetry read out loud.


300g. of chocolate - 150g. of dark and 150g. of milk - chopped into small pieces
225g. caster sugar
225g. softened butter, cubed 
1 tsp instant coffee powder
1 tbs vanilla extract
6 large eggs, separated
180mls boiling water


125g. raspberries
125g. strawberries
200mls tub of crème fraiche


Grease and line a 23cm springform pan
Pre-heat your oven to 180C

Throw the chocolate pieces and the sugar into a large processor; pulse till it is like fine sand

Tip the butter, coffee, vanilla and egg yolks into the processor

Next beat the egg whites in a glass bowl till stiff 

Pour the boiling water into the processor

Now add the egg whites all at once if you can fit them - I had to add half the whites and blitz for a few seconds, then I added the rest and blitzed the whole mixture for 10 seconds

Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 45-55 minutes; you will know it is ready when the top has deep cracks and it doesn't wobble

Leave in the tin to cool for a couple of hours

Then take off the ring and the base and place on a serving plate

Whack it into the fridge to get cold

When you want to serve the cake, smother it in the crème fraiche, and heap on the berries


Use a large processor for this.  Mine is huge and it still spilled a bit, so do it in 2 batches if necessary

Place the tin on a baking tray if you are worried about spillage in the oven

Use 59g. eggs if possible; I used 66g. ones and I think that is why the batter was too much

Sophie said to beat the egg whites in a glass bowl.  I do what I am told, but you can use another sort of bowl if you wish

You can use a normal cake tin if you don't have a springform one, but it will be easier to remove from the springform version

gather the ingredients    

  pulverise the chocolate and sugar till like fine sand    

out of the oven - cracked like Krakatoa

fudgy, creamy, chocolatey, berry heaven      

Yep you guessed it!  my cacao pod doodle  

I have made a couple of other recipes from her book, including a quinoa salad with tahini dressing.  Her guacamole is brilliant! (this was on the TV show rather than in the book, though you can find the recipe online).  She likes to make pancakes with spelt flour, and a tofu dish with quinoa pilaf.  So if you are wanting to find healthy, vego dishes, this could be the book for you.  And how can you go past a title like Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights?  

The book is divided up into seasonal recipes, with most dishes being vegetarian, and a few fish or chicken ones thrown in for good measure.  There are lots of lovely photos, stories about her childhood, and life in New York as a model.  I really enjoyed dipping into this book, and I have liked the recipes I have tried so far.  I am especially looking forward to making her warm ratatouille.


  1. Spelt pancakes sound awesome, they would be light and fluffy and full of flavour. Love the title of her book!

  2. That looks gorgeous, I love Sophie too, she is fab xx

    1. ooh so glad someone else knows of sophie. i felt like a voice in the wilderness:)

  3. Thanks for visiting my blog--my MIL is to the point and so liberal she is practically a communist :). We couldn't be more different ideologically , but we have a great relationship and I will miss her. This cake recipe looks divine. I must may have to give it a whirl, I've had lots of time on my hands recently.

    1. It's a really tasty cake Brooke. I think you will like it :)

  4. She's had such a great career - so many talents. I didn't know she's married to Jamie Cullum - my husband loves his music. And that's a beautiful looking cake xx

    1. she is very talented charlie and seems so nice with it. and thanks- it was a lovely cake.

  5. Flourless chocolate cake is one of my all time favourites. Thanks for passing on the recipe Sherry. I haven't seen her show and would like to. Which station have you been watching it on?

    1. it may not have been on tv here Jem. it was a bbc show. i bought the dvd a few years ago cos i really love sophie:)

  6. Oo Sherry I had no idea you could make cake without flour, it looks so tasty I will have to check Sophie Dahls recipes out x

    1. It is very fudgy rather than cake like but very delicious.


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