Ann Smyth’s Flourless Chocolate Cake

I am not a great eater of puddings. You may have noticed that the dessert selection is often missing from the Tom Eats! column. (My simple response is to say that it seems to work for Giles Coren, and he's made a good living out of his scribblings.)

I make an exception, however, whenever I am fortunate enough to be seated at my sister Ann's table. Today's offering was a particularly wonderful example. Ann tells me that the original recipe which she found contained an icing made with, inter alia, sour cream and instant coffee. She simply serves hers with raspberries, and very fine it is too.

Flourless Chocolate Cake


175g dark chocolate; 175g butter; 150g caster sugar; 6 large eggs, separated; 175g ground nuts - almonds or hazelnuts as you prefer; pinch of salt.


Preheat your oven to 200*C/Mark 6.

Grease a deep 23-25cm cake tin & line the base with a disc of buttered greaseproof paper. Dust tin with flour.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over (not in) simmering water and set aside to cool slightly. Cream the butter & sugar till light & fluffy (good idea to have a big bowl as you need to add egg whites later). Beat the egg yolks in one at time, then beat in the melted chocolate. Gradually beat in the nuts, and stir in 2 tbsp of hot water to soften the consistency.

Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and beat to soft peaks. Fold the egg white into the chocolate mix a little at a time*.

Bake just below centre of the oven for 20 minutes then reduce heat to 180*C/Mark 4 and bake for a further 40 minutes. Ann warns that if you are using the larger tin size, ie the 25cm one, 35 minutes is enough otherwise your cake may go a little dry.

Thanks, sis.

*If you're not an experienced baker and need tips on folding, click here.


  1. Mark Baird on 25th April 2022 at 1:41 pm

    Liz baked this at the weekend. Worked out well. Delicious and not too sweet. Thanks Tom.

    • Tom Johnston on 25th April 2022 at 2:06 pm

      More thanks to Ann – I’ve passed this on – but glad you enjoyed it.

Leave a Comment