The Musette: Flourless Chocolate Cake

If you’ve never baked a flourless chocolate cake, please consider this serious encouragement. Not much of a baker? This is the cake that will change your mind. It’s a classic. Nearly every baker I know has a version in their repertoire. Likely because it’s relatively simple to make, uses a short list of ingredients, and is a legitimate showstopper.

The magic of a flourless chocolate cake is the way it billows and expands as it bakes, then collapses onto itself once out of the oven. As it continues to cool the top sets and crusts a bit like meringue, and the centre settles into the consistency of a sliceable chocolate mousse. I like to fold extra chocolate chunks into the batter just before baking for extra dense little pockets of chocolate. Once you understand the basics of this cake, you can use this recipe as a jumping off point for endless variations.

Ingredients (12 servings)

  • 110g (1/2 cup) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for pan
  • 340g (12 oz) 70%+ cocoa (bittersweet) chocolate chips or chunks
  • 200g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp espresso coffee powder
  • 3/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 5 large organic eggs, room temperature, separated


1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C /fan 160°C/gas mark 4/350°F with a rack in the centre. Prepare a deep 20 cm (8″) cake pan by rubbing well with olive oil. Line the pan with a large piece of greaseproof (parchment) paper.

Cake pan lined with a Piece of Parchment Paper border=

2. Place 3/4 chocolate in a large heat-proof mixing bowl. The rest of the chunks will be added later. Arrange it over a small saucepan of simmering water. This is a make-shift double boiler and allows you to very gently melt the chocolate. Stir the chocolate regularly, and once it has nearly melted remove from heat. Avoid letting the chocolate get too hot.

How to Melt Chocolate in a Double Boiler - Always Eat Dessert

3. Whisk in the olive oil, half of the sugar, and the salt. Confirm that the mixture isn’t hot to the touch before whisking in the egg yolks. The mixture can look a bit grainy at this point, it’s fine. Fold in the remaining chocolate chunks in and set aside.

Gallery: How to Beat Egg Whites | Technique of the Week

4. Whisk egg whites using an electric mixer. Once they turn white and have a good amount of structure and volume, gradually whisk in the remaining sugar. Continue whisking until the egg whites are glossy and hold nice peaks.

5. Fold one third of the egg white mixture into the chocolate, mixing until the batter is nearly uniform with few streaks. Gently fold in the remaining whites, folding from the bottom of the bowl, up and over. All the while trying to keep as much volume as possible.

Cake Pan filled with Batter before Baking

6. Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan and bake for about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a bit in the pan, on a cooling rack. Using the paper, gently remove from the pan after 15 minutes or so. Once cool, dust with icing sugar or cocoa.

Cake in Pan Fully Baked Sitting on Counter

7. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

Close up photo of Flourless Chocolate Cake with a Slice Cut from It

38 Comments on “The Musette: Flourless Chocolate Cake

  1. Pingback: ReBlogging ‘The Musette: Flourless Chocolate Cake’ – Link Below | Relationship Insights by Yernasia Quorelios

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