Decadent Spiced Flourless Chocolate Dessert Cake

A dear friend phoned me recently with an offer I just couldn’t refuse. Apparently a large batch of Ferrero Rocher milk chocolate had melted into a solid mass and was seeking owners at R25 per kilogram. How could I resist? I immediately got 4 kilograms, which have been lazing around in my pantry waiting for an occasion.

A Hunk of Chocolate

A Hunk of Chocolate

I’ve been a huge fan of the Chez Panisse flourless chocolate cake for years, and have made several very tasty variations with various types of dark chocolate; Lindt Intense Pear and Lindt Intense 85% being my favourites to date. This weekend I decided to use whatever I had in the cupboard (including the aforementioned pile of milk chocolate) to make a delicious dessert. It sits, very happily, somewhere between a cake, a fondant and a fruit flan. It’s rich and decadent, warm and spicy, cool and tangy all at once.

Another dear friend, who requested to remain nameless, was instructing me in the ways of taking decent food photos while I was baking. It was a fun and chaotic afternoon, and I am eternally grateful.

Spiced Chocolate Dessert Cake with Strawberries, Pine nuts and Yoghurt








  1. Preheat oven to 190°C.
  2. Grease the base of a 20-23cm springform cake tin and line with greaseproof paper. Dust with a little flour.

Quality milk chocolate
Butter, unsalted
(Or use salted butter and omit the salt)

300 g
250 g



2.5 ml


  1. Melt in a bowl in the microwave at 60% power. Once melted, whisk together until smooth.


Chocolate and Butter

Egg whites


6 whites

  1. Whisk until soft peaks form.

Cream of tartar


2.5 ml


Egg Whites

Egg yolks
Castor sugar
Demerara sugar


120 g
55 g

6 yolks


  1. Whisk until thick and pale.




  1. Pour in the chocolate mixture and gently mix until smooth.


Ground almonds

55 g


  1. Sprinkle onto the mixture.

Cocoa powder
Cake flour


30 ml
15 ml

  1. Sift together onto the mixture.




  1. Mix together.
  2. Carefully fold in the beaten egg whites to complete the batter.





  1. Pour the batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the cake is set but slightly wobbly in the centre.
  2. Cool in the tin. The centre will collapse slightly – a perfect hollow for the toppings.


The toppings for the cake

The toppings for the cake

Butter, unsalted
Pine nuts
Ground cinnamon
(Butter must be unsalted here)

50 g
30 g



2.5 ml


  1. Melt the butter in a very small saucepan.
  2. Add the pine nuts and cinnamon and fry gently until the butter begins to caramelise and foam and the pine nuts are starting to turn a very pale brown.
  3. Scrape the bottom of the pan to release any bits that are stuck and pour the pine nuts and butter into a cool bowl to stop the cooking.
  4. Leave to cool slightly.


Mascarpone cheese
Greek yoghurt

150 g
150 g


  1. Gradually stir the yoghurt into the mascarpone to form a smooth mixture.


Caramelised butter, cinnamon and pine nuts

Caramelised butter, cinnamon and pine nuts




  1. To serve, run a knife around the edge and remove the cake from the tin. Peel off the paper and place on a cake platter.
  2. Dust the cake with cocoa powder.


Strawberries, hulled and halved



  1. Pile the strawberries in the centre of the cake.
  2. Pour the butter mixture over.
  3. Spoon the yoghurt mixture on top.
  4. Slice and serve. (The centre should be quite gooey.)





This cake is best stored at room temperature under foil, though the toppings need to be refrigerated. Oh dear, you’re going to have to eat the whole thing!

Eat Me

Eat a slice, or 6! It’s gooey and delicious.

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