Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's chocolate cake

(62 ratings)
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's easy rich chocolate cake
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's easy rich chocolate cake
  • Serves: 10

  • Prep time:

  • Cooking time:

  • Total time:

  • Skill level: Easy peasy

  • Costs: Mid-price

The secret to this rich, velvety, moist and easy chocolate cake is to use good-quality chocolate with at least 70% cocoa solids.


  • 250g dark chocolate (around 70% cocoa solids), broken into chunks
  • 250g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 4 medium eggs, separated
  • 200g caster sugar (or 100g caster mixed with 100g soft light brown sugar)
  • 50g plain flour
  • 50g ground almonds
You'll also need:

  • 23cm springform cake tin

Top tip: If you use the caster and muscovado mix, the cake will have a lovely hint of caramel, but caster sugar on its own is fine too.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, celebrity chef


  1. Grease a 23cm springform cake tin and line the base with baking parchment.
  2. Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and place it over a pan of barely simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the base of the bowl. Stir occasionally until the butter and chocolate have melted.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a large bowl until well combined. 
  4. Stir the melted chocolate and butter into the egg and sugar mixture. Combine the flour and almonds and fold these in, too.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they hold firm peaks. Stir a large spoonful of egg white into the chocolate mixture to loosen it, then carefully fold in the rest of the egg whites with a large metal spoon or spatula, trying to keep in as much air as possible.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Place in an oven preheated to 170°C (gas mark 3) and bake for about 30 mins, until only just set.
  7. It should still wobble slightly in the centre - this means the cake will have a divinely sticky, fudgy texture once it’s cooled down. Leave to cool for 10-15 mins before releasing the tin.
  8. Serve warm or cold, on its own or with a dollop of thick cream, creme fraiche or Greek yogurt. For a more adult version, you could stir a slug of whisky into whipped cream sweetened with a little icing sugar and serve it spooned over each slice of cake.


Like this? You’ll love Mary Berry’s chocolate cake recipe

This recipe is from River Cottage Everyday by Hugh-Fearnley-Whittingstall, £25 from Bloomsbury Publishing, and available from Amazon.

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Sarah Welch

This cake is really easy to make and delicious. I made it following the above recipe and also made a sugar free one using 20g canderel sweetener instead of sugar, and some low in sat fat butter and extra ground almonds. Almonds also help to lower blood sugar. I whisked the sugar/egg mix into the (sugar free) chocolate. The sugar free version doesn't rise as much but still tastes very nice :)


I had a piece of this cake, it was so delicious

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