“You can keep your willpower, Frog. I am going home to bake a cake.”

– Arnold Lobel, Frog and Toad Together

This is my husband’s and my favourite chocolate cake these days. It is just the right amount of richness and decadence. It’s good with the cream and strawberries but we enjoy it in winter time, out of berry season, with just a hot cup of tea or coffee.


  • 180g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 200g unsalted butter, chopped
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  • 2 T cocoa powder, sifted
  • 4 lg eggs, separated
  • 1 cup caster sugar *
  • 2 cups almond meal *
  • cocoa powder, for dusting cake
  • fresh strawberries and cream, to serve


  1. Preheat conventional oven to 180C, or fan-forced oven to 1700C (= 355F).
  2. Grease a 6cm deep, 22cm round (at base) spring-form cake pan. Line the base and side with baking paper.
  3. Place dark chocolate, butter, boiling water, and the two tablespoons of cocoa powder in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for two or three minutes, until melted and combined. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl to cool somewhat. Set aside.
  4. Beat the egg yolks and sugar together until the mixture is thick. Set aside.
  5. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form (you will need an electric mixer for this).
  6. Add the chocolate mixture and the almond meal to the egg yolk mixture. Stir to combine.
  7. Use a large metal spoon to gently fold half the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Repeat with the remaining egg whites.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  9. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, testing by inserting a skewer into the cake. When the batter appears to be still a bit moist, with crumbs clinging to the skewer, it is done. Allow it to cool completely in the pan before removing it.
  10. Once the cake is cooled, dust the top with sifted cocoa powder. Serve plain or with fresh strawberries and whipped (or double thick) cream.

Notes: Almond meal is simply fresh, plain almonds ground fine enough to make a kind of flour. Caster sugar is superfine sugar, and is often called baking sugar in the U.S. It is much finer than regular granulated sugar, but you can buy granulated sugar and blend it in your food processor to make it fine. Do not substitute powdered sugar or icing sugar, though.