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I love a flourless cake or as Nigella herself calls them a fallen chocolate cake. They are called this since they are compact, flourless and whilst cooling the cake dips in the middle. The centre tends to be rich and gooey on this recipe Nigella generously fills the dip with a scattering of sticky, sweet and crispy almonds. 

This cake is a beautiful alternative to rich fruit desserts over the festive season and most importantly works perfectly with your favourite Higgins freshly brewed coffee! It never fails to disappoint our dinner guests in fact I don’t keep it just for Christmas it is too delicious and can be for any time of the year.

Instead of using espresso powder as stated in her original recipe we have used 60mls of extra strong Higgins black coffee it is subtle but makes the whole cake incredibly luxurious and the chocolate taste deeper. 

Delicious served with creme fraiche or with Cointreau Cream, made simply by whisking 250ml double cream until softly whipped, whisking in about 45ml of Cointreau (or Triple sec or Grand Marnier, of course) to taste at the end.

You will need...


  •          150g Chopped Dark Chocolate
  •          150g Soft Butter
  •          6 Large Eggs
  •          250g Granulated sugar
  •          1tsp Vanilla Extract
  •          100g Ground Almonds
  •          1tsp Ground Cinnamon
  •          1 pinch of Ground Cloves
  •          Zest of 1 Clementine (or Satsuma)
  •          60ml of Espresso or very Strong Coffee (we used 1942 Blend made in the Alessi Stove Top or you could use Creole Blend made strongly in a Cafetière, or as a Pour Over but just add a little more coffee than usual) 


  •          Juice of 1 Clementine (or Satsuma)
  •          15g Butter
  •          1tbsp Caster Sugar
  •          ¼ tsp Ground Cinnamon
  •          50g Flaked Almonds


  1. Feel free to retrieve anything you'd like from the refrigerator to allow it to reach room temperature. The most crucial aspect to remember is ensuring the eggs are not chilled. If they happen to be cold, simply place them in a bowl and cover them with warm water for a duration of 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/gas mark 4/350ºF. Butter the sides and line the bottom of a 23cm / 9 inch springform tin.
  3. Combine the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and melt them together using either a microwave, following the manufacturer's instructions, or by suspending the bowl over a simmering water pan. Allow the mixture to cool slightly before incorporating the 60ml of Higgins espresso or a strongly brewed coffee.
  4. Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla together until thick, pale and moussy. They should have at least doubled in volume, even tripled. If youre using a freestanding mixer, as Nigella does, this is effortless.
  5. Gently incorporate the ground almonds, cinnamon, cloves, and zest from a clementine or satsuma into the mixture, being mindful not to deflate the air you've whisked in. Then, delicately add the melted, slightly cooled chocolate and butter, folding them in gently once more.
  6. Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 35–40 minutes, by which time the top of the cake should be firm, and the underneath still a bit gooey.
  7. Remove from the oven, and sit it on a wire rack, draped with a clean tea towel, to cool completely.
  8. To prepare the cake topping, combine the clementine or satsuma juice, butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a small frying pan, preferably non-stick. Heat the mixture until it melts and begins to sizzle for about a minute, allowing it to caramelize slightly before incorporating the almonds.
  9. Stir everything together, and occasionally tip the pan to keep it all moving; what you want is for all the liquid to disappear and the nuts to look shiny and be coated thinly in a fragrant, orange-scented toffee.
  10. Remove to a plate and cool.
  11. Unspring the cake and transfer to a cake stand or plate; Nigella is brave enough to take it off its base sometimes, but dont if youre scared. Remember this cake, however intense and elegant within, has a rather ramshackle rustic appearance on the outside.
  12. Sprinkle the almonds primarily at the center of the cake, allowing them to form a delightful pile, while also casually scattering a few here and there across the entire surface. To complete, serve alongside the luscious Cointreau cream.



You can prepare the chocolate cake as early as three days in advance and keep it in a sealed container. Likewise, prepare the nut mixture and store it either on baking parchment in a small airtight container or wrap it in a loosely sealed foil "bag."


Make and freeze the chocolate cake up to 1 month ahead. Thaw overnight in a cool room.


Spicy Ginger Affogato

Affogato is the perfect summer easy dessert but what about in winter? Try this Spicy Ginger Version, perfect for the festive season.


Espresso Chocolate Pots

I love entertaining I have 4 children lots of friends so I like my house to be busy full of people at any opportunity!  The key for me at a supper party is to be prepped I don’t want to be slaving over the stove whilst all my guests are having fun so slow cooked dinners, and having a pre-prepped dessert is super easy these chocolate pots have been in my recipe book for over 20 years from Jamie Oliver’s second cook book! 

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