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Pressed Chocolate Cake


This rich baked beauty from the chefs of London’s River Cafe is made with bitter-sweet chocolate and loads of eggs, but no flour.

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The recipe comes from new cookbook River Cafe 30, which marks the 30th anniversary of the cafe. It features recipes from owner Ruth Rogers and head chefs Joseph Trivelli and Sian Wyn, including some from the cafe’s first cookbook and new recipes from current menus, alongside hand-drawn illustrations, and both archive and new photos.

Pressed Chocolate Cake


Unsalted butter and flour for the tin
400g best-quality bitter-sweet chocolate (70%), broken into pieces
300g unsalted butter
10 eggs, separated
225g caster sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa powder


Preheat the oven to 180C. Butter and flour a 30cm round cake tin that is 7.5cm deep.

Melt the chocolate with the butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (the water should not touch the base of the bowl). Remove the bowl from the pan and cool a little, then whisk in the egg yolks. Add the sugar and cocoa powder and mix well.

Beat the egg whites until they will form soft peaks. Fold into the chocolate mixture, a third at a time.

Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the cake has risen like a soufflé and is slightly set.

Remove from the oven. Place a plate on top of the cake – the plate should fit exactly inside the tin – and press down firmly, then weight the plate. Leave to cool for 30 minutes before turning out. Cool completely before serving.

Recipe and image from River Cafe 30, published by Penguin Random House, RRP $55.

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