Chefs' Recipes

Burnt cocoa sponge cake

Don't be fooled: this rich fondant-like cake is so simple to prepare it could soon become your standby for all those moments when a last-minute dessert is required.
Burnt cocoa sponge cakeBen Dearnley

“Over 10 years ago I tried a pão de ló in Portugal – the shops have these cakes all lined up along the bench surrounded by frilly paper,” says Mat Lindsay. “The traditional version is a classic eggs and sugar kind of thing and never has cocoa, but our take is kind of like a chocolate fondant self-saucing pudding. It’s really simple to make and there’s no mess; you serve it in the paper that you bake it in.”




1.Preheat oven to 220°C. Sift cocoa over a baking tray thinly but evenly, then roast, stirring every minute until dark and it smells toasted (3-4 minutes).
2.Grease and line four 12cm-diameter cake tins or ovenproof bowls with 30cm square pieces of baking paper, squashing folds of paper against tins.
3.Whisk yolks, eggs and sugar in an electric mixer until pale and doubled in size (3-4 minutes). Gently fold in flour and toasted cocoa until fully incorporated. Divide batter among tins and bake until centre is just set but still a little runny (7-9 minutes; it may take you a couple of tries to get the timing perfect). Cool in tins for 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with pouring cream.

Drink Suggestion: Punset nebbiolo chinato, Piedmont. Drink suggestion by Julien Dromgool


Related stories