Neil Perry’s Chocolate Cake

Serves: 10

This is the second time I have had this cake and it is brilliant.

Neil Perry says it is his favourite which is not hard to understand.

It is not only fantastically simple, it is like a soufflé. An incredible chocolate soufflé.

And it will easily last a day so you can cook it the night ahead like Nat did.

A sophisticated dinner party, hard not to go past this.


400gm good quality dark chocolate, broken up
6 eggs separated
2/3 cup caster sugar
2 1/2 tbsp Cointreau
300ml pure (whipping) cream, plus extra whipped to serve
Icing sugar to serve


  1. Preheat the oven to 175c. Cut a piece of grease proof paper to fit a 20cm round cake tin, with double layer for the side and a singlet layer for the bottom. Spray the tin with cooking oil and fit the greaseproof paper in snuggle.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a stainless steel bowl over a saucepan of hot water. (Don’t scald the chocolate by allowing the water to boil.) Remove the chocolate from the heat and allow to return to room temperature.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and 2/3 of the sugar until pale and creamy. Add the Cointreau and continue to beat until well combined. Add the chocolate to the egg yolk mixture and stir until completely incorporated, then slowly stir in half the cream. Set aside.
  4. Whip the remaining cream until soft peaks form. Start whisking the egg whites in a very clean bowl. When soft peaks start to form, slowly add the remaining sugar and whip until very firm. Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Finally, fold in the whipped egg whites.
  5. Pour into the cake tin, put the tin in a bain-marie or on a baking tray and add enough hot water to come about 2.5cm up the outside of the tin. Bake for 45 minutes.
  6. Turn the oven down to 150c and bake for another 45 mins. Turn the oven off and leave the cake in the oven for another 20 minutes. Cut around the edge of the tin, turn it over onto a plate and the cake should slide out easily.
  7. Cut slices using as knife dipped in hot water and clean the knife after each cut. (Place on white plates.) Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve with lightly whipped cream.

Super low calorie Chocolate Chip Brownies

Makes: 32

During Covid, the decision was made that we should be like the Kardashians and always have a stocked cake stand in our kitchen.

The main beneficiaries have been the three boys who now have a permanent patisserie on hand, especially five minutes before dinner: 6.55pm, grab a piece of fudge or a cupcake or a slice of cheesecake, why not?

The issue is that I certainly don’t need a 24/7 patisserie in our house, let alone anywhere I can walk or drive.

A recent honeycomb lasted an evening. As just one example.

Which is why this brownies are amazing.

Cut into 32, these are 23-calories each. Yep.


And even if they were 33 or 43, it’s a patisserie miracle.

And sure, they’d find it hard to duke it out with something full of walnuts and butter, though on their own, they’re great.

And you won’t have regrets the next morning.


1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup stevia
1/4 cup milk of choice
2 tbsp egg whites
1 cup fat-free vanilla yoghurt (we used Greek)
1 tsp vanilla extract (or essence)
2 tbsp chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 180c. Spray a square baking dish with non-stick spray and line with baking paper.
  1. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda. In a separate bowl mix the stevia, milk, egg whites, yoghurt and vanilla.
  1. Pour the wet mixture into the dry. Mix to combine and pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. Top with chocolate chips. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes. All to cool before slicing into squares.

Lobba’s Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie

Makes: 24 cookies

My sister-in-law Lauren (“Lob”, “Lobba”, “LOK”, “LD”, “La La”) is the most generous, thoughtful sister-in-law you could ever ask for. Here she is with Max, a few days old in one of my favourite photos of all time:

Our youngest monkey – Max – was born at the same time that Lauren’s own monkey – Chloe – was born and the bond between us all could not be stronger. These are the spoilt monkeys 20 months on:

Lauren would be the first person I would call if I needed help and she would be the first person to volunteer that help.

So when it came to course #6 of #6 at our wedding – ‘Cookies and Cream’ – Lauren was the first person we thought of.

In Lobba’s trademark style, she trialed a bunch of cookies prior to the big day:

And in true Lobba style, her greatest triumph was on the final day: the ultimate chocolate chip cookie.

About 3 minutes into the course, there were no more chocolate chips or chocolate chip cookies.

As I said, a triumph.


1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 1/2 cups sifted, all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet 50/50 white/chocolate chips
Sea salt


  1. Whisk the flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl. Set aside.
  1. Whisk both sugars in a large bowl and make sure to break up any chunks. Add the melted butter and whisk vigorously for about 1 minute until the mixture forms one mass and starts to pull away from the sides of the bow. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
  2. Whisk in one egg to the sugar-butter mixture, stirring until it’s fully mixed in. Scrape the sides of the bowl with your spatula. Whisk in the second egg and the vanilla and scrape the sides of the bowl again.
  3. Heat the oven to 180c and line and line a baking tray with sprayed baking paper.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and combine fully with the spatula. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. Refrigerate the dough for 10 minutes and the scoop a heaped tablespoon of the mixture for each cookie onto the lined baking tray, ensuring that there is at least 6cm between each scoop. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes until cooked and starting to turn golden/brown. Cool on a rack.

Nigella’s Chocolate Cloud Cake

Serves: 8

I haven’t watched much Nigella, though the impression I get from the snippets I have seen is that when it comes to desserts, Nigella is all in.

Melted chocolate being poured into more chocolate, whipped cream being folded into egg yolks, zoom in, zoom out, chocolate.

This cake therefore perfectly embodies Nigella and it really couldn’t be any easier a dessert, qualified for a dinner party.

Cook the base in the afternoon, whip the cream and refrigerate and prep just when you’re ready to serve.


250gm dark chocolate
125gm unsalted butter, softened
6 eggs, 2 whole, 4 separated
175gm caster sugar
500ml cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
Cocoa powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 180c and butter and line a 23cm springform pan with paper.
  2. Melt the chocolate and stir through the butter until it melts.
  3. Beat the two whole eggs and 4 yolks with 75gm of the caster sugar and then gradually add the chocolate mixture.
  4. Beat the 4 egg whites until foamy and then gradually add the remaining 100gm of sugar and continue beating until the whites hold their shape but are not too stiff.
  5. Fold the whites into the chocolate mixture and bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until the cake has risen and cracked and the top is no longer wobbly.
  6. Beat the cream until soft and then add rather vanilla and continue beating until the cream is firm but not stiff.
  7. Fill the crater of the cake with the cream and then dust the top with cocoa powder.

Rich Chocolate Ice Cream with Peanut Butter

Makes: 1.5 liters

So, we’re on the ice cream train with the recent acquisition of a proper ice cream maker.

And so where do you start?

Personally, I think that Rum and Raisin or Pistachio are the creme da la creme though I am dismissed by Nat and the boys as being old and old-fashioned.

Which meant opening the floor to alternative ideas.

The boys adamantly want a Coke Sorbet which we might try; though that left Nat’s suggestion of chocolate and peanut butter the sole entry and winner on our first bout of ice cream making.

And here it is.

She is a rich one this one and if you paired it with some salted caramel, you would be sent to sweet heaven.

As an accompaniment to a dessert fitting of such an extraordinarily rich and opulent ice cream, this is definitely a recipe you should try.

I guess I can do my Rum and Raisin late at night when everyone is asleep.


Rich chocolate ice cream
2 cups heavy cream
1 ½ cups whole milk
7 large egg yolks
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ tsp salt
200gm bittersweet chocolate (70% or above), chopped
2 tsp vanilla extract

Peanut Butter
6 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
¾ cup icing sugar
¾ cup crunchy peanut butter
3 tbsp heavy cream


    1. For the chocolate ice cream: in a heavy saucepan, combine the cream and milk. Warm over a medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until you have a simmer.
    2. Separately, in a heatproof bowl over a water bath, combine the egg yolks, sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Whisk vigorously until the mixture doubles in size: 2 minutes or so.
    3. Remove the cream mixture from the heat. Whisking constantly, slowly pour about 1 cup of the cream mixture into the egg mixture until smooth. Pour the combined mixture back into the remaining cream mixture, whisking constantly and heat over a medium heat; add the chopped chocolate and vanilla to the saucepan and stir until the chocolate is melted and combined. Cook until it forms a custard thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, ensuring it does not boil.
    4. Pour the custard through a fine sieve into a bowl and cool.
    5. For the peanut butter: in a bowl, combine the butter, icing sugar, peanut butter and cream. Using an electric beater on medium, beat for 5 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy.
    6. Churn the rich chocolate ice cream until almost done. Pour the peanut butter mixture in just before setting and allow to churn.
    7. Kaboom.

Chocolate Spiders

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Chocolate Spiders

Makes: 15 spiders

Nat’s Oma (German for grandmother) used to make these for Nat and all the grandkids… all the time.

Five spiders down, I can assure you that the simplest things in life are the best and that you’ll need far greater self-control than I have to not eat them one they’re chilled.

Go spiders!


1 packet Chang’s Original Fried Noodles (100gm)
2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
200gm milk chocolate


  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, break up the chocolate into small chunks. Add the peanut butter and melt on high for about 60 seconds. Stir the chocolate mixture and if not fully melted, heat for another 15 seconds or so until melted.
  2. Add the noodles and mix well, try not to break the noodles.
  3. On a baking paper lined tray, spoon the mixture into small mounds and refrigerate until hard.

Stephanie Alexander’s Chocolate and Almond Cake

Stephanie Alexander’s Chocolate and Almond Cake

Serves: 6 – 8

You want decadent, you got it!

A favourite of the wonderful Stephanie Alexander, it is simple to prep and even simpler to serve; double cream, some raspberries and a picnic on the grass like we did.

This is a tick tick number and one to definitely try for a casual dinner when you want to really wow the team.


125gm good quality dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids)
1 tbsp brandy
1 tbsp espresso
100gm unsalted butter, softened
½ cup caster sugar
¾ cup ground almonds (we blitzed them in the food processor)
3 eggs, separated: lightly beat the yolks, beat the egg whites until firm though not dry
Icing sugar for dusting
Double cream and raspberries or strawberries to serve


  1. Preheat the oven the 160c. Butter an 18c, round cake tin and line with baking paper: this is a cake that can split and leak easily so the baking paper is best.
  2. Combine chocolate, brandy and espresso in a heatproof bowl that fits snugly over a saucepan of simmering water, ensuring the base of the bowl does not touch the water. Heat without stirring the chocolate until it is melted. Stir and add the butter and sugar. Mix well.
  3. Add ground almonds and stir very well. Remove from the heat. Stir in the beaten egg yolks. Lighten the mixture with a spoonful of the beaten egg whites and then softly fold in the rest.
  4. Spoon the batter into the cake tin. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove and allow to completely cool in the tin, remembering that the cake is fragile and will plit.
  5. Carefully turn onto a plate, dust with icing sugar and serve with the cream and berries.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Serves 6

This is a really simple and elegant dessert and one easy enough that it makes it into my remit; it’s not that I don’t love tackling and serving a great and complex dessert, though the main meal always takes priority for me.

And so this is where this dessert shines; it is quick, easy and looks like half the afternoon was given to it.

And it lasts a few days which makes it triply as good.


1 tsp instant coffee powder
¼ c boiling water
200gm butter, chopped
180hm dark chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
4 eggs, separated
1 c caster sugar
2 c almond meal (ground almonds)
Cocoa powder, for dusting
Double cream and strawberries to serve


  1. Preheat the oven to 160c (180c if not fan forced).
  2. Grease a 6cm deep, 22cm round base spring-form cake pan. Line the base and sides with baking paper.
  3. Combine and stir the coffee powder and boiling water.
  4. Place the butter, chocolate, cocoa powder and coffee mixture in a medium saucepan over a low heat and stir continuously for about 3 minutes until combined and melted. Remove, transfer to a bowl and allow to cool slightly.
  5. Beat the egg yolks and sugar for five minutes until thick and set aside. Separately, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
  6. Add the chocolate mixture and almond meal to the egg yolk mixture. Combine and then gently fold in the egg white mixture.
  7. Pour into the pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes and then allow to cool complete.
  8. Dust with the cocoa powder (or icing sugar) and serve with the strawberries and cream.