Saturday, 21 March 2015

Squidgy Chocolate Cake - gluten free (adaptation of a Delia recipe)

This is such a great recipe! It is one of Delia Smith's, from her Complete Cookery Course and has been around for years. There are countless reproductions of it on the internet and it must have been made and enjoyed a million times in the years since it was first printed.

Its popularity is well deserved. The sponge, which is flourless and fatless (and therefore naturally gluten free) is light as a feather, yet layered with chocolate mousse and lightly whipped cream it becomes an amazingly decadent dessert, perfect for any celebration. The chocolate mousse adds a rich melty sweetness and depth to the bake, slightly sticky against the fluffy sponge and beautifully complimented by the airy, soft cream.

The original recipe is for a squidgy roulade, which we usually have a couple of times a year and always at Christmas (gives me an extra opportunity to break out the snowflake cutter!), but I wanted to see what would happen if I made it into a layer cake.......

This month's We Should Cocoa with Sarah at Maison Cupcake (on behalf of Choclette at her newly named blog Tin & Thyme) gave me the chance to give it a go, the theme being layer cakes with at least 3 layers.

It may not be the prettiest cake, but boy....... it tastes amazing. I think I actually prefer it to the roulade version!

To make sure I had enough batter for a full three layers, I added an extra third to the sponge mix, but left the amount of mousse the same, spreading on just the two interior layers so that the final cake wouldn't be too rich. I also added a couple of meringue nests to the cream (top layer only) for added interest and texture. I found them loitering in the larder from weeks ago when my daughter badgered me to buy them so that she could make a random experimental pavlova for her pudding and there were a couple left over.....

The extra added treat is the Tesco Finest Salted Caramel Drinking Chocolate Flakes which I scattered all over the top. I spotted them when I was shopping last week. I could smell the caramel without even opening the packet and felt my hand reach towards the shelf and like a little grab-truck, drop it into my basket......  They taste incredible........ the caramel hit they give absolutely elevates the cake both in aroma and flavour, the salty toffiness dancing on the taste buds against the chocolate.

In addition to We Should Cocoa, I am also sharing this wonderful Squidgy Chocolate Cake with the following blog link-ups :

Simply Eggcellent - a new link with Dom over at Belleau Kitchen, which challenges us to conjure up amazing dishes with free range eggs. Being both flour and fat free, the sponge in this cake is dependent on the humble egg. The whole cake uses a full 10 of them!

Love Cake with Ness at Jibber Jabber. March's theme is 'it's in the book'. The original recipe for this cake is a Delia one from her Complete Cookery Course.

Cook Blog Share with Lucy at Supergolden Bakes.

Foodie Fridays with Casa Costello.

Tasty Tuesdays with Honest Mum.

Squidgy Chocolate Cake (from a Delia Smith recipe) 

Specific differing instructions for roulade marked in blue


Sponge - 3 layer cake (8 inch)
8 large eggs
200g caster sugar
65g cocoa powder


Sponge - log
6 large eggs - separated
150g caster sugar
50g cocoa powder

Mousse Filling
225g good quality plain chocolate - broken into pieces
2 large eggs - separated

Whipped cream
400 ml double cream
2 to 3 meringue nests (optional)
grated chocolate to decorate (I used Tesco Finest salted caramel drinking chocolate flakes)

(for log you need only 225 ml double cream)

Decorate log with sprinkled icing sugar, edible glitter and fondant icing stars and snowflakes 


  1. Sponge : Base-line three 20 cm/8 inch round loose-bottomed cake tins with baking paper (or a 30 x 20 cm swiss roll tin (2.5 cm deep) if making a roulade) and pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl until they start to thicken.
  3. Add the sugar and continue to whisk so that it remains thick, but not too stiff.
  4. Sift and mix the cocoa powder into the egg yolk mixture until well-blended.
  5. In a clean large bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks.
  6. Fold the egg whites into the cocoa batter, working quickly and carefully to ensure as much air as possible remains within. 
  7. When thoroughly mixed, pour the batter into the baking tins and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until risen and the top springs back to the touch. 
  8. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely in the tins.
  9. Mousse filling : Whilst the cake is cooling, make the mousse filling. Melt the chocolate pieces in a heat-proof bowl either over a pan of simmering water, stirring continuously or in the microwave on 30 second bursts (medium setting), stirring between each. When the chocolate is nearly melted, remove from the heat and beat with a wooden/silicone spoon until the last lumps are fully blended. Cool slightly. 
  10. Beat the egg yolks a little in a small bowl and then add to the melted chocolate and beat again until completely combined and smooth. 
  11. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold into the chocolate mixture. Chill in the fridge for about an hour.
  12. Whipped Cream : Whip the double cream until it forms soft peaks. Set aside in the fridge until ready to assemble the cake.
  13. To assemble : When the cakes are cold, run a knife around the inside edge of the tin to loosen and turn out onto baking paper dusted with icing sugar. Very carefully peel off the baking paper from the cakes.
  14. Carefully spread the chocolate mousse over one side of each of two of the cakes (or if making a roulade, over the whole sponge) in an even layer.
  15. Spread about a third of the whipped cream over the top of the mousse of the first layer and top with the second moussed sponge. (If you are making a roulade, spread all the cream over).
  16. Spread a further third of cream across the top of this sponge and carefully place the final sponge on the top (smooth side up).
  17. Crush and add the meringue (if using) to the remaining third of cream and spread across the top cake layer. Sprinkle with grated chocolate and chill until ready to eat.
  18. For roulade : Using the baking paper under the cake to help you, carefully roll the sponge into a log/roulade shape. 
  19. Transfer the roll to a clean sheet of baking paper and wrap completely, tucking the ends under to hold in place. Place it in the fridge (being careful not to bend) and allow to chill for an hour or so before decorating.
  20. To serve : Trim the ends and/or cut to the length of your chosen serving dish and sprinkle with icing sugar, stud with fondant stars, snowflakes etc.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-15 unless otherwise indicated


  1. I need this cake right now! I just had dinner and am itching for something sweet.

    .: Marta @ :.

    1. Thanks Marta. I wish I had some left..... I could eat it all over again!!

  2. I love this cake as roulade, bet it tastes wonderful as a whole cake. I love the texture of roulade sponges, dense yet springy. That caramel choc sprinkle sounds amazing too. Just a kint of caramel without it being too much. Large slice for me please

    1. Roulade or cake, this one is a great combo! But those caramel sprinkles are one of those 'finds' which I fear may end up in my shopping basket way too often......

  3. wowzers... ten eggs!... it looks so light and fluffy though which is exactly how I love my chocolate cakes. I prefer them this way to the dense chocolatey ones... and all that cream! Hello! A lovely entry for Simply Eggcellent, thank you x

    1. Thanks Dom. 10 eggs sounds a lot doesn't it?! You would never know to eat it though!!

  4. This sounds incredible – although I can't imagine this many eggs doesn't taste a little bit, well, eggy! Your photos make it look squidgy chocolate perfection though.... Yum! #CookBlogShare

    1. Thanks Lucy. It doesn't taste eggy at all! Just light, airy and delicious against the chocolate mousse and cream!!!

  5. I think that's amazingly brave of you to adapt it into a layer cake. I'm quite amazed it contains no flour but all those eggs! It looks just so light. Thanks for linking up.

    1. Thanks Ness. Sometimes I think I am brave in the kitchen and sometimes just plain stupid. But this was one of those risks that just worked, so I reckon if you get an idea, just go with it!!!!

  6. Looks like a gorgeous layer cake to me! I love the filling and that salted caramel chocolate flakes sounds divine - I need to get to a tesco asap! Great idea to add the meringues as well.

    1. Thanks Ros. You'll find the chocolate flakes with the hot chocolate stuff! They are soooo good!

  7. Beautiful cake gosh.. it must be so delicious, what a treat! I have actually never made a cake with 3 layers before. It is great for birthdays or special celebrations. Well done Kate!

    1. Thanks Alida. Yes it was a lovely treat. There is something quite 'grand' about a cake which is 3 or more layers. I always think they look extra fancy!

  8. Your cake looks beautiful - I have tried firmer cakes for layers and it can be challenging but I can see that this cake would cut well and rise effortlessly.

    1. Thanks Johanna. The sponge is so so light. I think it rose even more than I expected it to! The tricky bit was making sure it was eased from the sides of the tin and peeling the paper off....

  9. Oh yes, that looks delightfully squidgy Kate and the way it appears to be teetering in on itself, makes it even more appealing. Chocolate mousse and cream and salted caramel flakes - how delightfully decedent. Definitely my sort of cake. Thanks for taking part in We Should Cocoa :)

    1. Thanks Choclette. It was a pleasure...... to make, to eat and to share!

  10. Looks like it transfers brilliantly to a layer cake to me! Good old Delia! Thanks for joining me over at #FoodieFriday x

  11. Yummy! I can't tell what looks better. I would choose both roulade and layer cake :)


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