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Flourless Chocolate Lime Cake With Margarita Cream

by . Featured in KITCHEN
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Introduction

There is something about a flourless chocolate cake that makes it so damn easy to eat. This is one of my fallback favourites for pudding when I have friends over for supper.

There is something about a flourless chocolate cake that makes it so damn easy to eat. This is one of my fallback favourites for pudding when I have friends over for supper.

Flourless Chocolate Lime Cake With Margarita Cream
Photo by Lis Parsons

Ingredients

Serves: 8-10

Metric Cups

For the Cake

  • 150 grams dark chocolate (chopped)
  • 150 grams soft unsalted butter (plus some for greasing)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 250 grams caster sugar
  • 100 grams ground almonds
  • 4 teaspoons best-quality cocoa powder (sifted)
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • icing sugar (to dust)

For the Margarita Cream

  • 60 millilitres lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon tequila
  • 1 tablespoon cointreau (or triple sec)
  • 75 grams icing sugar
  • 250 millilitres double cream

For the Cake

  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (chopped)
  • 1¼ sticks soft unsalted butter (plus some for greasing)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1¼ cups superfine sugar
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 4 teaspoons best-quality unsweetened cocoa (sifted)
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • confectioners' sugar (to dust)

For the Margarita Cream

  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon tequila
  • 1 tablespoon cointreau (or triple sec)
  • ¾ cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4/350°F, line the base of a 23cm / 9inch springform cake tin with baking parchment and butter the sides.
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter together either in a heatproof bowl suspended over a pan of simmering water, or in a microwave (following manufacturer’s instructions), then set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Beat the eggs and sugar together until about tripled in volume, pale and moussy. I do this using a freestanding mixer, but a hand-held electric model would be just fine too; obviously, by hand is possible but would demand tenacity and muscle.
  4. Mix the ground almonds with the cocoa powder and fold this gently into the egg and sugar mixture, followed by the slightly cooled chocolate and butter. Finally, fold in the zest and juice of your lime.
  5. Pour and scrape this mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for 40–45 minutes (though start to check at 35); the cake will be just firm on top, but still have a bit of wobble underneath.
  6. Remove from the oven and sit the cake in its tin on a wire rack to cool. Once the first heat has left it, drape a clean tea towel over the cake to stop it getting too crusty, though a cracked and cratered surface is to be expected; it’s crunch I’m avoiding here.
  7. When cold, unmould, dust with icing sugar if you wish and serve with the jaunty Margarita Cream that follows.

MARGARITA CREAM

  1. Stir the lime juice, tequila and orange liqueur togather in a good-sized bowl, then whisk or fork in the icing sugar and let it dissolve in the sour, strong liquid.
  2. Slowly whisk in the double cream and keep whisking until you have a light, floaty, aerated mixture, then serve with the Chocolate Lime Cake above.
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4/350°F, line the base of a 23cm / 9inch springform cake tin with baking parchment and butter the sides.
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter together either in a heatproof bowl suspended over a pan of simmering water, or in a microwave (following manufacturer’s instructions), then set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Beat the eggs and sugar together until about tripled in volume, pale and moussy. I do this using a freestanding mixer, but a hand-held electric model would be just fine too; obviously, by hand is possible but would demand tenacity and muscle.
  4. Mix the almond meal with the unsweetened cocoa and fold this gently into the egg and sugar mixture, followed by the slightly cooled chocolate and butter. Finally, fold in the zest and juice of your lime.
  5. Pour and scrape this mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for 40–45 minutes (though start to check at 35); the cake will be just firm on top, but still have a bit of wobble underneath.
  6. Remove from the oven and sit the cake in its tin on a wire rack to cool. Once the first heat has left it, drape a clean tea towel over the cake to stop it getting too crusty, though a cracked and cratered surface is to be expected; it’s crunch I’m avoiding here.
  7. When cold, unmould, dust with confectioners' sugar if you wish and serve with the jaunty Margarita Cream that follows.

MARGARITA CREAM

  1. Stir the lime juice, tequila and orange liqueur togather in a good-sized bowl, then whisk or fork in the confectioners' sugar and let it dissolve in the sour, strong liquid.
  2. Slowly whisk in the heavy cream and keep whisking until you have a light, floaty, aerated mixture, then serve with the Chocolate Lime Cake above.

Additional Information

There's nothing to stop you presenting this in small glasses, on some other occasions, to be eaten like a syllabub.

There's nothing to stop you presenting this in small glasses, on some other occasions, to be eaten like a syllabub.

Tell us what you think

What 11 Others have said

  • I always turn to Nigella when I need a cake recipe and since discovering this one last year it has surpassed the Quadruple Chocolate as being my favourite. Yesterday I deliberately took it out of the oven after 35 mins and now I am always going to do that. It produced a lovely crust which had the perfect, ever so slight crunch but it was the gooey, fudge centre that had everyone salivating and coming back for seconds and thirds. Always reliable and ever so easy, this recipe is truly sublime.

    Posted by amanda154 on 13th November 2013
  • Oh my...the Margarita Cream is SO delicious it's surely illegal! The cake has a lovely 'crust' on top after baking and lovely chocolate gooeyness in the centre - simply divine!

    Posted by Lizzie4Allan on 10th August 2013
  • I simply love it! I have made it twice. The lemon margarita cream makes the cake so unique and light and yummy! I always separate the batter into two tins to bake, and put cream in between carefully when assembling it to make a bit posh. (Well, not really posh haha) I use any liquor I have.

    Posted by Cheesecakelover on 2nd May 2013
  • I made this with dairy-free spread and a sugar substitute for an allergy sufferer and it was absolutely amazing!

    Posted by Phnat on 12th March 2013
  • I have just made this cake again for the umpteenth time and it continues to wow....the cream isn't bad either!!! I am off now to make the Venetian Carrot cake again, another glorious favorite xx

    Posted by Lelthewonderchef on 6th February 2013
  • I made this and substituted the ground almonds for 120g of gluten free plain flour as the person I made it is celiac and allergic to nuts. Cooked it for 40mins and even thought it cracked on the top whilst in the oven, it was so moist and got demolished by my guests in seconds. And that cream, I stuck to the recipe, my goodness it's delicious!!!!! Also, I dusted it with hot chocolate powder and then finely grated like zest over the top. It looked fantastic!

    Posted by Ktsnowowl on 7th October 2012
  • What a taste explosion, the margarita cream is so citrusy and zingy. Make sure you use dark chocolate to match the zing of the cream. I did get a bit carried away with the lime because I had lots in my kitchen so, I would stick to Nigella's measurements next time.

    Posted by hindll01 on 11th May 2012
  • I have made this one 4 times now and it has gained me much praise!!! I adore anything with limes and I love the subtle lime taste through the chocolate. My tip from the 4 I have made....don't microwave the chocolate and butter in a ceramic bowl - it kept too much heat and wrecked the chocolate. Once I stuck to a trusty battered old plastic bowl I was safe! xx

    Posted by 9042 on 23rd October 2011
  • Have made this with great sucess. Try with fresh raspberries and creme fraiche, yummy!

    Posted by countrygirly on 23rd August 2011
  • I've made this cake numerous times, and it's really really really good. Everybody loves it. If I don't have limes, I substitute with orange juice and zest. People remark that it tastes like a rich chocolatey jaffa. Ditto for the margarita cream- I use cointreau, orange juice and a little drop of vanilla (if I don't have limes). Everybody loves both: the lime and the orange version. Ps I've found that if you test the cake and there is a little gunge on the cake tester, don't panic and overcook the cake as the cake further sets when you take it out of the oven.

    Posted by AmyC84 on 28th June 2011
  • oooooooooh that looks soooooo good! scumpshis

    Posted by danthechef on 10th June 2011
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