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Ruth’s Simple but Magnificent Chocolate Cake

My cooking hero Ruth Hegarty has very kindly supplied us with another recipe; this time for a simple but impressive chocolate cake.

Chocolate Cake

dark-chocolateYou cannot devote space and time to dark chocolate without getting people to make this chocolate cake. Every time I make it, people ask for the recipe and eat another piece. It’s from Elizabeth David’s French Provincial Cooking. She’s the kind of writer that I want to be when I grow up. If you’re the kind of person that keeps dark chocolate in the house, you’ll probably have all the ingredients to hand.

The ingredient list is short, and surprisingly inexpensive.


  • 4 oz Fairtrade dark chocolate
  • 4 oz butter
  • 3 oz sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of plain flour
  • 3 eggs


  1. Put the chocolate and butter in a low oven to melt (or do it in the microwave, but I find the oven less stressful).
  2. Separate the eggs. Allow the chocolate mixture to cool a little and stir in the sugar and egg yolks. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold in alternating with the sifted flour.
  3. Bake in a greased loaf tin at 160° for about 40 minutes. It will collapse a little in the middle after you take it out, not to worry. It’s soft, oh so soft in the middle. It’s beautiful. Serve it with whipped cream.

For birthdays, I double the mixture, bake in a round flan tin and melt 100g chocolate and mix with cream and pour that over as icing. You get this very professional smooth finish that looks like a sachertorte, but tastes far better (in my apricot-jam-hating opinion).


  1. Can you use milk chocolate in this or are the results not as good with milk rather than dark?

  2. I think dark will be better. If you don’t like really dark chocolate, I recommend something like Bournville which gives an inbetween result. I used to hate dark chocolate, but liked this cake with Bournville.

    But go ahead and try it with milk, it’ll certainly taste well. If you use a recognisable taste, like Cadbury’s or Galaxy I think the flavour comes through…

  3. Sounds like a delicious cake. I’ll have to try it with my chocolate.

  4. Hello my name is cristian, i am sorry but, my commnet has nothing to do with cooking but, is Ruth Hegarty from Galway Ireland. If it is, PLEASE very please can you give her my email address.

  5. Sorry again, i just find out that she is not the ruth i am looking for.

  6. Aw, our poor Ruth. Here was I thinking we’d have our first CheapEats wedding. I hope you find the Ruth you’re looking for, Cristian – unless, of course, you’re mad.

  7. I’m only looking at these comments now – didn’t realise there was a romance in the offing (Dublin Ruth Hegarty)