Donna Hay’s dark chocolate pretzel cake

Donna Hay’s dark chocolate pretzel cake is a sweet and savoury delight.

From Modern Baking by Donna Hay


115g unsalted butter, chopped
450g dark chocolate (45-55 per cent), chopped
4 medium eggs, separated
55g caster sugar
2 tsp sea salt flakes
50g store-bought mini-pretzels

1. Preheat the oven to 160C/gas 2½. Line a 22cm round springform tin with nonstick baking paper. Place the butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (the bowl shouldn’t touch the water). Stir until melted and smooth.
2. Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk on high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and whisk until thick. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and whisk for a further 2-3 minutes or until the mixture is thick and glossy.
3. Add the egg yolks and salt to the chocolate mixture and gently fold to combine. In 3 batches, add the egg white mixture to the chocolate mixture and gently fold to combine. Pour into the tin and arrange the pretzels on top. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are cooked when tested with a skewer and the centre is just set. Allow to cool to room temperature in the tin. Refrigerate for 3 hours or until chilled (see note).
4. Remove the cake from the tin and place on a cake stand or plate. Slice to serve.

NOTE If you’re going to be refrigerating this cake for longer than the specified 3 hours, remove it from the fridge 1 hour before serving to allow it to come to room temperature.

Modern Baking by Donna Hay will be published by Fourth Estate on 18 October, price £30. To pre-order a copy for £24 (a 20 per cent discount) until 21 October, visit, or call 0844 571 0640; p&p is free on orders over £15. Donna’s TV series Basics to Brilliance Kids continues on UKTV until 26 October; to be followed by Basics to Brilliance later in the year. To mark the publication of Modern Baking, she will be in London at the end of October for events at Fortnum & Mason ( for details) and The Soho Hotel ( for details). And you can catch Donna on BBC Saturday Kitchen on 3 November.