Isaac Carew’s dirty chocolate cake

This is one of my signature dishes: a really basic chocolate cake recipe that’s extra-indulgent thanks to all of the chocolate sauce and delicious walnuts. It also looks really elegant with raspberry dust. This is a special take on a chocolate cake I’ve had on every single birthday since I was born – although this one hasn’t got Smarties dotted on the top highlighting my age!

dirty chocolate cake
Susan Bell


100g unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
2 large eggs
3 tbsp cocoa powder
65g plain flour
seeds of 1 vanilla pod
80g milled walnuts
big handful of fresh raspberries
15g freeze-dried raspberry dust or whole freeze-dried raspberries


70g unsalted butter, softened
200g milk chocolate
100g icing sugar
100ml double cream

1. You will need a 20cm cake tin. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease the tin and line with baking parchment, then grease the parchment on the sides of the tin.

2. Put a small saucepan of water on to boil. Set a heatproof bowl on top, then add the butter and allow to melt. Remove from the heat and add the sugar and eggs, then whisk together.

3. Add the cocoa, flour, vanilla and milled walnuts. Mix to combine. Pour the mixture into the lined tin and bake for 15-20 minutes. Once the cake has baked and cooled, make the icing.

4. To make the icing, set another heatproof bowl over the boiling water in the pan and add the butter and chocolate. Let them melt together, then add the icing sugar and double cream. Whisk until smooth.

5. Spread the icing over the cake and top with the fresh raspberries and raspberry dust or freeze-dried raspberries.

The Dirty Dishes by Isaac Carew will be published by Bluebird on 7 March, price £20. To order a copy for £16 (a discount of 20 per cent) until 17 March visit or call 0844 571 0640; p&p is free on orders over £15.