Sue Quinn’s Salvador Dali-inspired flourless chestnut, chocolate and rum cake

This gorgeously gooey flourless cake was inspired by ‘Chocolate with Rum’, a recipe in Salvador Dalí’s fantastical cookbook Les Dîners de Gala. There’s nothing surreal about this very rich cake, which makes an excellent and easy dessert.

flourless chocolate rum cake
Yuki Sugiura

PREP 45 minutes, plus cooling
COOK 1 hour 25 minutes

300ml dark rum
150g pitted prunes
200g unsalted butter, roughly chopped, plus extra for greasing
200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped
200g caster sugar
200g chestnut purée
3 large eggs, separated
Generous pinch of salt
Cocoa powder, for dusting (optional)
Crème fraîche, to serve

  1. Place the rum and prunes in a pan, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3 and butter and line the base of a 20cm loose-bottomed or springform cake tin with baking paper.
  3. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Remove the bowl from the pan and set aside to cool a little.
  4. Place the butter, sugar, chestnut purée, egg yolks, salt and the prunes with their rum in a food processor and blitz until smooth and creamy. Add the melted, cooled chocolate and blitz again until completely combined. Scrape into a mixing bowl.
  5. Beat the egg whites in a scrupulously clean bowl with electric beaters or in a stand mixer until stiff but not too firm or dry, or you won’t be able to fold them easily into the chocolate mixture.
  6. Beat one-third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to loosen, then gently and gradually fold in the rest – don’t be tempted to beat or you will lose the air. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake tin and smooth the top.
  7. Bake for 1 hour-1 1⁄4 hours: when done, the cake should be dry and firm on top (but not springy, as it will be mousse-like in the centre) and coming away from the edges of the tin.
  8. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes; it will shrink a bit but that is as it should be and will firm up a little as it cools. Release from the tin and sit on a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Dust with sifted cocoa – this isn’t essential but adds a lovely bitter note – and serve with cold crème fraîche.

Now buy the book!

Our recipes are from Cocoa: An Exploration of Chocolate, With Recipes by Sue Quinn, which is published by Quadrille, price £25. To order a copy for £22 until 28 February, go to or call 020 3308 9193. Free p&p on orders over £15.