Chocolate walnut cake from Portugal

“The chocolate cake brought to the office is VERY nice.
Not too sweet, perfect.
Thank you.”

Thus read the appreciative email which arrived in my inbox. I wasn’t surprised that the cake was a hit because the inspiration for it came from the book by Carlos Braz Lopez, producer of The Best Chocolate Cake In The World (follow this link for a post on that).

The good thing about this chocolate walnut cake is that it is VERY simple. And I’ve altered it a bit to make it even simpler.

It’s very good served with berry fruit compôte and crème fraîche. In fact, frankly, without these it’s just a tad too plain for me. Or you could consider cutting the cake horizontally and spreading some raspberry jam in the middle.

Recipe for simply perfect Portuguese chocolate cake

Serves about 12


  • 3 eggs
  • 4 x 100g/4 oz bar of chocolate, 70% or more
  • 170g/¾ cup golden caster sugar
  • 200g/8 oz butter
  • 60g/½ cup plain flour, plus a little extra for dusting
  • 300 ml/1¼ cups double cream
  • walnuts, or raspberries for decoration
  • berry fruit compôte and crème fraîche to serve


  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  2. Separate the yolks from the whites of the eggs – put the whites in a large dry mixing bowl and whisk until stiff.
  3. Melt one of the bars of the chocolate in a bain marie.
  4. Butter a spring-form cake tin, and lightly dust it (using a sieve) with flour.
  5. Using an electric mixer, cream half the butter (100g/4 oz) together with the sugar in another large mixing bowl.
  6. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating in between. Then add the melted chocolate, beat, and the flour, beat.
  7. Fold in the stiff egg whites, pour the cake mix into the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile make the icing: bring the cream to a gentle simmer. Break up the rest of the chocolate and break it into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Take the cream off the heat, and pour over the broken chocolate. Stir in the rest of the butter.
  9. Let the icing cool a little and then, while still easy to work with, cover the cake.
  10. Decorate with the walnuts.
This post is dedicated to Sandrine Farr.
walnut cake recipe
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