Philip Johnson confesses that desserts have long been a passion, which he has indulged to the delight of diners at his city eatery, bistro e’cco, and at last he shares some of those mouth-watering delicacies in his new book, Decadence. Here is one flourless cake recipe to try….


  • 400g (2 2/3 cups) chopped
  • good-quality dark (bittersweet) chocolate, such as couverture
  • 6 eggs
  • 95g (1/2 cup) muscovado
  • sugar (or dark brown sugar if unavailable)
  • 2 tblspns dark rum
  • 250ml thick (double/heavy) cream
  • 250ml (1 cup) pouring (whipping) cream, whipped
  • fresh raspberries, to decorate
  • icing (confectioners’) sugar, for dusting


Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line the base and side of a 26cm spring-form cake tin with baking paper. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and allow to melt, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

Put the eggs, sugar and rum in a separate heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, whisking constantly until the mixture doubles in volume. Remove from the heat. Fold in the cooled chocolate, then fold in the thick cream, mixing well to combine. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin.

Half-fill a large roasting tin with hot water and place on the bottom rack of the oven. (This will create a steam effect in the oven to help the cake cook evenly.) Transfer the cake to the oven and bake for 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the tin before turning out.

Top the cake with the whipped cream, decorate with raspberries and dust with icing sugar.