Chocolate sponge cake

Chocolate sponge cake

PS Desserts
60 cm x 40 cm slab
Mark Roper

This is a delicate cake that contains no flour. Like the Biscuit joconde, it is made with whisked whites and the method is the same. I use it as the base for mousse cakes and include it in my Tiramisu for a rich and decadent touch. It is also delicious rolled up with Crème chantilly and the fruit of your choice.


Quantity Ingredient
250g best-quality dark couverture, finely chopped or grated (or use buttons), (see note)
60g butter, cubed
60g egg yolk, (about 3)
250g eggwhite
80g caster sugar


  1. Making the batter

    Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Line a large heavy-based baking tray with a silicone baking mat or baking paper.
  2. Finely chop or grate the chocolate and melt in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Let more than half of the chocolate melt before you give it a stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
  3. When the chocolate has melted, turn off the heat and add the butter. Stir to combine and keep warm.
  4. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolk with a fork.
  5. Place the eggwhite in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk until white and foamy and the whisk leaves a faint trace.
  6. Reduce the speed, sprinkle in the sugar and continue whisking until the eggwhite mixture holds “soft peaks”.
  7. Add one-third of the eggwhite mixture to the chocolate mixture along with the yolks. Using a rubber spatula, fold the ingredients together thoroughly. This will loosen the batter and make it easier to fold in the remaining eggwhite mixture without deflating it.
  8. Then gently fold in the remaining eggwhite mixture.
  9. Pour the batter onto the baking mat or the prepared tray. Use a palette knife to spread the batter to an even thickness of about 1.5 cm.
  10. To bake

    Bake for 8–10 minutes or until just springy to the touch. Slide the cake and baking mat or paper off the tray to cool completely.
  11. Trim the edges of the cake so you have a neat rectangle. Turn the cake upside down onto a piece of baking paper and gently peel off the baking mat or paper. Use as directed in the recipe.

Notes on chocolate

  • The quality of chocolate available has improved enormously. Gone are the days when “cooking” chocolate was used for cakes and mousses. Today couverture chocolate is readily found, even at the humble corner store.


  • This cake is best used on the day of baking. You can freeze it for up to 1 month, wrapped well in plastic wrap.
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