Tate Etc

Taste Etc: Ruth Rogers

Pressed chocolate cake for Philip Guston

Philip Guston

Philip Guston Painting, Smoking. Eating 1973 Stedeljik Museum, Amsterdam © The Estate of Philip Guston, courtesy Hauser & Wirth

The painter Philip Guston was a close friend of our family in the 1960s, and I have fond childhood memories of meals together with him and his wife Musa in our home in Woodstock, New York. No matter what we ate, we always finished with a dessert. My favourite was my mother Sylvia’s flourless chocolate cake – a recipe close to this one.

Pressed chocolate cake for Philip Guston

Serves 10

› Unsalted butter for the tin

› 400g best-quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces

› 300g unsalted butter

› 10 eggs, separated

› 225g caster sugar

› 4 tbsp cocoa powder

Preheat the oven to 180oC / 160oC fan. Butter and line a 30 × 7.5cm round cake tin with greaseproof paper.

Melt the chocolate with the butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (the base of the bowl should not touch the water). Remove the bowl from the pan and cool a little, then whisk in the egg yolks. Add the sugar and cocoa powder and mix well.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks.

Fold into the chocolate mixture, a third at a time.

Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the cake has risen like a soufflé and is slightly set.

Remove from the oven. Place a piece of greaseproof paper on top of the cake. Then take a plate that fits exactly inside the tin and place it on top of the paper. Press down firmly and weight the plate. Leave to cool for 30 minutes before turning out. Cool completely before serving.

At the River Café, we serve this with zabaglione ice cream.

Painting, Smoking, Eating is included in Philip Guston until 25 February 2024.

Ruth Rogers is a chef and co-founder of the River Café in London.