Exotic Chocolate Cake

I have called this exotic because the cream cheese filling is flavoured with coconut milk — a classic flavouring for sweets in the Far East. The combination of chocolate, cream cheese and coconut milk is truly superlative.


For the Cake

  • 175 g (6 oz) plain chocolate, broken up
  • 5 large eggs (sizes 1), separated
  • 175 g (6 oz) caster sugar
  • 2 rounded tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 rounded teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons warm water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Icing sugar

For the Filling

  • 50 g (2 oz) creamed coconut, crumbled
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz) milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 75 g (3 oz) icing sugar, sifted
  • 250 g (8 oz) cream cheese


Preheat the oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas Mark 4. Grease two 19-20 cm (7½-8 in) deep sandwich tins, and line the base with a disc of baking parchment. Dust with flour. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from the heat.

Put the egg yolks into a large bowl, with the caster sugar and beat until pale and thick. Put the cocoa and cinnamon into a small bowl and gradually stir in the warm water until smooth. Stir into the melted chocolate, then beat the chocolate mixture into the egg yolks. Add the salt to the egg whites in another bowl and whisk until they stand in soft peaks. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.

Pour into the tins, and bake for 25—30 minutes until the cakes are firm to a light touch in the centres – the tops will probably be cracked, which is normal. Leave in the tins to cool – the cakes will sink slightly but this is also normal.

Meanwhile, make the filling. Melt the creamed coconut with the milk and salt, stirring until smooth. Do not boil. Remove from the heat. Beat the icing sugar into the cream cheese. Beat in the coconut milk and leave until cold but do not refrigerate.

When the cakes have cooled, loosen the edges, turn out and remove the paper. Put one cake base-side down on a serving plate and spread the cream cheese mixture on top. Top with the other cake, cracked top uppermost. Sift icing sugar over the top and keep in a cool place, but not the refrigerator, until ready to serve.