Donal Skehan is a home cook, food writer and television presenter who has written five cookbooks. He presents the TV show Kitchen Hero on RTÉ One in Ireland, Grandma's Boy on FOX International and is a judge on BBC's Junior MasterChef.

A deep dark chocolate cake is the perfect dessert to celebrate easter with. This one is unique in that it doesn’t require flour to bind it and instead relies on ground almonds which makes it gluten free but also results in a rich and moist finish. With a glossy chocolate glaze and a topping of toasted hazelnuts this cake will be a true showstopper.

Serves 8


8oz dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely chopped

4½ butter, diced

6oz caster sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4oz ground almonds

6 large eggs, separated

For the chocolate glaze:

4oz of good quality dark chocolate

1oz of butter

2oz of icing sugar, sifted

⅓ of double cream

3oz of hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 8 inch diameter spring-form tin with baking parchment.

  2. For the mud pie, melt the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl sitting over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Remove the bowl from the heat and mix in the sugar, vanilla extract and ground almonds with a spatula. Stir through the egg yolks, one at a time, mixing after each addition, until you have a thick batter. Put the egg whites in a standing food mixer (or use an electric hand-held mixer in a bowl) and whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add the egg whites to the chocolate batter and fold through gently until just combined.

  3. Pour the chocolate batter into the prepared cake tin and place in the oven to bake for about 35 minutes until it is firm but with a slight wobble. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to sit on a wire rack to cool in its tin. Before removing the tin to cool completely.

  4. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl sat over a pan of just simmering water. When melted, remove from the heat, whisk in the icing sugar and the cream.
Allow to cool until the mixture becomes thick enough to leave a figure of eight on the surface. Pour over the chocolate mud pie and then sprinkle with hazelnuts. Leave to set before slicing and serving.

Donal demonstrates how to make this chocoholic delight in the video below. Check out his Facebook page & website for more culinary tips, recipes and food travels.