Recipe For Chocolate Fennel Cake

I issued a challenge where you had to use a savoury ingredient in a sweet dish. I have had this recipe for a chocolate fennel cake from the Food and Home Entertaining August 2008 magazine waiting for testing and this was the perfect opportunity. I have decided that gluten free cakes cannot be sugar free as they end up slightly too dense but I am well pleased with the candied fennel. As an aside, I attempted to make the icing with Sugalite, a sugar substitute but it did not work. So, I have made a normal icing, which rendered the fact I had used Willies Cacao and fructose a slight waste of ingredients as the cake needs the icing and I cannot enjoy it.

"Chocolate Fennel Cake"
Chocolate Fennel Cake

Chocolate Fennel Cake

Adapted from Food and Home Entertaining August 2008


    for the cake:
  • 1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 600g good quality dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 300g unsalted butter
  • 12 large eggs, separated
  • 100g caster sugar - I used fructose
  • for the candied fennel:
  • 2 small fennel bulbs, sliced
  • 200g caster sugar – I used fructose
  • 200mls water
  • for the icing:
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground fennel seeds


    for the cake:
  • preheat the oven to 180° Celsius
  • line the base and the sides of 2 x 20cm springform tins with baking paper
  • place the fennel slices on the bases
  • place the chocolate and the butter in a bowl
  • place the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water – do not allow the water to touch the bowl
  • allow to melt thoroughly
  • whisk the egg yolks with 30mls of the sugar for 30 seconds
  • stir in the melted chocolate and mix well
  • beat the egg whites with the remaining sugar until very stiff
  • fold one third of the egg whites into the chocolate mix
  • gently fold in the remainder of the egg whites
  • pour the mixture into the tins
  • bake for 20 – 25 minutes
  • remove from the oven and allow to cool
  • turn onto a wire rack once cooled and place them in the fridge
  • for the candied fennel:
  • place the ingredients into a sauce pan
  • bring to the boil
  • lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes
  • allow to cool
  • for the icing:
  • beat the ingredients together until light a fluffy
  • to assemble:
  • use a hot knife to slice each cake in half
  • place a cake layer on your cake plate
  • use a third of the icing and top with some candied fennel
  • repeat until all the layers are stacked

Cooks Notes:

as you will see, I did not slice the cake in half as I used a larger springform tin and only baked half the measurements

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11 thoughts on “Recipe For Chocolate Fennel Cake

  1. Pingback: Cream of Cauliflower & Fennel Soup | Things My Belly Likes
  2. This sounds interesting…I love fennel but have never used it in a cake! In bread and foccacia yes..always delicious, so my guess mixed with chocolate would be slightly different. I’ve used candied fennel also on a capaccio of thinly sliced salmon and rose pepper. Delicious! Love this twist to your chocolate cake though! x

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