This recipe is from Mrs. Esther Strom, of Golders Green, London, the mother of Zippy, my graphic artist …which of course means it's incredible!


  • 13 eggs, separated
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 lb. / 500 grams ground hazelnuts or 4¼ cups ground nuts


Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C. Separate the eggs, setting the yolks aside. Beat the whites until they are just beginning to turn white. Add in the sugar gradually. Lower the mixing speed and add in the hazelnuts. Spread this out on a parchment-paper-lined oven baking tray, about 10x15 inches, and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven.


  • ½ lb. / 450 grams chocolate
  • 2 tsp. coffee, dissolved in a drop of hot water
  • egg yolks set aside from the base recipe
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 cup of oil


Melt together the chocolate, sugar, coffee, and oil in a double boiler over a medium flame. Beat the yolks until they are thick and fluffy. Add in the sugar and oil and beat some more. Add in the melted chocolate mixture and stir together. Spread this on top of the baked cake base and place it back into the oven to bake for another half hour. The cake will still be moist and will start to "crack" a bit on top when it is ready. Remove from the oven promptly and cut when cooled.


This makes a large oven-size tray and, because it's very rich, you should serve it sliced into very small bite sized pieces. It's such a winner that we make it during the year as well. It's actually quick to make because while the base is baking you prepare the next layer. In the photo shown here we tried another way of serving it. There was nothing left when the photo was finished….