Wednesday, October 15, 2008

SHF: Chocolate Chilli Fudge Cake

Sat 11 Oct 2008

Apologies for the hiatus in service - too much going out and not enough sitting in!

However, last Saturday I set to making the chocolate chilli fudge cake, which Dan Lepard shared with the world in the Guardian a couple of weeks ago - and it's going to be my contribution to this month's Sugar High Friday, hosted by Dessert First. The theme is spice and this recipe offers two: chilli (the more important, flavourwise!) and cinnamon.

In another first for me, because this recipe is a bit off the wall ... I actually followed the instructions ... sort of. My order is a little different from Mr Lepard's, but that's about as good as I get!

So ... we start by heating the oven to 160C (fan), and greasing and baselining our 23 cm springform tin. The recipe in the paper says to use a square tin while publishing a picture of a round cake. I have NO idea what was going on there ...

For the cake, finely chop (using the Magimix, of course!) 100g of plain cashew nuts. Set the nuts to one side, and then combine 200g of plain flour, 75g of cocoa, 1 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, about 1/2 tsp of chilli flakes (add less if you're nervous!), and 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder (to be honest, as my jar has no label I'm not entirely sure if it's baking powder or bicarb, and I seem to be able to use it when a recipe calls for either with no ill effects ...). Add 225g of light muscovado sugar (I wouldn't start substituting sugars like demerara or caster sugar for this) and 3 tbsp of tahini.

Melt 100g of dark chocolate with 75g of butter in a double boiler and add this to your dry ingredients. Finish by adding 2 large eggs and 175mL of cold milk.

Put the mixture into your cake tin, smooth the top and bake for about an hour.

Leave to cool in the tin for tipping out and leaving on a cake rack to cool properly. To finish, I made some lime icing. The recipe suggested lime water icing: I wasn't really sure what that was, and to be honest, I wasn't convinced about the whole lime thing ... but as Dan Lepard's recipes are usually spot on I kept the faith and made a very simple lime icing.

Who'd have thought I'd complain about too much sunlight!

I melted unsalted butter (probably just under 50g), then, off the heat, mixed in icing sugar and hot water until I had enough icing of the right consistency. I finished it by mixing through freshly grated lime zest.

The verdict: this cake is great! The lime icing really works! The chilli adds extra oomph (and let's face it, who doesn't like the chilli-chocolate combination!), the tahini (another element I thought was a bit weird) adds moisture and texture, the cashew nuts add moisture, texture and weight. It's all good!

Next time I might cook the cake for five minutes less, as it wasn't as fudgy as I was expecting. The original recipe gives no indication about how wet or otherwise you'd expect your skewer to be ... after an hour, there was what I thought was a bit too much moisture, and the extra 5 minutes meant my skewer came out clean. That said - the cake has kept its moisture beautifully and has made a very welcome addition to my lunch box this week! Because the cake is quite high, you get decent sized wedges for your afternoon tea.

I think so many elements of this recipe have so much going for them: a use for tahini (other than hummous!) is always welcome, and the chocolate and lime combination is something I might work at a bit more in future!

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Other "chocolate and" cakes on Eating Leeds: chocolate and red wine, chocolate and coke, chocolate and beetroot.
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Blogger cinabar said...

Wow - that sounds amazing! I love the Chocolate Fudge Cake with Wasabi that Wagamamas do.

12:05 am  
Blogger Nic said...

Oooh, I saw this in The Guardian and am so glad you made it! Looks delicious!

8:45 pm  
Blogger Avory said...

That is a weird combination, but it looks tasty!

9:30 pm  
Blogger Alex said...

Cinabar - I'll have to have a think about incorporating wasabi in cakes/biscuits ... sounds like there's plenty of potential there!

Nicisme - I'm so often seeing great cakes etc in the paper and NEVER making them so it feels like quite an achievement!

Judith - everything about it is weird, isn't it?! Tahini, lime, chocolate, chilli - sounds like it could go so horribly wrong! But it doesn't!

7:55 pm  

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