It seems only right that my celebration of Chocolate Week should contain my submission to We Should Cocoa, the challenge designed to celebrate chocolate in all ways throughout the year. This time, Choclette from Chocolate Log Blog is hosting and she has chosen chilli as the ingredient to pair with chocolate for this month's challenge.
A tricky one, I'm sure you'll agree, but instead of remembering things I'd like it to, my brain is littered with the sparks associated with recipes I've seen and been meaning to make for ages. So when the chilli challenge was announced, this recipe from Dan Lepard immediately popped it's head up and demanded attention. Apparently my memory is pretty long for cake related issues, as this recipe was first posted in September 2008.
I made only minor changes to the recipe - I substituted crunchy peanut butter for the tahini, as I don't have tahini and I do have peanut butter and wanted to use it up. I used the smaller amount of chilli flakes (1/4tsp). I also used the stipulated 8" square tin rather than the pictured round one!!!
The recipe was a little involved to make, with a few different steps, but none of them were difficult. I think the cake was probably done at 1 hour, but I left mine a further 10 minutes, which may have been a mistake...
The chilli heat was a slow build, you couldn't really tell it was there at first, but there was a chilli aftertaste. The predominant taste was of peanuts, and the contrasting lime icing was really delicious and refreshing, I wish there had been more icing to cake - perhaps baking in a shallower tin would help here. The cake was very crumbly in texture, and I don't know whether this is how it was meant to be, or whether I'd overbaked it, but it was tricky to pick up and eat! It was really well received at work, and I had a recipe request (with the requestee being directed to the Guardian website!) too!
All in all, not my favourite chocolate cake, but definitely an interesting and different kind of chocolate cake for the more adventurous baker/eater of chocolate cakes!