Thursday, 31 May 2012

Foodie Pen Pal Parcel - Flourless Chocolate Chilli Cake

So it’s foodie pen pal time again and as another month of exciting gourmet post passes I find myself getting increasingly excited about the whole process. This month I had a bit of a challenge sending a gluten free vegan parcel to Nicky at kabochafashionista, but the challenge suited my blog perfectly and I had great fun sourcing suitable snacks for Nicky as well as making some spiced ginger biscuits she could enjoy (recipe to follow shortly). I then received my parcel from another Nikki and look at the delights I received….

A Mauritian Curry Kit – well I love a curry, but haven’t tried a Mauritian variety before so am looking forward to trying this one.

Peppersmith fresh mints – Nikki chose these because the unusual but refreshing lemon and mint combination and I have to agree that they really are amazingly refreshing (and come in such a cute box too!).

Dried mango – One of my favourite fruits and fair trade too so a great choice with this one.

Corn Snacks – Nikki had tried something similar in Ecuador and I have certainly enjoyed munching on these.

Sweet ‘n’ Salty popcorn – I have to admit that I am normally a salty popcorn fan and avoid the sweet stuff but this provided the perfect balance of the two flavours and was seriously moreish.

Rainbow Drops – This was a proper throw back to my childhood, I used to love these things…woot for the crazy colours.

Dried chillies – These were actually bought in by Nikki in Spain last year, so super exciting to get a continental addition to the parcel!

So thanks Nikki for all of the exciting goodies….I have a feeling I may have developed a new addiction to sweet ‘n’ salty popcorn!!

I also took some inspiration from the chillies and decided to make a flourless chocolate chilli cake. Although flour isn’t directly used in this recipe it isn’t actually wheat or gluten free because it does contain breadcrumbs!! But using breadcrumbs does provide a slightly different texture from a normal sponge cake and the very slight chilli flavour combines perfectly with the dark chocolate in this recipe.


1 dried chilli
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon warm water
100g dark chocolate
4 large eggs
100g  caster sugar
Pinch of sea salt
30g cocoa powder
40ml crème fraiche
80g white bread crumbs

Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg C / 350 deg F

Line a small loaf tin with lightly buttered greaseproof paper.

Split the chilli in half and remove the seeds. Then chop finely and blitz in a food processor along with the cayenne pepper and a tablespoon of warm water to form a paste. Pass the paste through a fine sieve to remove any large bits of the chilli and put to one side.

Break the chocolate into a heat proof bowl and place the bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water in the pan. When the chocolate begins to melt stir occasionally until lump free and glossy.

Once melted remove the chocolate from the heat, allow to cool slightly and then mix in the chilli paste and crème fraiche until well combined.

Separate the eggs into 2 bowls.

Whisk 50g of the sugar with the egg yolks until thick and creamy, then fold in the melted chocolate and chilli mix, salt, cocoa powder and breadcrumbs.

In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff and then gradually whisk in the remaining 50g sugar until glossy.

Then gradually add the egg whites to the chocolate mix gently folding the two mixtures together.  When folding the egg whites into the chocolate mixture add a spoonful at a time gently turning the mixture over so that the two sets of ingredients become combined without losing all of the air from the egg whites.

Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and cook in the centre of the oven for 35-40 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and leave in the tin to cool before loosening the edges with a knife and turn out the cake.

Dust liberally in cocoa powder before serving, great served with a dollop of any  crème fraiche you may have left over!


  1. Replies
    1. Be warned it is highly addictive stuff!!! :o)

  2. Looks like a great package! And I'm intrigued by the idea of a cake with breadcrumbs....

    1. Next time you have bread to use up you should give it a works surprisingly well :o)

  3. Replies
    1. Well I took it into work yesterday and my colleagues seemed to enjoy didn't last long!!!

  4. The sweet and salty combination is new to me but I immediately became addicted (salted caramel anyone?) and am now spreading the love. Plus popcorn is dangerously addictive whatever the flavour, I find! Glad you liked everything. And it's great to see the chillies being put to use already, I know it's becoming quite a fashionable combination but I've never yet quite had the guts to combine chilli and chocolate.


    1. I do adore salted caramel so that could well explain my new found love of the popcorn! And I must admit I haven't tried baking with chilli and chocolate before so was a bit on the conservative side with the addition of chilli so it wasn't too strong a flavour...maybe next time I will be a bit braver and add a bit more!!! But thanks again the parcel was fantastic :o)

  5. Ooh what an interesting recipe, and what a great parcel! Love the chilis from Spain, a nice touch there. And the Rainbow Drops, of course - total childhood favourite :)

  6. What a great parcel! And I love that it inspired you to make such a delicious looking cake!