Putting this cake together has been a labour of love. It’s been through a load of variations and this one is pretty much perfect – which makes it special enough for a birthday. Customise the cake to suit tastes – add more chilli if you like more heat. Go for the fudge icing for a sweeter tooth or the bitter chocolate for a sophisticated taste and finish.
For the base
  • 150g Divine 70% Dark Chocolate
  • ½ teaspoon coffee granules
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes (increase if wish), crushed with pestle & mortar/ bash with end of a rolling pin
  • 125g butter
  • 125g Fairtrade caster sugar
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 75g self raising flour
  • 1 pinch bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons Divine Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tablespoon rum or orange juice or water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Peel of half a medium Fairtrade orange, finely grated
For the glaze
  • 2 tablespoons of good orange marmalade
For the fudge icing
For the bitter chocolate icing
Cook's Tip
  • This cake is intense and rich with a warmth from the chilli, it’s not as spicy as you might think so don’t be afraid of it, it totally works.


Preheat the oven to 160°C 
Line and grease a 20-22 cm tin (springform or loose based). 


  1. Melt chocolate in a bain marie by placing the pieces in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, not allowing the bowl to touch the water.
  2. Add the coffee granules and chilli. Let the mix melt then stir with a wooden spoon.
  3. Remove bowl and leave to cool. Meanwhile cream the softened butter with the caster sugar in a food mixer or the proper way, with a wooden spoon, until light and white.
  4. Gently stir in the cooled chocolate and 4 egg yolks. Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder into the bowl and then add the grated orange rind.
  5. Fold the mix gently together with a metal spoon using big scooping movements. Add the rum, vanilla and water. 
  6. Whisk 5 egg whites until stiff (don’t overwhisk). Add to the mixture by beating in the first tablespoon to loosen the consistency. Then fold the rest in very gently using a metal spoon. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect as it can be hard to combine the two.
  7. Pour the mix into the tin and bang it into the oven for 45-50 minutes (check after 35 – ovens vary!).
  8. To test it, prick with a cocktail stick. It should come out clean. Don’t worry if the top of the cake has cracked a bit – you’ll be icing it up. Remove and place on a cooling rack. Take out of the tin after 5 minutes.
  9. Leave to cool. Brush the glaze on while still a bit warm. To make the glaze, put the marmalade into a saucepan and melt over a low heat until it’s runny. Brush this onto the cooling cake base with a pastry brush. 
To make the fudge icing
  1. Combine the sifted icing sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl.
  2. Melt the butter and water and pour into the icing sugar mix.
  3. Beat until combined. It should be easily spreadable but not runny so you might not need all the liquid.
  4. Cover the top of the cake and sides generously with the icing, tip it then finish using a spatula. Go for a smooth or a rough finish. Y
  5. ou can decorate with cherries, grated chocolate, crumbled flake or chocolate curls (peel from a bar of Divine with a potato peeler). Don’t forget the candles.
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