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
- 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).
- 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.
- Add the coffee granules and chilli. Let the mix melt then stir with a wooden spoon.
- 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.
- 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.
- Fold the mix gently together with a metal spoon using big scooping movements. Add the rum, vanilla and water.
- 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.
- Pour the mix into the tin and bang it into the oven for 45-50 minutes (check after 35 – ovens vary!).
- 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.
- 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
- Combine the sifted icing sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl.
- Melt the butter and water and pour into the icing sugar mix.
- Beat until combined. It should be easily spreadable but not runny so you might not need all the liquid.
- 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
- 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.