I made this cake for my boyfriend’s birthday last year and this year. He loves dark chocolate, chilli and cakes that aren’t too sweet, so this is basically his ideal cake. The first time I made it exactly according to Dan Lepard’s recipe and it was a bit dry. I’ve increased the amounts of wet ingredients and this time round and the cake was perfect. I know the ingredients seem a bit strange – the tahini and salted nuts put me off initially – but they somehow all work together to make a intensely chocolatey, dense, moist cake.
I’ve made it with lime icing before, which is so delicious. The wonderful tartness of the fresh lime really complements the dark chocolate flavour. I couldn’t get hold of any limes the second time I made the cake so I used orange zest instead, and that worked well too.
- 200g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 75g cocoa
- 1½ tsp cinnamon
- 100g cashews
- 3 T tahini
- ¼-½ tsp chilli flakes
- 225g light muscovado or Demerara sugar
- 100g unsalted butter
- 100g dark chocolate
- 2 large free-range eggs
- 200ml cold full cream milk
- zest and juice of two limes or zest of two oranges
Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan-assisted)/350F/gas mark 4.
Line a round, 20cm tin with non-stick baking paper and grease the paper.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa and cinnamon into a bowl.
Grind the nuts finely in a food processor, then add the tahini, chilli and sugar, and mix until combined.
Melt the butter and chocolate in a saucepan and add to the nut mixture along with the eggs. Beat until smooth. Spoon into another bowl, stir in the milk, sift in the dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Pour into the tin and bake for about an hour.
To make the icing you need:
- icing sugar
- luke warm water
- lime juice (fresh is the best)
- lime or orange zest (or both)
squeeze out the juice from two limes, and mix with icing sugar and the water until you get a thick paste. I did not put quantities since you can make it as thick or thin as you like. mix in a bit of lime or orange zest at this stage as well, before spreading the icing over the cake. Whilst it is still wet, sprinkle some more zest on top.