Chocolate and chilli is an absolutely delicious combination that originated in Mexico during the time of the Aztecs and Maya. In savoury dishes such as chilli con carne the chocolate is used to give richness and flavour, whereas in this cake recipe, the chilli is used to enhance the taste of the chocolate. This recipe is courtesy of Le Creuset. It might surprise you, but their casserole pots aren’t just great for slow cooking casseroles. In fact, cakes and pastries bake to perfection thanks to cast iron’s excellent heat distribution and retention properties. A clean round casserole also doubles as a handy storage container.


Serves 6-8

1 x Le Creuset Cast Iron 20cm Round Casserole

Oven: 170°C / 325°F / Gas mark 3
Fan oven: 150°C

1. Set a heatproof bowl over a pan of hot, but not boiling, water. Break the chocolate into the bowl in small pieces and leave to melt.

2. Mix together the softened butter with the sugar and vanilla extract, beat in the eggs one at a time adding a couple of table spoons of the flour after the first 2 eggs to prevent the mixture from separating.

3. Sift the flour, cocoa and cinnamon into the mixture and beat together well before mixing in the melted chocolate, followed by the fresh chopped chilli.

4. Grease the inside of the casserole with some butter and dust with a little flour.

5. Pour the cake mixture into the casserole, smooth over the top and bake in the centre of the oven without the lid for 50-60 minutes.

Note – When cooked the top should be raised and crusted, a cocktail stick should come away cleanly when inserted into the centre. If not cook for a further 5 minutes and check again. Do not overcook the cake or it will become dry. Allow the cake to cool before turning it out.

6. For the icing, melt the chocolate and cream together in a sauce pan over a very low heat. Whisk together, sift in the icing sugar and whisk again until smooth and glossy. Cool until the icing is thick and spreadable.

7. Split the cake in two halves, spread the base half with some of the icing and replace the top. Coat the cake all over with the remaining icing.

8. Serve with fresh raspberries and vanilla ice cream