Mezcal Chili Chocolate Cake

 

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Think of a chocolate cake so rich, it’s barely a step away from a Swiss chocolate truffle and with a texture to rival Venetian velvet. Then add the fiery elements of chilli, mezcal, cinnamon, orange zest and a bursting succulent centre of ruby red cherries. The ensuing volcano of intoxicating, molten goodness is truly overwhelming—I’ll be honest, there’s no holding back in the name of modesty in this recipe. Break this one out only when you are ready to go all the way, and I mean ALL the way.

 

YOU WILL NEED:    

  • 200g 70% cocoa chocolate
  • 50g butter
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp flour (I used gluten-free flour)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • A good pinch of salt

 

For the orange-chilli jam

  • Zest of 2 oranges—slivered
  • 2 large red chillies—deseeded and slivered
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Juice from 1 orange
  • 1 cup water

 

For the mezcal glaze

  • ½ cup mezcal
  • Juice of ½ orange
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup cherries—halved and pitted
  • Double cream

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Begin by making the orange-chilli jam. Over a low flame, add all ingredients to a large stainless steel pan—bring water to a simmer, stirring so the sugar melts. Keep on a low simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until a slightly sticky almost marmalade consistency is achieved. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Butter 4 medium ramekins, then dust with flour.

Bring a small amount of water to a low simmer in a medium-sized saucepan. Place a metal bowl over the top of the pan and crumble in the dark chocolate, along with the butter and cinnamon. Whisk constantly until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and set aside. In another large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar for a good 5-8 minutes or until it achieves a ‘creamed’ texture. Add the flour, whisk through, and then gently fold through the chocolate mixture with a wooden spoon, until just combined. Pour the mixture into the buttered ramekins, leaving just a little space to rise. Dollop a small spoon of the chilli-orange jam and a few cherries into the centre of each little cake and press gently just below the surface—don’t push them in too far, remembering you’ll be flipping the cakes upside down in the final step. Bake on the middle shelf for 8 minutes.

While they’re in the oven, swiftly make the mescal glaze, by simply combining all ingredients in a saucepan and cooking down over a low flame for a few 3-5 minutes. If you want it to taste quite freshly of Mezcal—add a splash more!

Once you remove these volcanoes of passionate chocolate delight, coax them oh-so gently from their ramekins right away, and serve with a dollop of fresh double cream, some more orange-chilli jam if you so desire, and perhaps a sprinkling of cocoa powder for an added dusting of bitter. Dive in and indulge!

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