Hot Pepper Cake with Chilli Ganache

Chocolate at home

With just 6 days to go until we publish the wonderful Chocolate at Home by Will Torrent, we have a totally scrumdiddlyumptious recipe for the weekend for you! We’re sharing Will’s Hot Pepper Cake with Chilli Ganache. What’s that you say, chilli in a cake? Chilli in a cake? We know. But seriously, give this one a try. 

Chocolate and chilli is one of those combinations you just can’t ignore. I’ve given it a different new twist by using a hot pepper sauce and topping the cake with slithers of candied chilli. It’s not for the faint-hearted, but sure does pack a punch in the flavour territory. Try making it with hot piri piri sauce for something completely different. Go on, add as much as you dare!



250 g/2 cups plain flour, plus extra for dusting

65 g/2/3 cup cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting

100 g/3/4 cup dark/bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

350 g/1 1/4 cups demerara sugar

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

250 ml/1 cup extra virgin

olive oil

2 teaspoons Tabasco/hot pepper sauce, plus extra for the ganache

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


350 g/3 cups dark/bittersweet chocolate (70%), chopped

175 ml/ 3/4 cup double/heavy cream

25 g/1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 rounded tablespoon

light brown sugar


1 red chilli

2 tablespoons caster/granulated sugar

a 20-cm/8-inch springform cake pan, greased and lined with baking parchment

baking sheet, lined withbaking parchment

Serves 6–8


Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

Mix together 2 teaspoons of plain/all-purpose flour and cocoa and use to dust the inside of the lined cake pan, tapping out the excess.

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir until smooth, then remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

In a large bowl sift together the remaining flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Add the sugar, beaten eggs, olive oil, Tabasco/hot pepper sauce, vanilla, melted chocolate and 250 ml/1 cup water, and mix until thoroughly blended.

Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 45 minutes, until the top is no longer shiny and has formed a light crust – the inside will still be slightly soft.

Let the cake cool for at least 15 minutes before removing from the pan and  transferring to a wire cooling rack. Leave the oven on.

Prepare the ganache – tip the chopped chocolate into a bowl. Heat the cream, butter, brown sugar and a few drops of Tabasco/hot pepper sauce in a small pan until boiling, stir until smooth, then pour over the chopped chocolate. Leave for 2 minutes, stir until smooth and leave to cool and thicken slightly.

Meanwhile, make the garnish. Thinly slice the chilli and roll in the sugar. Place the chilli slices on the lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for 5–10 minutes or until the sugar begins to crystallize. Once this has happened, place the chilli slices back in the sugar to add even more crunch.

Place the cooled cake on a serving plate and coat the top and sides with the ganache.

Decorate with the candied chillies.


For more chocolatey recipes, check out Chocolate At Home by Will Torrent.