Vegetarian food blog featuring delicious and nutritious whole food recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Chilli, Chestnut & Chocolate Cake

Dessert, Gluten Free, Loaf Cakes | 18th January 2010 | By

A celebratory cake was needed for the 1st anniversary of CT’s blog Radix. So, it’s chocolate and chestnuts again! This time with the added bonus of chilli – our own dried and crushed “fatalli”, a particularly vicious yellow variety. I used the already tried and tested Nigella recipe from How to be a Domestic Goddess. As I had half a tin of chestnut puree left over from the biscuits, I made only half the quantity, which made quite a nice sized cake for two.

Here’s what I did:

  • Melted 100g 85% dark chocolate and left to cool slightly.
  • Creamed 75g unsalted butter with 25g dark brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Mixed in 200g (or thereabouts) of sweetened chestnut puree.
  • Added 3 egg yolks, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tsp brandy and the chocolate and stirred until combined.
  • Whisked 3 eggs whites until stiff, then added 25g caster sugar and whisked again.
  • Folded egg whites into the cake mix 1/3 at a time.
  • Poured into a 2lb silicone loaf thingy and baked at 180C for 30 mins.
  • Left to cool for 20 mins, then turned out and dusted with cocoa powder.

Usually I serve this warm as a dessert when we’ve got friends over, but I have to say it works pretty well as a cake too. It rose spectacularly, but like most soufflé type concoctions, it sank almost immediately I took it out of the oven – it still tasted delicious though. The texture is distinctly truffle like, rich and dense yet paradoxically light. The taste is more delicate than one would associate with chestnuts, but none the worse for that. As we only used a very small quantity of the fatalli, a pleasant glow resulted rather than the usual meltdown we normally experience when using this chilli.


Other Chestnut Recipes You Might Like

For more plain (ish) cake recipes, why not take a look at my Large Cakes category? I have a lot to choose from and you’re bound to find something there you’ll like.


  1. Kath

    19th January 2010 at 6:33 am

    This sounds like a fantastic combination. How much dried chilli did you put in ( and what method did you use to dry them in the end?). Radix looks like a whole new world ( and vocabulary).

  2. Suelle

    19th January 2010 at 9:03 am

    Chilli sounds like an inspired addition to the already wonderful chocolate and chestnut combination. Great idea and good looking cake!

  3. Katie

    19th January 2010 at 10:10 am

    This sounds wonderful. I love the combination of chestnut and chocolate together.

  4. nipitinthebud

    20th January 2010 at 11:15 pm

    happy birthday Radix – long may you thrive in the blogosphere. N x

  5. Foodie with Little Thyme!

    21st January 2010 at 4:04 am

    I see that you bake with chestnuts a bit and I’ve been looking all over for chestnut flour. Any ideas?

  6. Chele

    21st January 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Brill idea for using up your stash of chestnuts. I know somebody who would love this cake ;0)

  7. Choclette

    22nd January 2010 at 4:33 pm

    Kath – as it was a particularly hot variety of chilli, I only used about 1/8 of teaspoonful. We dried them these chillies in a rack over our night storage heater in the end, which worked quite well.

    Suelle – admittedly not the most elegant of cakes, but I was really pleased with the result.

    Katie – as you can probably tell, I’m going through a chocolate & chestnut phase at the moment.

    Thank you Dark

    Thanks Nic

    Foodie with Little Thyme – no I’ve not yet come across chestnut flour although I know quite a few people use it. When in doubt, I usually try the internet.

    Chele – sadly stash of chestnuts has now run out!

  8. Kath

    23rd January 2010 at 4:05 pm

    That sounds like a good way of drying your chillies, glad it worked. Been to Waitrose and stocked up on spelt flour and a lot more besides ( I knew that would happen!). Thanks for the tip. Just a note to Foodie with Little Thyme I spotted chestnut flour in the Special Selection section of my local Sainsburys just this week so it might be worth trying there.

  9. Foodycat

    23rd January 2010 at 5:16 pm

    If I am going to eat chocolate cake, I really like this sort of dense truffley one – Delia’s fallen chocolate souffle is a favourite.

    Did you raise the fatalli from seed? We did well with serranos last year but I want to try another variety this year and vicious and yellow sounds excellent!

  10. Wendy

    29th January 2010 at 8:55 pm

    Ohhhhhhhhh…. *moans with delight* three of my favourite things…..

  11. Choclette

    30th January 2010 at 9:09 pm

    Kath – Glad Waitrose didn’t let you down and have noted you’ve been using that spelt.

    FoodyCat – We did raise it from seed and have kept it going 4 years now. It goes outside in the summer and comes in during the winter – have to say it’s looking a bit sad at the moment, but am hoping it will perk up again in a couple of months. We didn’t save any seed this year though, otherwise I could send you some.

    Wendy – that’s how I usually feel when I look at your blog.

  12. realfoodlover

    31st January 2010 at 10:48 am

    This is a lovely recipe. I love no-flour cakes. I once spent ages on the web looking for a recipe like this.

    Chestnut puree is a brilliant addition. The recipe I am familiar with, and which I had been searching for, uses ground almonds.

  13. Wendy

    11th May 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Aha…. I knew I had spotted that you had the perfect recipe! After a bizarre night out involving Turkish friends, English pubs, a Japanese restaurant and later a French bistro for more wine and chilli chocolate cake… I was telling them about your blog and promising that I would make a cake for them as I knew the perfect recipe! Thanks, Choclette!

  14. Choclette

    11th May 2010 at 7:21 pm

    Thank you Wendy, sounds like a great multicultural evening was had. Hope to see the cake on your blog at some point soon.

  15. Shelley Jessup

    10th March 2013 at 1:54 am

    This sounds so good, my tastebuds would be in heaven!!! My brother is really good at cake baking & would also enjoy this so Im passing this onto him.

  16. Bernadette Willis

    29th July 2014 at 8:13 am

    I’ve got to try this, my mouth’s watering with the thought of it.


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