If you tried to access the blog yesterday, you might have noticed that the maintenance sign was up. It was time to tighten a few screws and give everything a fresh coat of paint. Now, I know that it’s not necessary to take everything offline to do this kind of overhaul but to me, it felt kind of necessary – indicative of a moment in time in which I find myself. A period of rebuilding. It kind of represents the weekend I’ve just had where I’ve slept a lot and spent a lot of time looking inwards.
It has been a tough couple of years for me and my family. My beloved grandmother passed away, followed closely by Frank, her partner for a couple of decades. My health has not been great and I’ve spent more time in doctor’s rooms, emergency departments and hospital beds than I care to think about. There have been massive highs and troublesome lows and at times I have found myself thinking ‘stop the world, I want to get off’. It’s been a tough slog but I feel like maybe I’m starting to turn a corner now, like I’m through the worst of it and things, while they will probably never return to normal (what even is ‘normal’), they will start to feel less suffocating – a new kind of normal. It makes sense that this would coincide with the gradual return of spring, doesn’t it?
You’ll notice a few little changes around the place here, but everything is still as it was, just a bit fresher and hopefully a little more mobile friendly. There might be a few gremlins lurking around so if you see one, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I’m working towards putting together a list of all my recipes and at some point I’d like to release an e-book with some of my faves to reward you guys for sticking with me through all of the turbulence.
This chilli chocolate bundt cake is a bit of a doozy and is based on an old Nigella recipe that I’m sure many of you are familiar with. It was a smash hit with those who got to eat it. Sour cream seems to add a fluffiness you can’t get with milk and the chilli adds a little kick that lingers for just a moment. It’s not like eating a piece of cake with a side order of spicy laksa or vindaloo, I can assure you. It is so subtle that if you’re not looking for it you might not even notice it – so go on, live a little.
To ‘drizzle’ I recommend getting the glucose syrup, it seems unnecessary but I found that the chocolate was glossier and stayed a little soft which was the perfect pair when drizzled over the top of this seriously luscious cake. If you choose not to use it, everything will still be delicious.
- 175g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 200 grams caster sugar
- 200 grams plain flour
- 1tspn baking powder
- ½ tspn bicarb soda
- 40 grams baking cocoa
- ¾ tspn cayenne pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped
- 150ml sour cream
- Butter and flour for greasing the pan
- ½ block of chilli chocolate (about 50g)
- 1 tspn butter
- 1 tspn glucose syrup
- It is best to use ingredients when they are room temp, so get everything out about an hour before you’re ready to cook.
- Heat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
- Spray a bundt tin with cooking spray and then brush over the surface with a pastry brush to make sure the entire surface is coated.
- Dust the pan lightly with flour and gently tap it on the bench to make sure everything is coated.
- In a stand mixed cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
- While the butter is mixing, sift together the flour, bi-carb, baking powder, cocoa and cayenne pepper.
- Return to the mixer and turn to low. Add eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla and sour cream.
- Add the flour mix a tbspn (or so) at a time and mix until just combined.
- Give everything a final stir with a spatula and then pour into the prepared bund tin.
- Rap the tin firmly on the counter to remove any air bubbles and then pop in the oven to bake.
- Bake for approximately 35 minutes (or until cooked) – a bundt thermometer is a really handy purchase!
- Remove from the oven and allow to sit for exactly ten minutes (set a timer!).
- At the ten minute, flip the tin over onto a cooling rack and firmly tap around the top of the tin to loosen your cake. It should just fall out if you’re prepared the tin correctly.
- While your cake is cooling prepare the chocolate drizzle:
- Melt the chocolate, butter and syrup together in a bain-marie or double boiler.
- Once melted remove from the heat and stir well to combine.
- Pour chocolate mixture into a piping bag and drizzle over the cake.
- Allow to set and serve.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge.