Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Chocolate~Chilli~Pecan Mini Cakes

chocolate cake

To the naive palate, cheese is mind numbingly bland. But with few tries, one would know that there are many subtle flavors even in cheese blandness. Same thing with chillies. They are hot, but there is remarkable variation of “heat” among chillies and within any given chilli type. When added to taste, chillies would bring incredible flavor to all types of foods. One example that I recently found out is chocolate. The South and Central American culture often combine cocoa and chillies in recipes and their cuisine is famous for this terrific combination for centuries.

Last weekend, I tried this ancient tradition at my home and baked some little cakes of chocolate-chilli-pecan combination. I went as far as I could go to follow the tradition:). I couldn’t get pure (or good quality) chocolate but was able to buy few bars of dark chocolate. I experimented by adding half teaspoon of pure chilli powder from India, to the melted chocolate. The recipe I followed is from “Bittersweet” by Alice Medrich, is actually for cookies. Recipe title is “bittersweet decadence cookies”, and in her introduction to these cookies she wrote “Ultrachocolatey and richer than sin, slightly crunchy on the outside with a divinely soft center, these are not delicate or subtle, but the jolt of bittersweet is irresistible.”

They were all that and more. Trembling with anticipation, that is how I felt while preparing these little dark delights. The taste was purely out of this world and I give full credit to the recipe that I followed (adapted) and of course to the almighty, all-powerful chilli.

Chocolate, Chilli Powder and Pecan – Ingredients for the mini cakes (cookies)

Mini Cakes Ready for Baking


Flour and chilli:
All-purpose flour – ¼ cup
Pecans – roasted and finely chopped about 2 cups
Chilli Powder – ½ tsp
Baking Powder – ¼ tsp
Salt – ¼tsp
Sift the flour in a vessel and stir in the remaining ingredients.

Sugar and Eggs:
Eggs – 2
Sugar – ½ cup
Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
Break eggs in a vessel (I have removed yellows, my preference). Stir in sugar and vanilla. Whisk for atleast 2 minutes.

Chocolate and Butter:
Bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate – 8 Oz (2 chocolate bars)
Unsalted butter – 2 tablespoons
Break chocolate bars and chop them finely to small pieces. Take them in a microwavable bowl and add butter. I microwaved the bowl for about 1 minute. After stirring once, I put it in the microwave for another minute. Chocolate melted to smooth and was warm but not hot. (I waited few more minutes for warm chocolate to cool little bit and then added the egg mixture. This is done to prevent egg curdling.)

Mixing and Baking:
Add the egg mixture to chocolate and combine. Stir in the flour and nut mixture. Mix thoroughly.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
This recipe is actually for cookies and the cookbook author instructed to line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and scoop the batter into small rounds and place them 1½ inches apart. And bake for about 12 to 14 minutes, until the surface of the cookies looks dry and set.

I, on the otherhand scooped the batter into tiny aluminum cake pans that I bought recently and baked them for about 20 minutes at 350 F.

End result looked like this and tasted really good.

Mini Chocolate-Chilli-Pecan Cake ~ My Entry to Barbara’s “Spice is Right – Chilli” Event

Recipe adapted from Bittersweet by Alice Medrich
Ebay Listing for mini cake pans – Here

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Caffeine,Chicory & Cocoa,Chocolate,Sugar (Thursday July 13, 2006 at 4:19 pm- permalink)
Comments (37)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

37 comments for Chocolate~Chilli~Pecan Mini Cakes »

  1. Indira, it looks yummy and the pics are amazing. I have been reading your blogs and this is my first comment ever given to anyone on any blog. I am from Hyderabad and am proud of telugu girl contributing so much. Your recipes looks so delicious. I will not only try this but also try some of your recipes and sure will let you know the result.

    Indira replies:
    I am so glad to meet fellow Telugu varu through my blog. Thanks Swathy and do let me know how you like the recipes.

    Comment by Swathy — July 13, 2006 @ 4:32 pm

  2. and forgot to tell you vijay is very very lucky:)

    Comment by Swathy — July 13, 2006 @ 4:34 pm

  3. WOW!What a delicious looking cake Indira!

    Indira replies:
    Thanks Sumitha.:)

    Comment by Sumitha — July 13, 2006 @ 5:17 pm

  4. Indira:

    The chocolate chili cakes look really good. I was planning on making some kind of chili-chocoalte combination for Barbara’s “sweet or savory” event and never got around to making it. The pans are just beautiful!

    Indira replies:
    I too missed quite few of Barbara’s events, and this time determined to prepare something with chillies.:)
    Chocolate and chilli – is quite a good combination, give it a try LC. Thanks.

    Comment by Luv2Cook — July 13, 2006 @ 5:28 pm

  5. *Drooling* Indira, what can I do to get one of those delectable minicakes right away?

    Indira replies:
    COme on by anytime, Faffer.

    Comment by Faffer — July 13, 2006 @ 5:29 pm

  6. Wow, just want to have the chocolate cakes, they look so delicious!!!

    Indira replies:
    Thanks Menaka.

    Comment by Menaka — July 13, 2006 @ 5:33 pm

  7. Hey Indira,
    Very nice combination…3 of my favorite ingredients Chocolate, chilli and pecan. I am not a baker at all, but thinking to give it a try.
    Does it taste spicy with 1/2 tsp of chilli powder ?
    Beautiful Pics and demonstration as always. Thanks.

    Indira replies:
    They are not spicy but you would notice the chilli flavor. Give it a try Madhu, they are quite easy to make and the taste is really superb.:)

    Comment by Madhu — July 13, 2006 @ 5:46 pm

  8. Yummy! I’ve been trying to get chocolate jalapeno gelato from our local gelato place but they never have it!

    Indira replies:
    Chilli flavored gelato, wow, that I’ve never tasted before, must be heavenly.:)

    Comment by catherine — July 13, 2006 @ 6:39 pm

  9. Wonderful, i have had a cup of hot chocolate laced with pablano chillies from a coffee shop here, and it was indeed so rich and good. I am sure it tasted soo good in a cake. Nice idea !!!

    Indira replies:
    Thanks Archana. Chillies do add some extra kick to chocolate, don’t they?:)
    I have bookmarked this recipe for quite sometime, finally had a chance to try it for my friends.

    Comment by Archana Thomas — July 13, 2006 @ 6:51 pm

  10. I have never tasted this combination. The dough itself looks so good. Thanks for introducing us to something so unique. Are these the pans that you bought from the flea market ?

    Indira replies:
    They are quite easy to prepare, Krithika. Yep, the dough was more like silk, very smooth with nuts in between.
    Yep, they are fm pans.

    Comment by krithika — July 13, 2006 @ 7:13 pm

  11. You and your recipes are simply supercalifragalisticespialidocious, to sum it up in one short word! You rock, Indra!!! How do you come up with these ideas let alone the procedure and pictures painstakingly taken??? We need an Indra Fan club as a separate website.. I recently got an icecream maker for a gift, and could you give me pointers on home made icecream for a summery treat? Also, I had a baby three weeks ago – I missed looking at your website the time I was in the hospital!! I am recovering now, and I can’t wait to start cooking again, although my mother who has come to the US from India has been a wonderful help like all great mothers!

    alright bye

    Indira replies:
    Bahut dhanyawaad Desi mom for your kind words.
    I’ve noticed your absense from comments and wondered about you. You were busy aha… 🙂 What a good news! Many Congratulations Desi mom! Best wishes to your little darling and to you. Also please say hello to your mother for me.:)
    Ice cream is the only thing I have never prepared at home until now, and I don’t have an icecream maker so no clue at all. Sorry. I remember reading about how to prepare home made icecream at “Delicious Days” (for link, please see my blogroll). Check them out, they blogged few recipes of homemade icecream.

    Comment by desimom — July 13, 2006 @ 7:50 pm

  12. Ah, Indira, lady–those wee cakes look fabulous!

    You’ll like what I am posting for my entry, too! (I have to make them soonish, now that I think on it….probably tomorrow!)

    Indira replies:
    . :), Thanks Barbara.
    ooh, I can’t wait to read your entry.:) Is it chocolate and chilli combination recipe?

    Comment by Barbara — July 13, 2006 @ 8:53 pm

  13. Wow!mmmm.. Chocolate and Pecan…. yum yum yum. Mouthwatering. Nice looking baking pans Indira.where can i get those?

    Indira replies:
    Thanks Bhargavi.:) I have seen these at Ebay, very low price, a dozen pans for 3 dollars like that.
    I have added Ebay link for these mini pans, below the post. Check it out Bhargavi.

    Comment by Bharghavi — July 13, 2006 @ 10:09 pm

  14. WOW.. Its baking time at Indira’s Blog. Delicious peach pie and irresitible chocolate cake. Tempting photos.

    Indira replies:
    Baking time for peach pie was about one hour, so I also baked these mini cakes.:)
    Thanks Sudha.

    Comment by sudha — July 13, 2006 @ 10:19 pm

  15. Lovely lovely baking effort-it looks irresistable Indira-wish pictures could carry aromas 🙂

    Indira replies:
    Thanks Nandita.:)

    Comment by Nandita — July 14, 2006 @ 2:09 am

  16. Ohh Indira, anything chocolate, and I’m there!! This looks sooo good. You seem to be on a baking roll. first the lovely peach pie and now this! Simple lovely! :o)

    Indira replies:
    You too a chocolate fan, aha…:), I remember your chocolate muffin post, yummy!
    Thanks Meena.

    Comment by Meena — July 14, 2006 @ 10:38 am

  17. That looks brilliant – wondering if i can make it in a bigger cake loaf as I have no mini tins?

    You should also know that a large part of my weekely menu now comes from recipes off this site!!! You are a star!

    Indira replies:
    I think you can bake them in a big round cake pan (keep the height of dough less than 2 inches, then it’d work I think, otherwise it’d be more gooey than crisp.)
    Thanks and happy cooking.
    Happy Birthday and many happy returns of the day! 🙂

    Comment by 30in2005 — July 14, 2006 @ 11:43 am

  18. I am a big fan of Ms. Medrich, and think these sound splendid. I have got a mini bundt set and think I may try a variant of this recipe, because I have a big box of really excellent milk chocolate for baking. It’s not easy to find recipes intended for milk chocolate lately, bittersweet being the thing of the moment. But I have a bit of a thing, myself, for some Vosages bars- with milk chocolate, almonds and sea salt. Hmm.

    Indira replies:
    Me too Lindy. Her explanation of recipes, not only clear, they are also quite easy to follow for a choco-novice like me.:)
    I think this recipe also works with milk chocolate. If you try, let me know how you like it. Thanks.

    Comment by lindy — July 14, 2006 @ 12:06 pm

  19. I am exactly the way I was after your Yuba post. Speechless.

    Indira replies:
    . 🙂

    Comment by Vaishali — July 14, 2006 @ 12:38 pm

  20. chocolate-chilli – I have heard about this combination and always wanted to give it a try.
    Now that you have tried, I can be sure it will work!

    Indira replies:
    Oh… they are spectacular, LG. If you like chocolate, please give it a try, I want you to have a taste of them.:)

    Comment by L.G — July 14, 2006 @ 1:26 pm

  21. The mini choclate cakes look amazing. I should definetly try this out because there are very few choclate cake recipes out there which require only 2 tablespoons of butter. I was also wondering if we can bake a regular cake with the same measurements.

    Indira replies:
    I think you can do that, Anu. They would be like cake/brownies.

    Comment by Anu — July 14, 2006 @ 2:12 pm

  22. Wow! You are a baking fairy! Both peach pie and the choc-chili cakes look so delicious.

    Indira replies:
    Baked them together, RP.:) I am one of those, who bakes atleast two or three items together in a oven. Don’t like to waste oven energy.:)

    Comment by RP — July 14, 2006 @ 2:20 pm

  23. Very nice recipe indira. Cake look so delicious!!

    Indira replies:
    Thanks Sury.

    Comment by surya — July 14, 2006 @ 6:42 pm

  24. One word: yum!

    Comment by beth — July 15, 2006 @ 12:24 pm

  25. hi
    i visit your blog regularly and it is such a inspiration to read your lovely and well made blog. your cake tins are great where did you get them?
    the cake too looks lovely and yummy a must try for me but i am in india what can i use instead of pecans.

    Comment by MAHEK — July 16, 2006 @ 3:07 pm

  26. Indira, visited your blog for the first time today and the first thing that came to mind on seeing your pecan and chilli cakes was ” Wow she is a professional”. You are welcome to visit my blog too. I definitely keep coming back here.

    Comment by Anupama — July 17, 2006 @ 8:42 am

  27. […] Indira is a woman after my own heart. Not only is she the great writer and photographer behind Mahanandi, but she is fearless in pairing chile with chocolate, and that just cannot help but futher endear her to me. Look at how pretty her Chocolate~Chilli~Pecan Mini Cakes are, and imagine the taste! Dark chocolate, pecans and chile–I am telling you, one of these days, I am going to show up at Indira’s kitchen door next to her lovely cat Kittaya, because I caught a whiff of something good on the air and followed it until I found her! I can’t wait to try this recipe out in my own kitchen, and I highly suggest y’all give it a whirl, too. Thank you, Indira, for another wonderful inspiration. […]

    Pingback by Tigers & Strawberries » The Spice is Right IV: It’s Too Darned Hot Roundup, Part II — July 17, 2006 @ 12:32 pm

  28. Hi I have been following ur amzing recipies since quiet some time have tried outa few too , now i needsome help from u. I have a oven but dont have a mixer/blender. I have never baked a cake ever in my life… can plz give me a simple cake recipie to start with my email id is Thnks

    Comment by Viewer — July 18, 2006 @ 4:19 pm

  29. Indira

    The cake looks wonderfully rich …. but i am so very impatient … 🙂

    want to be like you when it comes to cooking …. 😀

    gotta go …. feed baby …
    take care

    Comment by Papia — July 27, 2006 @ 2:07 am

  30. Indira gaaru, thank you for all that you have been doing.
    I might not have commented on your site in the past butI look up to your posts everyday to come back home and cook, I want to thank you for this service.
    The cake came out wonderfully well, I tried it with a pinch of cinnamon just for kicks and It tasted great.

    Comment by Ravi — July 30, 2006 @ 6:17 pm

  31. […] Mahanandi kan fÃ¥ mine tænder til at løbe i vand og denne chokoladekage med chili og pecannødder mÃ¥ jeg prøve ved lejlighed. […]

    Pingback by Slagt en hellig ko… » Mahanandi — August 15, 2006 @ 4:01 pm

  32. Hi Indira,
    The cake looks wonderful . I had one question though.
    Do the cake pans need to be greased and floured ?


    Indira replies:
    Yes, I greased the cake pans. Sorry I forgot to include it in the recipe.

    Comment by vandana — February 14, 2007 @ 7:14 am

  33. Hello, Indira.

    Thank you for posting this fantastic recipe! I baked these as Valentine’s Day cookies for my hubby and they are truly amazing. Not too sweet and so satisfyingly chocolatey with a bit of crunch and spice. (And, they tasted even better with little red icing hearts on top!)

    I read your blog regularly and want to thank you for your inspiration and your warm heart.


    Indira replies:
    I am glad to hear that you tried and liked this recipe. Thanks Natasha for letting me know and also for your nice words. I greatly appreciate it.

    Comment by Natasha — February 14, 2007 @ 12:03 pm

  34. Hey Indira , I tried this recipe over the weekend as my friend , yamuna who is also your ardent admirer came over. It was delicious and came out to be really good!!! Simply superb, I normally dont eat sweets and i finished one whole cake. Thats an amazing imrpovement!!!!

    Comment by Deepika — February 21, 2007 @ 8:02 am

  35. Hi Indira, I love your blog and hope to be a creative cook like you some day. Keep posting!

    Comment by Sruti — February 25, 2007 @ 5:16 am

  36. Hello indira,this site is excellent and very good recipe collection.Please any idea to make chutney with soy beans.


    Comment by rani — June 15, 2007 @ 5:33 pm

  37. Dear Indira,
    I am Great fan of yours.I have been trying some dihes from your Lovely Site.There is never a single day that goes when i dont peep into your site to look for Recipes.Please let me know if i can try the Chocolate Chilli Pecan Mini Cake without Egg.
    GoodLuck Indira.Cheers!!!

    Comment by Yamuna — June 19, 2007 @ 3:49 pm

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