If you're a regular reader of my posts you will know by now that I am quite critical of what I bake and it's very rare for me to be completely satisfied with a recipe (or of the way it turns out for me!). No such problems here - this Chilli-chocolate Orange Cake is perfect. A moist, close texture, but not too dense; a good balance of all the added flavours, and equally tasty with or without a frosting (and there's a choice of two with this recipe). Of course, you do have to like the chilli-chocolate combination in cakes! The amount in this cake is just right for me, giving enough warmth to be noticable, but no lingering burn.
The recipe is by Sam Stern, who published his first cookery book in his mid-teens. It's the last recipe on this page of chocolate cake recipes on The Guardian website. I used 2 tablespoons of orange juice instead of rum and/or water, and the grated rind of the whole orange, otherwise, I followed the recipe exactly.
For a frosting I used a Mary Berry recipe very similar to the bitter chocolate icing suggested in the recipe, but with smaller quantities - 90g plain chocolate, 45g butter and 2 teaspoons golden syrup melted together, then cooled until thick enough to stay on the cake. This amount is just enough for a thin layer on the top of the cake. I sprinkled orange zest over the frosting for an extra finishing touch.