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Tag Archives | ground almonds

Chocolate Cake with a Tickle of Red Pepper Flakes – Some like it (a little) hot!

I have been hooked by the Spice Trip TV program where one of my favorite chefs Stevie Parle and the spice expert Emma Grazette have been travelling around the world to discover the wonderful, magical world of spices. They have been to Mexico a few weeks ago, exploring the chillies and Stevie produced a gorgeous looking Mexican style chocolate cake with chilli flakes in it. Chillies are so varied in Mexican cuisine and they do appear at sweet and savory dishes – not to forget the famous Mexican hot chocolate with chilies. I loved the idea of the warmness a touch of red pepper flakes would bring to the cake.

Chocolate cake with a tickle of red pepper flakes; moist, delicious and certainly will keep you warm 🙂

Since then, I have been very tempted to reproduce this delicious, very easy chocolate cake, using Turkish red pepper flakes. We Turks notoriously add red pepper flakes to almost all savory dishes, but experimenting with chillies in cakes and desserts was a first for me, so I must say, I was cautious. The original recipe asks for 2 tsp dried chilli flakes – I used just a shy of 1  1/2 tsp Turkish red pepper flakes, as they have a strong, smoky flavor. The result was a delicious but not overpowering  touch of spice that gets you after a while, and brings you warmness. Here is what my 8 year old son thought of the cake; “ You get the yummy chocolate taste first, then in a while you feel a tickle of spice, I liked it”. We enjoyed this spicy twist to the chocolate cake and I liked the surprise element to it and seeing the smiles on friends who tried!

Have you added chillies to your sweet creations before? I would love to hear your experiences.

This recipe is slightly adapted from Stevie Parle’s original recipe, which also calls for 2 tbsp tequila –  a delicious addition. You can decorate your cake with pomegranates seeds for a festive look and taste.

Serves 10

Preparation time: 15 minutes                                                     Cooking time: 20 minutes

200gr/7oz dark chocolate with 70% cocoa solids

200gr/7oz unsalted butter

1 ½ tsp Turkish red pepper flakes or chilli flakes

4 eggs

150gr/ 5 ¼ oz golden caster sugar

45gr/3 tbsp ground almonds

15ml/ 1 tbsp plain flour –(for gluten-free version, please use gluten and wheat free plain white flour blend)

A pinch of sea salt flakes

Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4/350F

Line a 23cm round cake tin with grease proof paper and grease with  butter.

Chocolate and red pepper flakes; rather unusual yet surprisingly delicious.


Melt the chocolate, butter and red pepper flakes in a glass or metal bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, taking care not to burn the chocolate. The bowl must not touch the water as this will split the mixture. Remove from the heat, stir and leave for a few minutes to cool.

Stir in the ground almonds and the flour to the chocolate mixture; the ground almonds are not only healthy but also keep the cake deliciously moist.

Stir in the eggs, one by one, and then the sugar, followed by the almonds, flour and a pinch of salt. Pour the batter into the cake tin and sprinkle with the salt flakes. Bake for 20 minutes.

The chocolate cake with red pepper flakes, baked - ready to cool.

Leave to cool, then cut into slices. It is a rich, moist cake, so you don’t need thick slices.

The chocolate cake has a nice crust but it is deliciously moist inside.

The cake looks lovely and festive when decorated with pomegranate seeds. The tangy taste of the pomegranates also complement the rich chocolate cake well.

Chocolate cake with red pepper flakes - hope you enjoy it 🙂


Wishing You All A Wonderful Festive Season & Afiyet Olsun,



Covent Garden, London, looking very festive, December 2010. A more recent photo will follow shortly!


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Ground Almond and Chocolate Easter Cake with Chocolate Glaze

Almond and chocolate Easter Cake

Almond and chocolate Easter Cake

I am a bit of an almond fan. Some of the best almonds come from Turkey and we eat them in abundance at home. They are not only packed with flavor but they also have great health benefits. To name a few; almonds are full of fiber and antioxidants, they reduce your risk of heart disease and lower risk of weight gain.

I spotted this wonderful Chocolate and Almond Easter Cake at Rose Prince’s Easter Bake. The ground almonds make this cake really moist and the cake stays fresh for 4-5 days. It is a rich cake and I like to cut it in small squares to enjoy the cake as a “treat”. The children absolutely love decorating and licking out the bowl of remaining melted chocolate in the end! It is also a lovely dessert for Passover, if you’re celebrating.

Preparation time : 35 minutes              Baking time : 40 minutes

350g/ 12 1/4 oz caster sugar

350g/ 12 1/4 oz  softened unsalted butter

8 eggs, separated

75g/ 2 1/2 oz cocoa powder mixed to a thick paste with a little hot water

1 tsp vanilla essence

300g ground almonds

¾ tsp cream of tartar

For the chocolate glaze

200g/7 oz 60 % dark chocolate;

50g/ 1 3/4oz unsalted butter

Little Easter chocolate eggs to decorate

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

Butter the base of a 25cm square cake tin and dust it lightly with flour. Line the sides with baking paper.

Beat the sugar and butter together until pale and fluffy; then beat in the egg yolks one by one. Fold in the cocoa, vanilla essence and ground almonds. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks, adding the cream of tartar at the end. Fold them into the mixture, pour it into the tin and bake for about 40 minutes, until the sponge feels firm to the touch.


Almond and chocolate cake, baked


While the cake is baking, melt the butter and the chocolate in a bowl over simmering water.


Chocolate and butter, melting

Once the cake is baked, cool it in the tin for 10 minutes then gently turn out onto a rack. The sponge will sink as it cools. When cold, cut the cake into squares and dribble warm chocolate glaze over each.

Children love decorating the cake

Place the little Easter chocolate eggs on the cakes when the icing has set.

You may like to serve this lovely rich cake with a light, refreshing main course like this Baked Salmon with onions, red peppers and lemon.

I wanted to sign off with this lovely spring blossoms from our back garden, really nice to see the earth waking up in full bloom.


Wishing you all a happy Easter and Passover, if you’re celebrating,

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