We took part in a chilli experience with our professional guide, Chilli Olly who showed us how they grow different chillies at Edible Ornamentals chilli ranch and after our tour around the plant tunnels we had the chance to taste different fresh chillies, sauces, and dips during a little journey on Scoville scale from mild to hot. Some of them are like a bonfire in your mouth.
Olly would like to show people that we should eat chilli because of the taste and not just for the experience of the building heat that capsaicin causes in our bodies. I've found this really likeable, so we decided to do some collaboration in the future.
The first result of this co-work is this recipe, which is a 'Victoria sponge cake' type of dessert with a little twist: instead of ordinary jam I've used one of Olly's own creations from the Nutty Professor product family, called Bonnet Berry Burst. It's a jam made with berries and sour cherries blended with Scotch Bonnet chillies. His recommendation was a Victoria sponge cake with this jam, but I've changed the original recipe a little bit and since a new cake needs a good name I've chosen Bonfire Cake.
- For the batter separate the eggs.
- Mix the yolks with the caster sugar with your hand mixer, then stir in the sifted cocoa powder, a pinch of salt and a tsp of cinnamon.
- After that whip, the egg whites and fold the foam into the egg yolk-cocoa mixture.
- Spread the batter in a medium Swiss roll baking tray. It should be about 1,5-2 cm thick because I've decided to make mini cakes.
- Bake it at 180 °C, till it passes the 'toothpick test'.
- After the sponge become cold, use a large cookie cutter for the crust circles (2/cake).
- Spread some of Bonnet Berry Burst jam on the base sponge circle.
- Pipe stabilized vanilla whipped cream on the top and drop some jam on the cream as well.
- Finally, close the cake with the top sponge layer.
- I've decorated the cake with more cream, grated dark chocolate, icing sugar, and fresh sour cherry.
The chilli-infused berry jam is well balanced with the cream filling and the airy chocolate crust layers. It's so lovely to experience when you will start to feel the heat but the cream is there as well and gives you the heavenly pleasure of the hot-cold opposites. Before I've met with Olly I'd never imagined the taste of chilly in a dessert, but after this experiment, I highly recommend you to give it a try!