Mrs Simkins’ Hot Chocolate Iced Fancies

Posted: February 12, 2012

The ancient Aztecs prized chocolate, vanilla and chilli for their aphrodisiac qualities. Here they all are: baked into an innocuous looking little cake: perfect for you to bake for Valentine’s Day!

Makes 12


  • 175g (6oz) softened butter
  • 175g (6oz) caster sugar
  • 150g (5oz) plain flour
  • 1level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 level teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 25g (1oz) cocoa powder
  • 2 level teaspoons chilli powder (use 1 teaspoon if you feel nervous)
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk

It’s simplicity itself to whiz up the mix in a food processor but use an electric whisk or make it by hand if you prefer. Don’t forget to make a big pot of your favourite Clipper brew to share.


  1. Preheat oven to 160C (fan ovens) or equivalent
  2. You will need a 12 cup muffin tin lined with muffin size paper cake cases
  3. Whiz the butter and sugar together in the processor until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the raising agents and cocoa to the weighed flour and sieve half into the food processor bowl, completely covering the butter and sugar mixture.
  5. Add the eggs and vanilla and the rest of the flour. Sprinkle the chilli powder over the top and whiz to mix. Add the milk and whiz until smooth and glossy. You may need to scrape the mixture down from the sides a couple of times with a flexible spatula.
  6. Divide the mixture evenly between the cups of the prepared tin. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until domed and risen and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.


Chocolate and Vanilla Buttercream

Again, it’s simple to whiz up the buttercream in a processor but combine in a bowl with a wooden spoon if you prefer. If you use the latter method sieve the icing sugar and cocoa together first.


  • 150g (5oz) icing sugar
  • 25g (1oz) cocoa powder
  • 75g (3oz) butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • A little milk to mix


  1. Tip the combined cocoa and icing sugar into the clean, dry, food processor bowl and whiz to mix and eliminate any lumps.
  2. Add the softened butter and vanilla and whiz until fully mixed.
  3. Add the milk to loosen the mixture slightly and whiz until smooth.
  4. Use a piping bag with a star nozzle to pipe swirls of buttercream onto the cooled cakes. Finish off with sugar roses or pink candles.

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