A twist at tea time


Cakes were one of the first things I learnt to make. I loved all the ones I created, especially with a decidedly uncooperative oven . Burnt ones. Not so sweet ones. Perfect ones. Vegetable cakes that masqueraded as delicious cakes. And the alchemy was the best thing. It taught me that even failures weren’t so bad and there was no need to fear them.

pick 2

Right from the beginning I was tempted to make cakes from whole-wheat flour. Making a cake from white flour felt like cheating. So this chocolate cake became my thing.

Any birthday or special occasion and voila, this is what I always brought to the table. A whole-wheat chocolate cake with soured milk and oil, made in all of 15 minutes.


Then I came across this invite and thought what a perfect opportunity to make this cake. But my penchant for experiment made me want to spice up things a bit, for this unusual tea party.


It’s a simple recipe and quick to put together. Which makes it perfect for tea time. No advance planning and chances are you will have most ingredients on your shelf.

It’s handed down to me from my aunt and even 15 years later, it turns out just as moist.


Makes 18 muffins or one regular square cake

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup castor sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
2 eggs,lightly beaten
1 cup milk, warm
1 tbspn white vinegar
185 gms melted butter/ghee/oil
1 tsp baking soda/ soda bicarb
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
a pinch of salt

My twist:

1/2-3/4 tsp chilli powder (completely optional)


  • Mix baking soda, baking powder, flour, sugar,cocoa and salt in a bowl.
  • Warm milk and add vinegar to it.
  • Add half the soured milk and all of the oil/butter/ghee to the dry ingredients.
  • Mix for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the remaining milk, eggs and vanilla essence and mix.
  • Add into a prepared tin (greased cake pan) and bake in a pre-heated oven till a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.


I was extremely thrilled and excited about the chilli powder. It was another first, and in my excitement, I added about 1 tsp.

For my family, my immediate guinea pigs, it was a complete surprise. And not a pleasant one I fear. “Your cake is spicy,” my sister exclaimed! That was the death knell into my really tasty and unusual chilli chocolate muffins.

The flavours deepened once the cakes completely cooled and left behind a really nice heat–tingly, heaty and distantly reminding you of chocolate. It convinced me that chocolate and chilli is an excellent pairing.

Definitely give it shot.


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