Anolon Academy

Raisin Pepper and Amaretto chocolate cake

By Dominique Rizzo

This Raisin, pepper and Amaretto chocolate cake makes a real treat. I love to make smaller cakes decorating them with festive colourful fruits for wow factor.

This makes a perfect gift or special occasion cake. This is quite a moist cake and will freeze well although once you make them, you will be tempted to dress them up and share them amongst your friends and family.


  • ¾ cup raisins
  • 190g unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground pepper
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 11/2 cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 6 tbsps. Dutch (dark) cocoa
  • ¼ cup Bertolli extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup Amaretto liqueur
  • 80g dark chocolate, chopped

Chocolate Ganache Garnish Ingredients

  • 500g dark chocolate
  • 2/3 cup cream
  • 100g amaretti biscuits, crushed
  • Candied clementine’s or orange (you can pick these up at any good delicatessen)
  • Chunks of Pine nut and almond orange brittle (see my recipe)

Substitute Ingredients

  • Substitute the Amaretto for Cointreau or even Frangelico as they really work well with the pepper and the chocolate.



Pre heat the oven to 170°C

Soak the raisins in hot water for 30 minutes until plump, drain and set aside.

Beat the butter with the sugar, salt and pepper until creamy and pale, then beat in the egg yolks one at a time until combined.

Sift the flour with the baking powder and cocoa and then toss a tablespoon of that flour mix with the raisins.

Add the rest of the flour mix into the butter mix in ¼ cup increments, mixing in the combined olive oil and Amaretto alternately, finishing with the flour.

Stir in the chopped chocolate and the floured raisins. Whip the egg whites until soft peaks.

Stir one quarter of the egg whites into the batter and then fold in the rest until combined.

Pour the mix into the greased and/or lined tins. Bake for 30 minutes for the smaller tins and about 50 minutes for the larger until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Allow the cakes to cool then garnish as desired either with a dusting of icing sugar, chocolate icing or Chocolate Ganache.

Chocolate Ganache

Combine the chocolate and the cream in a saucepan over a low temperate and stir to combine the mix as the chocolate melts.

Remove the mix from the heat and allow to cool, stirring the mix so that it is smooth and shiny.

Spread this over the cakes, and press the crushed amaretti onto the sides of the cake garnishing the top with the shards of brittle and candied fruit

Serves 16. Makes 1 large 22cm cake serving

Difficulty: Medium

Prep Time 30min

Cook Time 50min