Spice Passage to Mexico
ILOVE travelling, meeting new people, learning new cultures and discovering new foods and flavours that I may not have tasted before.
Three years ago I started Red Hot Spice Tours, taking spice and foodie trips to Kerala, India, and next year we are heading to Mexico, home of vanilla, chocolate and the mighty chilli, and I can’t wait!
Starting in Mexico City, we visit the famous Aztec ruins of Teotihuacan before venturing south to Oaxaca via Peubla. Oaxaca is famous for its mole-style sauces and dishes. Then we head over to the state of Tabasco, then up to Merida in the state of Yucatán.
This four-star, 16-day trip is nearly fully inclusive and is balanced by incorporating culture and food with visits to all the main sites, fresh food markets, a couple of cooking classes, a chilli plantation, an Agave distillery and a visit to a cacao plantation, which will show traditional methods of turning cacao beans into chocolate. We visit the archaeological site of Chichen Itza – one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and swim in one of the many sacred cenotes in Yacatan. The trip finishes in Playa del Carmen with a couple of free days to shop, rest or whatever takes your fancy.
For more information about this trip or if you are keen to join me, please head to www.redhotchillipepper.com.au.
Meanwhile here’s a simple chilli chocolate cake that is just so yummy and easy to make.
“Inca” Chilli Chocolate Cake
◗ 200g dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids) ◗ 200g butter, cubed
◗ 2 tsp dried chilli flakes
◗ 4 eggs
◗ 150g caster sugar
◗ 3 tbs ground almonds
◗ 1 tbs plain flour
◗ Salt flakes
METHOD: Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Line and grease a 23cm cake tin with baking paper.
Melt chocolate, butter and chilli 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 eggs one by one, then the sugar, followed by the almonds, flour and a pinch of salt.
Pour into the cake tin and sprinkle over a generous amount of salt flakes.
Bake for 20 minutes. Leave to cool.
Optional: Drizzle a little tequila over each slice before serving with vanilla bean ice-cream.
Visit Vicki at Red Hot Chilli Pepper, 9/65 Bulcock St, Caloundra.