To make the batter, mix the flour, egg yolks and olive oil in a bowl, gradually adding the water, and beating until it is nicely smooth. Keep the whites on one side.
Poach the cod as explained in the recipe for brandade de morue, above. Flake it and pulse it in the food processor until finely chopped.
Heat the oil in a pan and soften the shallots and garlic until just tender. Drain and stir into the salt cod mixture. Add the chilli, chives and cayenne to the mixture.
When you are ready to cook the accras, whisk the egg whites to a soft peak and fold them into the batter. Then fold in the cod mixture as lightly as possible.
Heat the oil in a deep pan so that it is hot but not smoking (around 180°C). If you fry one as a test, it should rise to the surface unaided if the oil is hot enough. Fry teaspoonfuls of the batter, a few at a time, until they are golden brown. Turn them over once. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
Serve hot with sliced lemon, or aïoli.