Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chipotle Chocolate - Olive Oil Cake

It suddenly hit me a few days ago when I was having chipotle chocolate cake at Bergamot:  The combination of chili and chocolate is one of my favorite (read comfort) foods.  Although I love all of the Moonstruck truffles that Alex and Dan give me, I always save the Ocumarian Truffle for last. So why don't I cook with this combination?

Here is a first in what I hope will be many chili-chocolate recipes. While the cake at the Bergamot was good, I'm sure it was loaded with butter and eggs. When we ate at Six 89 in February, I had my first piece of olive oil cake; this recipe takes the olive oil concept and makes a healthier, spicier version of Asian Five Spice Cake.


Line a  9 inch spring form pan with a piece of parchment paper, buttered on both sides.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and put some water on to boil.

Sift together:

7/8 c flour (4.45 oz.)
7/8 c sugar (5.55 oz.)
1/2 c unsweetened baking* cocoa (2.40 oz)
3/4 t baking powder
3/4 t baking soda

1/2 - 1 1/2 t chipotle chili powder (I love it at 1 1/2 t, but I always order the entree with the 3 chili symbols after it;  suggest 1/2 t for mild, 1 t for moderate and 1 1/2 for very spicy)

Optional: 2 t Asian five spice powder  (Asian spice powder varies depending on the blend of spices. I use Frontier brand (cinnamon. fennel, cloves, star anise, white pepper - not very spicy).  A typical (Asian market) five spice powder would more likely contain Sichuan pepper and be spicier/hotter. Adjust amount and additional chipotle accordingly. For a clearer chili - chocolate cake omit these spices.

Add:

1/4 c egg equivalent (or 1 egg)
1/4 c + 1 T olive oil
1/2 c skim milk (or 1/2 c orange juice)

Mix well by hand (my choice) or using a food processor or an electric mixer, and then add, a few Tablespoons at a time, mixing after each addition:

1/2 c boiling water

Mix well until the batter is smooth and glossy.

Pour the batter into the pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until a small skewer or broom straw comes out clean.

Let cool in pan then run knife around edges, open spring form and remove cake.  Remove paper from bottom.

Dust either the whole cake or individual pieces with:

Powdered sugar

Embellishment options are limitless. Bergamot topped their chocolate chipotle cake with caramelized banana ice cream, (made on site, very light) marsh mellows, and peanuts.

The first night I topped the first quarter with Chocolate Drizzle garnished with raspberries.

Next night, I topped the second quarter with mangoes and Chocolate Drizzle.

Tonight I cut the third quarter in two pieces and sliced each piece in half horizontally. I put sliced, mashed strawberries that I had frozen last June mixed with a teaspoon of finely chopped cilantro between the two layers and made Strawberry Chocolate Chipotle Cake. This was definitely a case of save the best for (almost) last. I am thawing more strawberries for tomorrow night....

*Use cocoa powder that is not "Dutched" or alkalized. "Some recipes rely on acidic natural cocoa to react with baking soda and generate leavening carbon dioxide.  If the same recipe is made with an alkalized cocoa, the reaction won't take place, no carbon dioxide will be generated and the taste will be alkaline and soapy." (page 706, On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee)

June 2015: Birthday Cake!  Top is covered with "drizzled" melted chocoalte and cake is surrounded by the first pick of local strawberries.

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