Friday, February 17, 2012

Red chile and chocolate... need I say more?

I've said it before: I'm not a baker. I'm imprecise and I improv flavors. I don't level off measurements a knife. Sometimes I don't even measure. Baking has always seemed too scientific for me. I don't understand chemistry. Or physics. Or... space. But I can, it turns out, bake a flourless chocolate cake.

Is this a good time to also issue a reminder that I don't have a big sweet tooth? It's true, and probably why I've gotten away with not being interested in baking for so long. Thank goodness T is the same way. We like to drink our desserts around here.

On the rare occasions that I do order dessert, they're almost always in the earthy/spicy/fruity category, save for one lone chocolate entry: flourless chocolate cake. Maybe because it goes so well with red wine? Hmmm.

In keeping with our vow to make something new every Valentine's Day (nope, yesterday's simple goat cheese sauce doesn't count), I decided to go crazy and get out the springform pan. Insanity! I found a dead-simple recipe for a flourless chocolate cake from Gourmet, and then decided to add one little "me" twist: some red chile from Chimayo. Now we're talking. Now this is feeling like my kind of dessert. And guess what? It was delicious with a glass of port.

Red Chile Chocolate Flourless Cake
Adapted from Gourmet

I love spice, and easily could have added twice as much red chile to this cake and been happy. If you do that, I'd suggest adding some sugar to your whipped cream for serving. For this version, I didn't add any sugar to my whipped cream, and enjoyed the way it helped cut the richness of the cake.

  •  Two 8 oz bittersweet chocolate bars, chopped
  • Two sticks unsalted butter, chopped
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon red chile powder (I used hot Chimayo red, but use your favorite... chipotle, Ancho, whatever you like)
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Preheat the oven to 350. Butter a large springform pan (or use butter spray). Line the bottom of the pan with a wax paper cutout, and spray that with butter spray, too.
  • In a double-boiler or modified double-boiler (I just use a metal bowl over a saucepan), add the chopped-up bittersweet chocolate and butter. Stir until melted and remove from heat.
  • Add sugar and whisk it in. (At this stage, transfer to your mixer if you like, or continue to do it by hand.)
  • Crack the eggs one at a time and whisk each in separately, until they're all incorporated.
  • Sift in the unsweetened cocoa powder and the red chile. Whisk until just combined.
  • Pour into the pan and cook for 45-50 minutes. (I'd start checking it at 35 minutes - my oven runs a little cool.) 
  • After the cake cools to your liking, serve with whatever strikes your fancy. I used fresh-whipped cream (only vanilla added, no sugar - see note above). Berries would also be delicious. Enjoy!


  1. Have you tried Smitten Kitchen's red wine chocolate cake? It's not flourless, but it's a chocolate cake. made with red wine. So basically it is the perfect baked good. This looks pretty fabulous too!

  2. I'm not a big dessert person either. French fries, cheese, and potato chips w/dip are my favorite downfalls. Though, I do like the idea of dessert, and I like to make it for people. I'm thinking of making a chocolate cake this weekend. Peanut butter frosting. That appeals to me.

  3. What's funny about me and baking is that the things you don't enjoy about it, I find cathartic. I love the ritual of spooning and leveling my flour instead of dunking the measuring cup into the flour bin. I love knowing how things are going to react when I combine them. But I usually don't want to eat what I've baked.

    I'm back living with the folks again, and they do not understand or appreciate that sometimes I feel like baking at 10pm. It just calms me down.

    I much more of a savory person when it comes to what I want to eat or what foods are my comfort foods. Starches, salads, roasted meats etc. I'm a weirdo I guess.

  4. This is my kind of dessert too. Baking cramps my style/chocolate is good with chile:).

  5. i can't wait to try this...i love spicy chocolate desserts!


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