Chocolate chile cake - worth a try for chocolate and chilehead friend?
- Susan Marme
Making birthday cake for chocolate and chile-loving friend, have a notion to add a Tb or so of pure ancho or other chile powder to a souffle-type cake recipe - has anyone tried something similar, and if so, does it add to or detract from the chocolate experience?
I happen to think that chocolate and hot pepper are two of the finest flavors/sensations together.
I make a truffle with cayenne pepper...I like it because the heat builds... you don't even know it's there at first. Then, after chewing and swallowing, you get the tingly heat sensation that starts at the back of your throat and spreads.
I concur--chile and chocolate are a beautiful pairing.
I developed a brownie recipe this year that includes espresso powder, cinnamon and dried ground chipotle chile in the flavorings, paired with premium semi-sweet chocolate and Dutch cocoa.
I have had a high percentage of folks tell me that this is now their favorite brownie, and they call me up with cravings for them.
So, lay on with the chile in the chocolate cake!
I made the below-linked recipe (from Chocolate and Zucchini) for chocolate-chili bites for a dinner party I had. It is essentially a flourless chocolate cake recipe with chili powder added. I ended up making it in (lined) muffin tins, and it was a great hit. At first bite, you don't taste the chili powder - but then it hits you. I think it definitely adds to the experience.
There's a chocolatier in Toronto who makes this great Mayan hot chocolate with dark chocolate, chile, vanilla and a few other spices (maybe cardamom and ginger?). They serve it with steamed water or milk or, my favourite way, as a pure shot (i.e. 2 oz. of melted spicy chocolate). So incredibly rich and yummy.
Having said that, I personally think the flavours are most pleasing in a small exciting hit eg. a shot of hot chocolate, a truffle, a brownie, etc. Not sure that I'd enjoy a big piece of chocolate cake as much but that's just me. Also, what were you thinking of serving with the cake - maybe a cardamom tea or chai or something along those lines would be a nice compliment? Enjoy.
I've made chocolate cupcakes using ancho powder and a just a touch of cayenne. Great flavor! The cupcakes also had chocolate chunks which seemed to add to the fun. Don't know how chunks would work in a layer cake, though.