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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Chili Chocolate Torte

Chili Chocolate Continues!

I have fallen in love with chili chocolate. It started with Ed's Real Scoop's Red Hot Chili Ice Cream, I've been obsessively craving the combination since. I love dark chocolate and heat so it only makes sense that my head would explode when I tried this combination. After trying some chili-chocolate concoctions I've learned that this delicious combination can be great or go oh-so-wrong. The key is to just have just enough spice so that you finish with the bite. You want to start with chocolate decadence and end with a sharp touch on your tongue. That's what makes these desserts special.

A follower sent me a message saying they loved the step-by-step plays so I repeated it for this and another recent baking adventure, but I'm still on the fence about it...I don't want to kill your bandwidths!

Anyways, a local fundraiser for prostate cancer was the perfect opportunity to try out a cake recipe.

Pulling out all the ingredients, I realized that I was missing something: espresso! My lovely friend gifted me a Starbucks card and this was the perfect opportunity to put it to good use. So I bundled up against the chilly & windy night and headed to the local Starbucks. 

"1 cup of espresso please" - Me
"1 shot?" - Barista
"No, 1 in 250 mL." - Me
"..." - Barista
Awkward silence.
"5 shots of espresso, please" - Me

"Stories are gifts" :)

Chili-Chocolate Cake with Rum Ganache

Adapted from The Food Network

12 Generous Slices of Decadence

Chili Chocolate Cake

1 cup
1 cup
1 tsp
3 sticks
12 oz
4 oz
dark brown sugar (packed)
cinnamon sticks

cayenne pepper (ground)
unsalted butter (cubed)
semisweet chocolate
unsweetened chocolate
large eggs (beaten) 
Rum Ganache

1 cup
9 oz

big splash of

whipping cream
chocolate (bittersweet
or dark)

pecans (toasted)
filberts (toasted)

Bake the Cake
Step 1: Prepare spring form pan
Cut a circular piece of parchment paper that fits inside the pan.

Simply cut/tear off a piece that's larger than the pan.
Fold paper in half, so you have a rectangle. Fold again, in the other "direction" so you have a triangle. Repeat 1 or two times. On the back of the pan, tut the sharp corner of the triangle in the middle and snip the end. Unfold...and voila!

Step 2: Simmer espresso, brown sugar, & cinnamon
Simmer (not boil) the espresso, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Unlike my caramel toffee fudge, you don't want the sugar to caramelize so keep an eye on the heat.
After about 20 minutes, it will become a very fragrant syrup. Stick a spoon in there and taste - mmmm. Remove cinnamon sticks.

The smell was wonderful as it filled my apartment

Step 3: Add butter
Stir the butter until it is melted, turn the heat off, and add the cayenne pepper (see below).
Look closely :-)

Step 4: Chop chocolate...or fail trying
I tried to magic bullet the chocolate, but it was uber-fail. I decided I was too lazy to chop it by hand, and just moved on with the next step.

Step 5: Add espresso-chocolate syrup
Pour the hot syrup over the chocolate. If it's chopped, it will melt faster...

Step 6: Whisk until completely blended
Whisk away until you get a nice, shiny (and tasty!) chocolate mixture.
ta da!

Step 7: Whisk in beaten eggs

Step 9: Scrape batter into pan & smooth

Step 10: Prepare waterbath, bake, chill
Place cakepan in a deeper dish - i.e. broiling pan. Pour hot water so about half of the torte is immersed. This will keep the cake from breaking and uniform baking.
The aluminium foil around the outside of the cake pan helps keep water from leaking in.

Prepare Rum-Ganache
Step 1: Simmer Cream
Pour whipping cream into saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer

Step 2: Chop chocolate
I was feeling a little more patient. I took a serrated knife and chopped the dark chocolate. From experience, I strongly prefer dark chocolate, and I use a 70% cacao variety. Mmm.
Step 3: Melt chocolate with cream
Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate

Step 4: Stir until smooth

Step 5: If necessary, use a double boiler to fix
If you still have lumps, and the mixture has cooled before you stirred it smooth, simply boil a pot of water and place the dish on top. Stir as the chocolate heats indirectly

Step 6: Add a splash of rum
I am picky about my rum. I use Extra-Old Mount Gay Rum, which I discovered in Barbados. It's not sold in all LCBO locations - I found this at the King and Spadina location.

Finish & Decorate
Step 1: Loosen cake
Run a butter knife around the cake
Step 2: Remove cake
Put a plate on top of the pan, flip it over and loosen the clasps.

Step 3: Carefully remove parchment paper

Step 4: Brush away crumbs

Step 5: Crumb coat cake & chill

Step 6: Pour ganache

Step 7: Spread evenly

Step 8: Play

Step 7: Pack
I had to carry this guy for 20 minutes - I had nightmares of dropping it on the street and feeling horrified as pigeons feasted...

Step 7: Serve!
Om nom nom nom! Chocolate-y goodness for a good cause :)

Mmmm!! Prostate cancer chili chocolate cake!


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