Friday, March 1, 2013

Sugar and Spice Makes Everything Nice!

Concluding my "Chilly Chile Menu," which started with an exciting Southwest Caesar Salad followed by a comforting Green Chile Chicken Lasagna with Goat Cheese, I wanted to end this heart warming menu with a spectacular dessert, specifically "Bissinger's Chocolate Cinnamon Chile Cake!" Bissinger's Handcrafted Chocolatier has been a venerable St. Louis institution since 1927, with a long history dating back to the early 1600's France, when the Bissinger family was honored the title of "Confiseur Imperial" or "Confectioner of the Empire" by King Louis XIV! Who better than Bissinger's to create this enlivening cake with just a hint of cayenne chile pepper to give it that "je ne sais quoi?" This recipe is so simple and a refreshing change to traditional chocolate desserts. Bissinger's suggests serving this dense chocolate concoction at room temperature with custard sauce, warmed along side thinned orange marmalade, or with fruit sauce and berries. This cake is so addictive and the perfect ending to any Mexican or Southwestern menu. Once you try it, it will become part of your permanent repertoire!

Bissinger's Chocolate Cinnamon Chile Cake

Serves 8-10


8 ounces Bissinger's 75% Dark Chocolate (Don't tell, but I used Ghirardelli chips!)
8 ounces butter, at room temperature
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Butter and dust with flour a 9" cake pan with sides at least 2" high. Line the bottom with parchment paper (cut to fit).

Melt chocolate in microwave (carefully, 30 seconds at a time, stirring until melted but not hot) or in a double boiler.

In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed for 4 minutes until well blended and lightened in color. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat for one minute after each addition. (If the mixture looks curdled, don't worry, it will come back when flour is added.) Reduce speed to low and pour in cooled chocolate. Mix just until blended.

Combine flour, cayenne and cinnamon. Add to chocolate mixture and mix on lowest speed just until blended. Remove bowl from mixer and lightly fold batter together. Pour into prepared pan.

Place on rack in preheated oven. Bake 25-30 minutes until it loses its sheen and rises slightly. (It took 35 minutes for my oven, for a toothpick to come out clean.) Remove from the oven and allow to cool on wire rack. 

Cool completely before removing from pan. Invert to another serving plate, remove parchment, and dust with cocoa powder or powdered sugar. Serve at room temperature with custard sauce, warmed and thinned orange marmalade (excellent with the spice) or fruit sauce and berries.

(It cuts so nicely!)

Recipe courtesy of Bissinger's Handcrafted Chocolatier.

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