mexican chocolate cake

I've had two recipes done and photographed and I haven't yet had time to actually write them up and post them. I'm moving into a new apartment on Thursday, and next week is the last week of classes, which means that this is crunch time at school as well. While that doesn't quite explain why I haven't yet written up recipes that I made two weeks ago... it's my story and I'm sticking to it.

So, belatedly, I offer you chocolate AND cake. Hopefully this will make up for the delay.

mexican chocolate cake
The cake is crosshatched because I let it cool upside down. Oops.

This isn't the cake I wanted to make. I went to the Pike's Place market one weekend and ate a piece of mexican chocolate cheesecake and knew immediately that I must make one. After an hour on the internet, however, I still lacked an appropriate recipe. I didn't want to improvise or experiment with expensive cheesecake ingredients, so I figured I would start smaller. (I may, in the end, go back to the cheesecake place and ask them how it's done.) I could have waited until finding an appropriate recipe but by this point I had a serious hankering for chocolate, cinnamon and cayenne cake in whatever form I could concoct.

I found several mexican chocolate cake recipes, and I chose this one because it also had a mexican chocolate sauce. I sure do like chocolate sauce. Additionally, I worried (rightly so, as it turned out) about the level of spice flavor in the cake, and I knew this could be compensated for by adjusting flavors in the sauce. As it turns out, the cinnamon and cayenne pepper flavors in the cake were much weaker than I would have liked (although other people claimed they were well pronounced- I should point out that I like spicy things and tend to spice high). I made the sauce much more spicy and the cake and sauce complemented each other very well in the end, and provided options for people with varying spice tolerances. Another great benefit of this recipe is that it's easily made with things I have on hand-- a recipe that doesn't require a trip to the store is truly a wonderful thing (especially considering that I tend to make things with expensive ingredients and ultimately, I am a pauper. I need more recipes like this.)

As a note, the cake is vegan, but the way I made the sauce is not.

I would like to make this again in cupcake form and turn the sauce into a frosting.

Mexican Chocolate Cake
Slightly adapted from Dozen Flours

1 1/2 cups flour, sifted (I used cake flour instead of all purpose. If you decide to use cake flour, add an additional 4 tablespoons of flour to the recipe.)
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (1/2 will be very spicy!)
1 teaspoon. vanilla extract
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup cold water

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 8 to 9-inch cake pan or spring form pan.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Stir in the cinnamon, cayenne, vanilla, vinegar, oil, and water. Mix until just combined.

Pour into the prepared cake pan and cook for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool.

Chocolate Sauce

2 ounces dark chocolate
1/4 cup water or soy milk (I used whole milk)
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons vegan margarine (I used butter)
1/2 tespoons vanilla
1 to 2 pinches cayenne pepper

Melt dark chocolate with water or milk in a saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly until the chocolate is melted. Stir in sugar and cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in margarine, vanilla, and cayenne pepper, to taste. The sauce is drippy rather than thick and should be poured over individual slices.

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