Chocolate Cake with a Hint of Piment d'Espelette Recipe

Chocolate Cake with a Hint of Piment d'Espelette Recipe
Staff Writer

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Piment d'Espelette is a chile pepper that comes from Espelette, a Basque enclave near the Spanish border, but is popular throughout France. If you can't find piment d'Espelette, cayenne is a great alternative. Don't worry if the center of the cake is still molten after baking; that's how it's supposed to be. Vanilla ice cream is a delicious accompaniment to this chocolate cake and helps offset its spiciness.

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Ingredients

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the cake pan
  • 8 ounces dark chocolate (I particularly like Valrhona Le Noir Gastronomie 61% cacao)
  • 2 teaspoons piment d'Espelette, or cayenne (see note above)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Cut the butter and chocolate into small pieces and place with the piment d'Espelette in a metal bowl large enough to sit on top of the saucepan. When the butter and chocolate have melted completely, set aside and stir until well combined. Let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, separate the egg yolks from the whites. Whisk the egg yolks together with the sugar, then add the chocolate mixture.

Using a mixer, beat the egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form. Fold half of the egg whites into the chocolate batter, then fold in the remaining egg whites. Let sit in a refrigerator for one hour.

Grease a cake pan with butter, then pour the chocolate batter into the pan. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until cracks start to form on the top of the cake. Serve hot.

Chocolate Cake Shopping Tip

There are so many varieties of chocolate on the shelves today it can be overwhelming to pick one – as a general rule of thumb, the fewer the ingredients, the better the chocolate.

Chocolate Cake Cooking Tip

Think beyond cakes and pies – fruits like peaches, pineapple, and figs are excellent grilled – brush with melted butter or wine and sprinkle with sugar and spices for a dessert that you can feel good about.

Chocolate Cake Wine Pairing

Sweet chenin blanc, muscat, or amontillado sherry with nut-based desserts; sauternes or sweet German wines with pound cake, cheesecake, and other mildly sweet desserts; sweet chenin blanc or muscat or Alsatian vendange tardive (late harvest) wines with sweeter desserts; sweet chenin blanc or muscat or Alsatian vendange tardive (late harvest) wines, port, madeira, late-harvest zinfandel, or cabernet sauvignon or cabernet franc with chocolate desserts.