Mahanandi

Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Chocolate~Chilli~Pecan Mini Cakes

chocolate cake

To the naive palate, cheese is mind numbingly bland. But with few tries, one would know that there are many subtle flavors even in cheese blandness. Same thing with chillies. They are hot, but there is remarkable variation of “heat” among chillies and within any given chilli type. When added to taste, chillies would bring incredible flavor to all types of foods. One example that I recently found out is chocolate. The South and Central American culture often combine cocoa and chillies in recipes and their cuisine is famous for this terrific combination for centuries.

Last weekend, I tried this ancient tradition at my home and baked some little cakes of chocolate-chilli-pecan combination. I went as far as I could go to follow the tradition:). I couldn’t get pure (or good quality) chocolate but was able to buy few bars of dark chocolate. I experimented by adding half teaspoon of pure chilli powder from India, to the melted chocolate. The recipe I followed is from “Bittersweet” by Alice Medrich, is actually for cookies. Recipe title is “bittersweet decadence cookies”, and in her introduction to these cookies she wrote “Ultrachocolatey and richer than sin, slightly crunchy on the outside with a divinely soft center, these are not delicate or subtle, but the jolt of bittersweet is irresistible.”

They were all that and more. Trembling with anticipation, that is how I felt while preparing these little dark delights. The taste was purely out of this world and I give full credit to the recipe that I followed (adapted) and of course to the almighty, all-powerful chilli.


Chocolate, Chilli Powder and Pecan - Ingredients for the mini cakes (cookies)


Mini Cakes Ready for Baking

Recipe:

Flour and chilli:
All-purpose flour - ¼ cup
Pecans - roasted and finely chopped about 2 cups
Chilli Powder - ½ tsp
Baking Powder - ¼ tsp
Salt - ¼tsp
Sift the flour in a vessel and stir in the remaining ingredients.

Sugar and Eggs:
Eggs - 2
Sugar - ½ cup
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Break eggs in a vessel (I have removed yellows, my preference). Stir in sugar and vanilla. Whisk for atleast 2 minutes.

Chocolate and Butter:
Bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate - 8 Oz (2 chocolate bars)
Unsalted butter - 2 tablespoons
Break chocolate bars and chop them finely to small pieces. Take them in a microwavable bowl and add butter. I microwaved the bowl for about 1 minute. After stirring once, I put it in the microwave for another minute. Chocolate melted to smooth and was warm but not hot. (I waited few more minutes for warm chocolate to cool little bit and then added the egg mixture. This is done to prevent egg curdling.)

Mixing and Baking:
Add the egg mixture to chocolate and combine. Stir in the flour and nut mixture. Mix thoroughly.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
This recipe is actually for cookies and the cookbook author instructed to line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and scoop the batter into small rounds and place them 1½ inches apart. And bake for about 12 to 14 minutes, until the surface of the cookies looks dry and set.

I, on the otherhand scooped the batter into tiny aluminum cake pans that I bought recently and baked them for about 20 minutes at 350 F.

End result looked like this and tasted really good.


Mini Chocolate-Chilli-Pecan Cake ~ My Entry to Barbara’s “Spice is Right - Chilli” Event

Recipe adapted from Bittersweet by Alice Medrich
Ebay Listing for mini cake pans - Here

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Sugar, Caffeine,Chicory & Cocoa, Chocolate (Thursday July 13, 2006 at 4:19 pm- permalink)
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