So a while back I persuaded Mike to make a spiced chocolate stout, because as a lover of South American foods, I am heartily sick of chilli chocolate stouts made with raw green chillis or pure capsaicin*.
We based the recipe on Mole Poblano (not mole the burrowing mammal and curse of lawns but mo-ley, a rich paste made from roasted chiles, chocolate, nuts & spices popular in Mexico), crammed it full of roasted Ancho, Pasilla & Mulato chiles, fairtrade cocoa, cinnamon and peppercorns. And its pretty damn good.
We named it Chantico (pronounced Chan-TEE-co), after the Aztec goddess of home fires & volcanos. Here she is dressed as a red snake with a crown of cactus leaves. She was turned into a dog after eating paprika (so no paprika in our stout!) and had a tendency to go batshit if anyone touched her stuff (and I'm sure we can all appreciate that)
And, aside from drinking it, what better use of a fruity, spicy chocolate stout is there? Making a cake, of course! And not just any old cake, a seriously decadent, damp & slightly bitter cake topped with a foamy head.
Chantico Chocolate Cake
For The Cake
200g plain chocolate
300g demerara sugar
250ml chantico (or any well flavoured stout)
300g plain flour
2tsp baking powder
For The Topping
100ml double cream
150g icing sugar
You'll also need a 23cm springform cake tin
Preheat the oven to 180C/G4. Throw the butter, stout (there will be half a bottle left, better drink it!) & plain chocolate in a large pan & put over a low heat until the butter & chocolate melts. Resist the urge to just drink the mix. Remove from the heat, add the sugar & stir. Leave to cool for a few minutes and whisk in the eggs and cocoa powder. Add the flour & baking powder & mix well. If the mix is a little stiff add a splash of stout (if you've drunk all the stout milk will do). Pour into the cake tin & bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until it is firm to the touch and a skewer stabbed into the centre (if you favour the Vlad the Impaler approach to cake making) comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin & turn out.
For the topping, whip the cream to stiff peaks. In a separate bowl whisk the mascarpone, then add the icing sugar 50g at a time (you might want to sieve the icing sugar if its a bit lumpy). Fold in the whipped cream & spread over the cake to give it a creamy, foamy head.
This works just as well as a filling, if you want a sandwich cake. Divide the mixture between two 23cm springform cake tins & bake for 25-30 minutes.
This recipe also works really well with Belgian fruit beers like Kriek (lambic cherry beer) or with a strong old ale.
*Wow, it must have taken you 8 seconds to come up with that. May Quetzalcoatl fly out of the sun and punch you in the throat. And also eat you.