Thursday, 16 October 2014

Chantico Chocolate Cake

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
250g butter
200g plain chocolate
300g demerara sugar
250ml chantico (or any well flavoured stout)
300g plain flour
50g cocoa
2 eggs
2tsp baking powder

For The Topping
300g Mascarpone
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.

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