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Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake

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A locally available brand of Mexican chocolate.

This cake recipe is from “The Greystone Bakery Cookbook” by Sarah Kate Gillingham-Ryan. We in San Antonio are familiar with Mexican chocolate, which she describes as “dark, bitter chocolate mixed with sugar, cinnamon and sometimes nuts … a somewhat “grainy” product, it is most often sold in disks under the label Ibarra or Abuelita.”

Also, note that the recipe calls for dried chile powder – that is, pure ancho chile, powdered – not chili powder (that has extra seasonings, such as garlic and cumin).

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake

For the topping:
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
1 disk (3.15 ounces) Mexican chocolate, finely chopped

For the cake:
1 cup almond flour, or 7 ounces finely ground blanched almonds
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon powdered, dried chile, preferable ancho chile, or use more to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 disks (6.3 ounces) Mexican chocolate, finely chopped
4 eggs separated
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
Optional garnish: sweetened whipped cream, ground cinnamon for sprinkling

For the topping: In a bowl, stir the flour and sugar together until well-blended. Either rub the butter into the flour mixture with your fingers or cut it in with knives or a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the chocolate and set aside. (This topping may be prepared up to a week in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.)

Prepare the cake: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-inch round springform pan and line the pan bottom with a parchment paper round. Set aside. In a bowl, whisk together the almond flour (or almonds),all-purpose flour, powdered ancho chile, and salt until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

In a bowl, whisk together the almond flour (or almonds), flour, chile powder and salt until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

In a small saucepan set over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the chocolate and stir until completely melted. Set asise to cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow. Gradually stir in the cooled chocolate mixture. Stir in half of the reserved dry ingredients then add the buttermilk and stir to combine. Add the remaining dry ingredients and blend thoroughly.

In a clean dry bowl, using clean dry beaters, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until they hold stiff peaks. Stir about one-third of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten. Carefully fold in the remaining whites, in two batches, until well blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Lightly and evenly sprinkle the reserved topping mixture over the cake batter (It will sink into the cake as it bakes.) Bake for 45 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched in the center. Set the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes to cool. Release and remove the pan sides. Cool the cake to lukewarm or room temperature. Invert the cake and remove the pan bottom, then carefully  peel away the parchment. Reinvert, then cut into wedges to serve. If you like, top each slice of cake with whipped cream, sprinkled with cinnamon.



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