Chocolate-Ancho Chile Cake
For the cake:
2 TBSP ancho chile powder, divided
1 tablet (3 oz.) Mexican chocolate, coarsely chopped OR
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate plus 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 c. blanched almonds, toasted
1/3 c. all-purpose flour, sifted
1/4 c. Dutch process cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 c. granulated sugar, divided
6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 TBSP Kahlua or creme de cacao
1/4 tsp. pure almond extract
For the ancho whipped cream:
1 2/3 c. heavy cream
1 TBSP pure vanilla extract
up to 1/4 c. confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting
finely grated bittersweet chocolate (for garnish)
mint leaves (for garnish)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of a nine-inch springform or round cake pan with parchment paper and spray with baking spray.
2. Reserve one tsp. of the ancho powder for the whipped cream. In a food processor, combine chocolate and almonds and pulse to grind finely. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add the flour, cocoa, and remaining ancho powder. Whisk to mix.
3. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer set on medium speed to beat the butter until pale, about two minutes. Reduce speed to low and gradually add 1/2 c. sugar. Increase the speed to medium and beat until mixture is light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.
4. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating until mixture is smooth, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl. Reduce speed to low and add in chocolate mixture, Kahlua, and almond extract. Beat until just blended.
5. In a large bowl, combine egg whites and salt. Using clean beaters, beat on medium for 30 seconds, then increase speed to high and beat until soft peaks form. With mixer running, add remaining sugar in a slow stream. beat until shiny, stiff peaks form.
6. In three additions, gently fold egg whites into the batter.
7. Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth the surface. Place pan on baking sheet to catch any drips. (I used a regular round and didn't have any drips.) Bake until a toothpick comes out mostly clean, 35-40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes, then turn out cake and let cool completely.
8. To make the whipped cream, place reaming ancho powder, cream, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Gradually bring up to high speed. When you can see faintly see the whisk's trail, begin adding in confectioners' sugar until desired thickness is reached.
9. To serve, cut cake into wedges, sprinkle with powdered sugar and top with whipped cream, chocolate, and mint, if desired.
Pairs Well With
With deep chocolate, warm ancho chile powder, and rich whipped cream, this cake has it all!