Chocolate Black Pepper Cake
  • Servings: 8
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 10 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons coarse-ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
  • Unsweetened whipped cream, for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter 9-inch springform pan. In top of a double boiler, melt butter and chocolate, stirring constantly, just until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat. Stir in granulated sugar, honey and salt, then egg yolks. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the ground almonds, flour, black pepper, allspice, cinnamon and cayenne, just until combined. Do not overmix.
  2. In a large bowl, beat egg whites with a pinch of salt by hand or with an electric mixer until they are stiff but creamy. Fold three-quarters of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Pour chocolate mixture into remaining egg whites and fold gently, just until there are no clumps of egg white. Spread in prepared pan. Bake until firm and springy, 30-35 minutes.
  3. Remove cake from oven and let cool completely on a rack. Remove sides of pan, sprinkle cake lightly with confectioners' sugar and serve with whipped cream.
  4. TIPS - It is best to whip your meringue more slowly vs quickly, so as to develop one with more structural integrity; if you make it too quickly, you will create uneven air bubbles and it will collapse when baked.
  5. TIPS - Be careful not to overmix the meringue into the chocolate -- fold in gently so as not to deflate the egg whites -- this meringue is, in fact, the leavening device, and helps the cake stay light vs dense.
I'm a huge fan of spiced-up chocolate. This is a unique treat for any occasion! Serve with homemade unsweetened whipped cream.