Wednesday, November 16, 2005

ToastPoint's C&Z's Chocolate Chile Cakes

For November's Mexican-themed food club meeting, I volunteered to bring dessert. My reasons were threefold: 1) I dying to try Chocolate & Zucchini's Chocolate Chile Bites, 2) I wanted to make a batch as a birthday gift for the week before, which permitted a test run, and 3) Since they had chile powder in them, they seemed appropriate.

I made the first batch in muffin tins, and followed the recipe exactly. I only filled the tins about a quarter of the way (in keeping with the "bites" concept), so they really were like mini-cakes. I'm glad I read the comments on the C&Z post, because they warned me that these little guys have a tendency to stick to the pan. I buttered my muffin molds and had no problem. I wrapped 'em up (after the Human Vacuum hoovered up four(!) when I turned my back while they were cooling) and presented them after dinner at Raku. (Note to self: Review Raku's trademark blend of tasty food and utterly nonsensical service) They were, if I may toot my own horn, a hit.

For the second batch, I got cocky and decided to tinker. I'd come across these stand-alone mini cupkcake wrappers and thought they'd be a nice presentation. And since I wanted to be more explicitly Mexican for food club, I decided to add cinnamon to the mix, in addition to the chile pepper.

I was inspired by Mexican hot chocolate, which has a distinctive creamy milky chocolate texture and warm, wonderful cinnamon flavor. When I mom and I went to Cancun a while ago for a mother-daughter "Girls Gone Wild" spring break trip, I had the real thing and the flavor lingered in my mind. The cinnamon was a good--it was unobtrustive and, if anything, diminished the chile heat. But the cupcake wrappers sucked. The chocolate stuck to the paper, and a too-large fraction of each tiny cupcake had to be discarded. Tragic. Though still very tasty.

ToastPoint's C&Z's Chocolate Chile Bites

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Melt, in a small saucepan or in a bowl in the microwave (20 seconds at a time, with stirring in between):
2 sticks of butter
7 ounces of dark chocolate (I used half ScharffenBerger baking, and hald Lindt 70 percent bar) .

Stir in:
1 1/2 cups sugar
Then let it cool a bit.

Add, one at a time, mixing well between:
5 eggs

1 rounded tablespoon of flour
2 teaspoons of chile powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Pour into greased muffin tins or petit four molds (but not cupcake wrappers!). Bake for ten to twelve minutes. They should be done on top, still wobbly inside. Cool, and store in Tupperware.

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