Mayordomo chocolate is an Oaxacan specialty sold in many markets all over Mexico. Flavored with cinnamon, almonds, and/or vanilla, it is used throughout Oaxaca in hot chocolate, in desserts, and as an ingredient in one of Oaxaca’s famed “seven moles.” I discovered during my trip that Oaxacan cooks buy a chunk of this “mole” and use it to season the mole sauces they make at home. After my return, I ran into a premium ice cream brand’s take on the chocolate-chile theme: Mayan chocolate ice cream. Apparently the pairing of chocolate and chiles wasn’t just for savory dishes! So the wheels started turning and I decided to test out a flourless chocolate cake tinged with chile.
MAKE 12 SERVINGS
1 cup brewed espresso
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 cinnamon sticks
12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
12 ounces semisweet chocolate
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
8 large eggs, beaten
Cinnamon ice cream and raspberries, for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Prepare a 9-inch springform pan: Cut a circle of parchment paper the size of the removable bottom of the pan. Fit the parchment circle into the bottom of the pan. Tear off an 18-inch length of aluminum foil. Center the pan over the sheet of foil and crumple and crimp the foil tightly all around the sides of the pan. (The foil will prevent water from seeping into the pan during baking.) Set the pan aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, bring the espresso, brown sugar, and cinnamon sticks to a simmer over very low heat. Turn the heat to the lowest setting and steep until the syrup is very fragrant, about 20 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks. Stir in the butter until melted and then stir in the cayenne pepper. Set aside.
3. Pulse the chocolate in the food processor until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a deep bowl. Pour in the warm coffee syrup and whisk until the chocolate is completely melted. Whisk in the beaten eggs until completely blended.
4. Scrape the batter into the prepared springform pan. Set the pan in a large, deep ovenproof skillet or a roasting pan and set on the oven rack. Pour in enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until the center is set and barely wiggles when you shake the cake pan gently, 50 to 60 minutes.
5. Remove the cake from the water bath. Let the water bath cool before removing it from the oven. Let the cake cool to room temperature. Remove the foil and chill the cake in its pan for at least 8 hours. Remove to room temperature about 30 minutes before serving. Run a wet knife around the sides of the pan, then pop the spring to release. Place a platter on top of the cake and fl ip the pan over. Remove the bottom of the pan, and peel off the parchment. (To cut neat slices of the cake, dip the knife in hot water before and wipe it clean after cutting each slice.) Serve with cinnamon ice cream and raspberries.
This recipe is reprinted with permission from Chef Daisy Martinez's holiday cookbook, Daisy’s Holiday Cooking: Delicious Latin Recipes for Effortless Entertaining (Atria Books).