Gâteau au Chocolat Épicé

IMG_6434I’ve always loved the exotic combination of chilies & chocolate.  The two flavours are perfect together, and have been used together for far longer than I’m sure the history books show.  Whether it’s adding a bit of cocoa to a robust chili con carne, or having a chili infused piece of chocolate, it all works for me.

I was working on a Mexican menu for an event once, and needed to finish with a cake.  Starting with a basic flourless cake recipe, I added different amounts of various spices until I finalized the recipe with this mix.  Because it is flourless, it stands well as the gluten-free dessert selection on a buffet.  It is a grown-up cake, and is good as part of a menu that requires something less sweet, that is also intriguing.

Usually I serve the cake precut into wedges, with raspberry coulis and a bowl of whipped cream alongside.   When you’re done, remember to thank the Mayans.

Click here for printable version.


½ c butter, cut into small pieces

6 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped

8 large eggs

¼ t cayenne

¼ t dried chilies

½ t black pepper

1½ t vanilla

pinch of salt

½ c sugar


In a small saucepan, mix together the butter and chocolates.IMG_6384

Set over low heat and stir constantly while they melt and combine. IMG_6385

IMG_6386Once all the butter and chocolate has melted, remove from the heat.IMG_6401

Set aside to a rack to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Preheat the oven to 275°

Prepare a 9” springform pan

Butter it thoroughly, and dust with a little gluten free all-purpose flour, or some cocoa.

I use a piece of wax paper to hold a knob of butter.

I use a piece of wax paper to hold a knob of butter.


Add a tablespoon or two of what you’re dusting with to the pan, and roll it around to dust all the surfaces. Do it over the sink, for easy clean up.


IMG_6391Separate the egg yolks and whites.IMG_6387

Put the egg yolks into a fairly large bowl, and whisk until smooth. IMG_6393

Add in the cayenne, chilies, pepper, vanilla and salt.  Set aside.IMG_6397

Beat the egg whites using a mixer, until they form soft peaks.

Add in the sugar, and beat until stiff peaks form.IMG_6402

Pour ⅓ of the cooled butter chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture.  Whisk until combined.

Add in the remaining butter chocolate mixture, mixing thoroughly.



Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture until no white streaks remain.




Pour the batter into the prepared pan.IMG_6409

Bake in the center of the oven until the center of the cake has set, for 1 hour.

Cool in the pan.  The cake will fall a little as it cools, and pull away from the pan ring a bit, but will still have good structure.



Serve when fully cooled.

If not serving immediately, cover with wrap once the cake has cooled completely.  Will keep for a day, but best if served the same day it is made.

Serve with Raspberry Coulis and Whipped Cream.

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