Sometimes you just need something really chocolaty. Or if you don’t really need it, you might simply want it. This chocolate torte is a good choice for satisfying those chocolate cravings because it is easy to make, versatile and quite decadent. And, of course, it is very chocolaty.
One of the signatures of mexican chocolate is that it frequently utilizes spices with a darker/more bitter chocolate, just as this torte does, so what makes this a Mexican chocolate torte, as opposed to a simple chocolate torte, is the presence of cinnamon and cayenne in addition to the bittersweet chocolate. The spicing is not overwhelming, but does lend a hint of the exotic to the overall flavor, making it just a little more interesting to eat than a standard chocolate dessert or a few pieces of plain chocolate.
The batter mixes up in a matter of moments and, if you have microwave-safe mixing bowls – glass or plastic, as opposed to metal – this dessert can actually be made in just one bowl. Once baked, the texture of the torte is dense and fudgy, almost like a really perfect brownie, only with a bit more structure and a more substantial crust. The extra chocolate chips and the nuts give the otherwise smooth torte a bit of texture. Both elements can be finely ground if you want to maintain the smoothness of the plain torte.
Along those lines, you can also alter the spicing if you wish. Omit the cinnamon and cayenne for a plain chocolate torte. From the plain torte, you can add powdered/instant coffee for a mocha flavor or a splash of kahlua. Mint extract would give the dessert an appealing twist, as well.
The torte is good plain, but could be dressed up with a side of berries or a dollop of whipped cream, if you choose to dress it up a bit more.
Bittersweet Mexican Chocolate Torte
5-oz bittersweet chocolate (65%), coarsely chopped
3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
1/4 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (dark or milk)
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper. Grease the top of the paper, too.
In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt together chocolate and butter. Heat in 30-60 second increments and stir well after each to avoid overcooking the mixture. Cool for 5-8 minutes.
Pour butter mixture into a large mixing bowl and add sugar. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract. Stir in flour, cinnamon, cayenne and salt, followed by the pecans and chocolate chips.
Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 38-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost clean, with a few crumbs attached. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then run a knife around the edge and invert onto a serving platter. Remove parchment paper and cool completely.
Before serving, whisk together 2 tbsp cocoa powder with 1 tsp cinnamon. Sift over the top of the torte.