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Bittersweet Mexican Chocolate Torte

chocolate torte slice

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.

Serves 10-12.

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  • meeso
    August 13, 2007

    I love chocolate and cinnamon together!!! I bet I should try this!

  • Pille
    August 14, 2007

    As I’m approaching the 2-year anniversary of my Mexican trip, I’m thinking of hosting a small Mexican dinner party – this cake would make a wonderful dessert course!

  • Denise
    August 14, 2007

    When does the sugar go in? Are you supposed to melt the butter and sugar and then stir in the chocolate until it melts or are you supposed to melt the butter and chocolate together and stir in the sugar?

  • Kevin
    August 15, 2007

    This sounds amazingly chocolaty. The cayenne should add a bit of heat and the cinnamon should add an really nice aroma.

  • Cherish
    August 21, 2007

    Denise – I noticed that, too. I tried out this recipe to make a plain version of this. I melted the butter and chocolate together and then added the sugar.

    I served this cake to some friends last night and it was big hit – despite the fact that I overbaked it just a tad bit. Very easy and tasty!

  • kumaran
    October 5, 2007

    The recipes are too good yhank you

  • Rebecca
    February 13, 2009

    This cake is awesome and easy to make. It’s got the most wonderful aroma.

  • eugenia
    October 8, 2010

    I just “inverted it into the serving platter”. It looks wonderful and it was really easy to make. This recipe is a keeper. I ommited the cayenne because I didn’t have any, used almonds instead of pecans and used grounded baking spices. It smells lovely.

  • Jeniece
    July 4, 2013

    This cake is amazing. Now my new favourite chocolate cake. Super flavourful and easy to make and that little kick of the cayenne pepper at the end of each bite is incredible. I have nothing bad to say about this (besides fixing the recipe:You should add the sugar to the chocolate/butter combination-I think that was a typo) Great recipe and will be making this again and again.
    (used 85% chocolate and will do so again because it was SO good)

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