This recipe was born pretty much out of sheer greediness and a tiny bit of research. I'm quite partial to a good chocolate torte and while devising a vegetarian menu for one of my Supper Clubs at Picado, I experienced a deep craving for a chocolate torte with a Mexican twist. So I put my thinking cap on and within a couple of hours, the bones of this recipe where pretty much there.
First thing I decided to do was to incorporate chilli to the torte as it goes really well with chocolate. Now, contrary to all those crazy chilli-chocolate recipes out there, I do not believe fiery hot Bird's Eye chilli flakes are the best way to go. Bird's Eye chilies contain a lot of heat, but in my opinion, are very one-dimensional in taste. I prefer something fruitier, deeper in flavour and much more mellow... Mexican dried Mulato or Ancho chilies are perfect for the job as they're both sweet with very tame heat and with deep fruity tones that compliment dark chocolate to a T! I had dried Ancho Chillis handy and my favourite Mole uses them too, so I settled for them.
Once I settled on the chilli, I turned my head to the source of moisture in the torte. If you read the blog regularly, you know I'm a big fan of cooking with both Tequila and Mezcal, so, I decided to go for a dash of Mexican Tequila to booze it all up a bit and add moisture to the torte. I know from experience that chocolate tortes can be quite rich and sweet, so to contrarest the sweetness I served the torte with some fresh berries and some cream; you can use raspberries or strawberries. For this recipe, I whipped some double cream with a couple of tablespoons of caster sugar and another dash of Tequila for good measure!
The result was truly spectacular and with Valentine's Day fast approaching, this is really a great dessert for a romantic meal for two! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Prepare a round cake tin of about 23 centimetres in diametre by buttering bottom and sides and dusting it all with coco powder instead of flour. This will ensure your torte to be completely dark when it comes out of the tin. If you use flour the sides might look white-tish. Pre-heat the oven at 170º Celsius.
Clean the Ancho chilies by removing the stems and deseed the chilies. Gently toast the cleaned chilies on a hot skillet or pan at medium heat until they get slightly hard or crispy. Make sure you turn the chilies every few seconds to avoid burning them. Dried chiles are very easy to burn, so watch out for this as they get bitter and are not good for use.
Take the chilies off the heat and let them cool down and then pass them through a spice grinder or blitz them in your food processor or blender until they become a fine, dark powder. Set aside.
Gently melt the chocolate, butter and 4 tablespoons of the Ancho chili powder you just made by placing the ingredients in a glass bowl over a pot of gently simmering water. Make sure the water does not touch the bowl of your chocolate will split. Use a spatula or a small whisk to combine all ingredients as they melt. Once ready, remove the bowl from the heat and set it aside to cool slightly.
Once the spicy, buttery chocolate mixture has cooled down a little, stir in the eggs one at a time, making sure you incorporate each egg well, before adding the next one. Follow by mixing in the sugar, almonds, flour, salt and tequila. Mix well.
Pour the chocolaty mixture into the prepared tin and baked in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until the torte is firm. Take it out of the oven, let it rest for 5 minutes and then take it out of the tin and let it cool down completely on a wire rack.
Serve the torte with some berries, whipped cream or plain vanilla ice-cream. It's a super rich and delicious dessert and a little goes a long way! Keeps well for up to three days, but as the torte ages, the chilli flavour dulls and the tequila taste matures. It's truly delicious!