Warm Spiced Chocolate Cake Recipe
Earlier this year I was sent some of the new chocolates from Valrhona to play around with. While I made quick work of the rest of them, one stood out in particular: Xocopili, smooth balls of chocolate flavored with a myriad of spices, including a heavy dose of cumin.
Frédéric Bau, a professor and head chocolatier at the fantastic Ecole de Grand Chocolat Valrhona, developed this blend. Except for the life of me, I had no idea what to do with it.
One bite, and any taste of fine bittersweet chocolate was followed by the musky and odorous taste of cumin mixed with other spices. I’d occasionally reach in the plastic bin, pluck out a round of chocolate, and eat it. Only to regret that decision a few seconds later, and I’d snap the lid back on and stow it away.
My friends at Valrhona told me it was developed for professional pastry chefs, but I was wondering what kind of pastry chef wouldn’t make their own spice blend for their chocolate confections, so they could control the amount precisely? And in the case of one pastry chef I know, intimately, he’d certainly omit the cumin.
So I started making frequent batches of mole, drawing a blank as to what to do with the rest of it, especially in terms of dessert. When I noticed the expiration date a-callin’, I pulled out my recipe for Warm Individual Chocolate Cakes, and adapted it using this chocolate.
Parisians seem to like cumin with chocolate, surprisingly. Although many of them don’t share our love of hot or spicy food, for some reason they find the combination of chocolate and cumin more intriguing than I do. I haven’t figured out why, but if Valrhona ever wants someone to develop another spiced-chocolate blend, I’m available.
However all friends, both American and French who tasted these cakes, liked them lot. I mean, what’s not to like about a warm, just-from-the-oven, oozing chocolate cake with a scoop of cool Pineapple Sorbet melting over it? Still, next time I make them, I’ll stick with regular Valrhona chocolate, or another one—sans cumin.
In the meantime, I’ve got a half a bin of Xocopili left.
In case anyone else has any ideas they care to share…
Related Links and Recipes
Xocophili chocolate balls are available at Chocosphere
You can find Xocopili in Paris at G. Detou
Valrhona chocolate’s website
Pascale’s coup de foudre for Xocopili.
The Best Chocolate Sauce, Ever (Recipe)
Very Chocolate Cookies (Recipe)
More interesting chocolates
Chocolate Idiot Cake (Recipe)