by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez / Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Chocolate Cake w/ Chile & Espresso inspired by Chocolat
So sets the scene for our first foodie film over at Food 'n Flix—Chocolat! The story of a beautiful, mysterious woman, Vianne...who travels with the magical Northern wind...blowing from town to town...dispensing her medicine to all who ail. Treatment of choice? Chocolate! Vianne has a knack- a gift, if you will...of guessing your favorite. Spin the disk and tell her what you see in it...reveal what's inside...reveal your inner feelings and desires. The small village of Reynaud and the people who have lived there all of their life seemed to have fallen into a rut...life passing them by. Vianne and her Chocolaterie Maya opened their eyes, their minds, their hearts and awakened their desires allowing them to begin to once again—experience life!
I love all of the characters...and actors that portray them...in the film- Dame Judi Dench as Armande, Johnny Depp as Roux, Lena Olin as Josephine, Alfred Molina as the Comte de Reynaud, Peter Stormare as Serge, Carrie-Ann Moss as Caroline, and of course, Juliette Binoche as Vianne.
Okay, I find myself getting sidetracked...I could interject little bits and pieces of the film and one would remind me of another...and I would never stop. So, what I'll say is...if you haven't see Chocolat, I recommend you go out and rent it asap. So, over at Food 'n Flix, we want to watch a film and draw inspiration from it and then bring to life in the kitchen!
Although I was inspired in so many ways, I narrowed it down to perhaps the simplest thing of all- chocolate cake. Vianne serves a gorgeous chocolate cake...it looks moist, rich, and simple all at the same time. Not simple as in easy, simple as in deceptively complex! Watching a fork seductively slice in a steal a bite...it's obvious that this isn't just any old cake. It's the kind of cake that makes you forget whatever it was that were thinking about the moment you take a bite. A slow smile plays on your lips...a dreamy look appears in your eyes...and a gentle hush falls on the room as conversation is all-but-forgotten until the last crumb is licked from the forks of all who dared a slice. What? You think that such a cake couldn't be good for your hips...that you definitely not even supposed to think about it in fear of the thought bringing on another pound? Well, in the words of Armande...
|"Very good...but not my favorite."|
- 5 ounces (10 tablespoons) butter, slightly softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons Espresso (or 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 1/2 tablespoons boiling water)
- 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cake flour
- 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder + more for dusting
- 1 tablespoon chile piquín (or a chile powder of your choice)
- 9 fluid ounces buttermilk
I really enjoyed this cake...although it wasn't what I was exactly what I was aiming for. This cake has a very "adult" taste...deep, complex, not-to-sweet. The notes of coffee and the understated heat of the chile are actually my favorite aspects of it. My oldest liked it...the two younger ones, not so much. But I must brag about the palate of my daughter...only seven and already picking out the components that made the cake what it was... "It tastes like coffee...and chiles. And you used that unsweetened chocolate, right?" Very good palate indeed, young grasshopper.
I hope you join us over at Food 'n Flix...I'd love to see what you're inspired to make from the films. Chocolat will be playing through the whole month of September (details on how to enter can be found there)...and check out the Coming Soon wall to find out which flick we'll be cooking from next month!
Michiana-based food, drink, and travel writer with a fondness for garlic, freshly baked bread, stinky cheese, single malt Scotch, and Mexican food—who believes that immersing herself in different cultures one bite at a time is the best path to enlightenment.