Asian Five-Spice Chocolate Cake

"Chef Kookabura found this recipe in response to a request from KrisLady. It is from Gourmet Magazine, September 1999. It sounds incredible and the ratings were good - three and a half forks (four being exceptional). Ginger cream topping tempers the intensity of the rich chocolate. UPDATE May 3, 2008: Sorry I have not updated this since the first time I made it (have made it several times since!). This cake is a wonderful palate teaser. The deep chocolate taste with the Anise and Clove flavors peaking through and then the creamy zip of the Ginger cream ... excellent. I used Scharffen Berger chocolate to get the deep chocolate flavor. I recommend this for an elegant dessert or a very special treat for coffee or tea with friends (when I use it for morning coffee, I make it the day before, refrigerate it, and take it out about two hours before serving time)."
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Ready In:
3hrs 40mins




  • Preheat oven to 350°F Butter a 10- by 2-inch round cake pan. Line bottom with a round of parchment paper and butter the paper (one reviewer said pan was hard to find so used a 9x9 square with good results -do not use springform pan!).
  • Put chocolates in a large shallow bowl. Bring water, 1/2 cup sugar, and spice to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then pour through a fine sieve set over chocolates. Stir until smooth, then stir in butter until smooth.
  • Beat eggs with remaining 3/4 cup sugar until increased in volume and pale and beaters leave a distinct trail (4 to 5 minutes in a standing mixer or 15 to 20 with a hand-held).
  • Stir 1/4 of eggs into chocolate to lighten and fold in remainder gently but thoroughly (fold 1 to 2 minutes).
  • Pour batter into pan and smooth top. Put pan in a water bath and bake in middle of oven 40 to 45 minutes, or until a tester inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs adhering.
  • While cake is in oven, prepare Ginger Cream:

  • Beat cream to soft peaks and fold in crystallized ginger. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • When cake is done, remove from water bath and cool 2 hours in pan on a rack.
  • Unmold cake by running a thin knife around edge, then heating pan 5 to 10 seconds on burner set at moderately low. Invert cake plate over pan and flip cake onto plate. (If cake sticks, tap bottom of pan with a knife handle. If that doesn't work, heat pan again.) Peel off paper.
  • Serve cake in thin slices garnished with Ginger Cream.
  • Cooks' note: You can make cake 2 days ahead and chill, covered. Bring to room temperature before serving.

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Cooked professionally for many years; then went on to other things because the hours were not very good for raising children!? Recently married to the love of my life who also happens to be an amazing cook! The kitchen is even more fun than before! I have two grown children and two grown step-daughters. Even better, I now have six grandchildren!? When I am not in the kitchen, I love to garden and read. Herbs are my favorites with flowers coming in a close second. I will read almost anything - I am the curious sort.
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