Asian Five-Spice Chocolate Cake

READY IN: 3hrs 40mins
SERVES: 12-16




  • 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.