Written by Mary F. Pisarkiewicz

Is chocolate considered a spice?

Well I certainly consider it a necessary SPICE for LIFE!

Here’s a little history from UCLA History and Special Collections Library. “Although not often considered to be a spice, the seeds of the Theobroma cacao tree deserve to be thought of as an exotic, aromatic, flavor with medicinal values as a spice. It originated in the Yucatan area of Mexico, and it was used as a hot drink by the Maya and as a cold, sweetened drink by the Aztecs. Linnaeus chose to call the chocolate tree Theobroma, meaning “food of the gods”, since it was used as an offering by the Maya and Aztecs in their religious ceremonies.”

Let’s talk about chocolate today! Now this cake has a lot of butter and a lot of chocolate, but every once in a while, it won’t kill you. Every time I serve this at a dinner party, guests always pick at the crumbs left over on the main cake plate, just to get a little more.

My friend Joanne said I could make it for every dinner party I throw. She claims it is her all time favorite dessert. I hope it will become yours too!


SILKY CHOCOLATE CAKE – adapted from Food & Wine magazine

– serves 8

• 2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons (9 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons

• 1 cup granulated sugar

• 1/2 pound bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour    

• 3 large eggs, beaten

• Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350°. Wrap the outside of an 8 or 9-by-3-inch round springform pan in heavy-duty foil, then generously butter the inside of the pan. Set the springform in a roasting pan.

In a saucepan, combine the butter with the granulated sugar and water and bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring. Remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and stir until smooth and all the chocolate is melted; let cool.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the eggs until blended. Add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and whisk until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan. Pour enough hot (not boiling, but hot) water into the roasting pan to reach one-third of the way up the side of the springform. Bake the cake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until the top is crusty and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let the cake cool in the springform on a rack for 20 minutes. Then remove the foil and the side of the pan and let the cake cool completely. Dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.

Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream with some vanilla. A few fresh raspberries are also a nice addition.

About The Author

My name is Mary Frances. I am a designer, creative director, painter, wife, mother and cook. I own an internationally recognized, award-winning brand development and marketing communications firm in New York City, and am a graduate of Parsons School of Design. I especially love to cook and serve great food to make people content and happy. Hearing mmmm’s makes my heart soar. I grew up in suburban St. Louis, in Webster Groves, the youngest of six and the only girl. (Yes, that’s FIVE older brothers!) My mom was a great home cook, and she made sure that I could make a mean pie from scratch. After Parsons, I married, had two boys and moved from NYC to the NJ suburbs where I threw myself into cooking and entertaining. Now it’s time for me to share the great recipes, tips, stories and LOVE with you. The inspiration for LOVE – the secret ingredient www.lovethesecretingredient.net came from our youngest son when he wrote in a gift cookbook that the one ingredient that was ever-present in my meals was love. When you cook with LOVE, everything just tastes better.

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