Flourless Chile Chocolate Fig Cake

I recently had the occasion to bake a gluten-free cake for a wedding shower, and used the occasion to try a new recipe for flourless chocolate cake. Ordinarily when I say I “try a recipe,” I mean that I use it as a jumping off point, and don’t worry to much about following it to the letter. With all due respect to the internet, most recipes you’ll find through Google are not perfect to begin with, so there’s little point in trying to replicate them exactly.

When I found this recipe,though, from Baking Obsession, I could tell that it was written by a pro (seriously — the blogger owns a cake shop) and that I would be rewarded for following the instructions to the letter. I was right.
Flourless Chocolate Chile Fig Cake
I encourage you to visit the site for the complete recipe and directions. I did everything as she suggests, except that my springform pan and largest roasting dish are incompatible, so I just put a dish of hot water on the bottom rack of the oven while the cake baked above it. I’m not sure if that was helpful or not, but the cake was a big hit. Great texture, excellent level of chile flavor.
The only thing about this recipe that threw me for a bit of a loop was organizing the timing, as I was in a bit of a hurry to make it in between other projects. After reading it a few times, here’s how I organized the tasks.
  1. Preheat oven.
  2. Prepare pan.
  3. Put the chili in the oven for a few minutes.
  4. Put the figs, vanilla, salt, and water in a saucepan and begin to simmer.
  5. Stem and seed the chili, add it to the saucepan.
  6. While that cooks, measure out the rest of the ingredients and start the chocolate and butter over a double boiler.
  7. Crack the eggs into your mixer bowl.
  8. Food process the fig paste.
  9. Mix cinnamon, vanilla, and cayenne into chocolate mixture and remove from heat when ready.
  10. Start the electric mixer.
  11. Combine fig paste and chocolate.
  12. Stop mixer. Combine eggs with fig-chocolate mixture.
  13. Bake as directed.
If you find the idea of flourless baking with dried fruit interesting, I also suggest David Lebovitz’s Chocolate Prune Cake,  which was my first attempt in this genre. Actually, it was my first two attempts in the genre. The first time, I accidentally left out the butter (long story), and the second time I got it right. Remarkably enough, it turned out pretty darned tasty both ways.
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