Mexican Jalapeno Chocolate Cream Cake

Course : Cakes
Serves: 6 - 8
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4 ounces semisweet chocolate-- -- (best-quality)
2 tablespoons kahlua-- or other coffee-flavored--liqueur
1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
3/4 cup sugar granulated
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 large eggs separated, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup finely ground almonds-- -- (blanched)
2 medium jalapeno peppers; seeded -- , de-ribbed, finely minced
1 dash salt

Preparation / Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter a round cake pan, cut a round of wax paper to fit and line the bottom, and then butter the wax paper. Set aside. in a small, heavy saucepan over lowest possible heat, or in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water, melt the chocolate with the Kahlua. Stir together until smooth and set aside to cool. In the large bowl of an electric mixer set on medium speed, cream together the butter and 3/4 cup sugar until thick and pale yellow. Still beating, add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition, until completely incorporated. Turn the speed to low and mix in the chocolate mixture until thoroughly combined. Blend in the vanilla. Add the flour, cinnamon, almonds, and jalapenos and continue beating until combined well. In a separate bowl, with a hand or electric mixer, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form soft peaks. Add the remaining tablespoon sugar and continue beating until soft peaks are formed. With a rubber spatula, fold one-third of the egg whites into the chocolate batter until thoroughly combined. Then fold in the remaining egg whites gently and continue folding until no streaks of white are visible. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the center of the oven for 25 minutes. The cake will seem quite soft and underbaked in the center. This is the way it is supposed to be. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack to room temperature or for at least 1/2 hour. Run a thin, sharp knife around the edge, invert the cake onto a cake plate or footed cake stand, and peel off the wax paper. NOTE: This cake can be served plain, dusted with confectioners' sugar and each serving mounded wtih Kahlua-flavored whipped crea

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