How's that for a title? I celebrated 12th night last night (secular form actually) and for dessert I prepared a fresh Tabasco (bean of course) based flourless torte - just to die for.   I thought I would share both parts.

69% Dark Tabasco chocolate - 6.25 lbs 5 lbs of Tabasco cocoa

5 oz  Natural cocoa butter

30 oz unrefined cane sugar

Roasted the Tabasco cocoa in two 2.5 lb batchs in the Behmor, Profile p1, 14 minutes roast time.  Cracked the cooled beans in my Cocoa Mill, winnowed them and ground them into liqueur in my Champion Juicer.  I melted my cocoa butter in the Melanger, added the Tabasco liqueur.  I did something I have never tried before which was a little elevated temperature refining.  I put the drum and contents in my oven until everything was 140F.  I heated my sugar to 180 F (and no, is doesn't melt).  I then started the Melanger running and added the sugar.  Brought the whole mass to 155 F.

Now, before you try this at home, I have an aluminum center mount for the wheels (the nylon gets brittle) and have replace the seal on my Melanger (don't ask why I had to do that) so I can take mine over the 150 limit.  If you want to try it, just go to 145 or so and all should be good.

In any case, the extra heat helped to drive off some of the acidity of the beans, but more importantly catalyzed some nice acid induces hydrolysis flavor reactions in the chocolate and really smoothed out the flavor and bumped up the complexity of the chocolate.  The temperature only stayed elevated for 4-5 hours.  I think 8-10 would have been better, but I will have to play with that more.  I considered the chocolate finished at 20 hours.


The chocolate itself has some great liveliness and was deemed almost too sweet by some household tasters.  Says something for a nearly 70% dark chocolate.  I used 1 lb to make the following torte.

Chocolate Torte

1 lb 70% chocolate (homemade is best in my opinion)

2 cups sugar

2 cups butter

8 eggs

(If you like coffee, 6 oz of espresso can be added to the eggs for a Mocha torte)

Preheat  oven to 350 F.  For really even baking, make a 1" water bath with a 12" pan and get that also pre-heating. Pull your espresso and let cool if you want a Mocha torte.  Melt the butter and chocolate together.  Also let cool to room temperature. Butter and dust with cocoa powder a 9"  pan.  I find a springform or cheesecake (removable bottom) pan works well.

Whisk the eggs and sugar together.  Whisk in the espresso if desired.

Fold in the cooled chocolate mixture (chocolate to eggs so you don't set the eggs).  The "batter" may well gel up - kind of odd, but ok and what allowed me to put the nice spiderweb pattern on the torte.

Pour into the prepared pan and put in the oven (in the waterbath if you are doing that).

Bake 45 minutes.  Edges will be set but the middle may jiggle a little.  It's ok.  Remove and let cool.

This supposedly serves 16. It is VERY rich.  I like it the next day best. The rest of the  chocolate we molded up.  I tested out a new mold.  It holds 72 0.2 oz chocolates.  I will be selling a limited amount of these.  Look for them in the next week or so.  Someone (thanks Jasmine) got creative as soon as they were out.


Our Ode to the Aztecs.

We just ran out of Ocumare, and are very low on the Papua New Guinea . But the new Panama should be in Wednesday, and available soon there after.