Boca Negra Chocolate Chipotle Cakes

boca negra chocolate chipotle cake

I’ve got a secret weapon up my sleeve for Valentine’s Day, and yes, it’s chocolate… If you’re looking for a dessert to serve for a special dinner, and you want it to be deliciously different, look no further than these decadent and delicious Boca Negra Chocolate Chipotle Cakes.

I was looking for something fun to serve as the finale for a special Mexican dinner with my best girlfriends, and ran across this recipe from one of my favorite restaurants, Rosa Mexicano.

Regrettably, I don’t have a picture {other than in my mind} of my guests’ faces when they took their first bite, but as a cook, it was one of those moments where you feel pure joy at having tickled someone’s tastebuds.


Tomatillos are kind of funny looking, but they’re deliciously sweet – and a great base for this sauce, or a Mexican salsa verde.


cinnamon sticks

vanilla bean

My dear friend Elaine brought this Tahitian vanilla back from a trip to the South Pacific. WOW. What a difference it makes!


tomatillo sauce

Husband arrived home as our evening was winding down and was very disappointed that there wasn’t an extra cake for him. I plan to remedy this on Valentine’s Day – and this time, there’ll be extras.

You can make the sauce and the custard a few days ahead of time, and the cakes earlier in the day. The “cakes” are more of a dense pudding, texture-wise, so take care when un-molding them onto plates.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Boca Negra Chocolate Chipotle Cakes
Serves: 8
  • 1½ sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus additional for greasing ramekins
  • 1 cup sugar plus additional for dusting
  • 5 chipotle chiles in adobo {such as Embasa}
  • 6 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 10 ounces Valrhona semisweet chocolate (56%) or fine-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 teaspoons flour
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • cinnamon for garnish
  1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 325ºF.
  2. Butter 8 small {4 oz} ramekins and dust with sugar, knocking out excess.
  3. Scrape excess adobo off chiles, and slice thin. Place chiles in a fine mesh strainer and press firmly against the mesh, scraping the contents into a small bowl, until you get about 3 Tbs of chile "paste."
  4. Bring juice and 1 cup sugar to a boil in a 1- to 1½-quart saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Pour hot syrup over chocolate in a large bowl, stirring until chocolate is melted. Add butter and stir until melted. Add eggs 1 at a time, whisking after each addition, then stir in chile paste, flour, and salt.
  5. Divide among ramekins and bake in hot water bath , uncovered, until just firm and top is starting to crust, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer ramekins with tongs to a work surface and let stand 2 minutes.
  6. Un-mold warm cakes directly onto dessert plates (they will be difficult to move once they adhere).
  7. Spoon Tomatillo Sauce around cake and top with a dollop of custard. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.
Cakes can be made and unmolded (while hot) up to 2 hours ahead and kept at room temperature, uncovered. If you have limited counter space and are baking cakes ahead, unmold cakes onto a baking sheet lined with a nonstick bakeware liner (such as Silpat) and transfer to dessert plates with a spatula before serving.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Sweet Tomatillo Sauce
  • ½ vanilla been halved lengthwise
  • ½ pound small fresh tomatillos, husked, rinsed and chopped
  • ¾ cup of light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup of water
  • 1 inch piece of cinnamon stick
  1. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into a 1½ quart heavy saucepan, add pod and remaining ingredients and simmer uncovered over moderate heat until tomatillos are very tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Discard cinnamon stick and pod then puree in a blender until smooth.
  3. Cool completely.
Sauce can be chilled, covered for up to 5 days.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Vanilla Custard Sauce
  • ½ vanilla bean halved lengthwise
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup sugar
  1. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into a 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan with tip of a paring knife, then add pod and half-and-half and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat.
  2. Whisk together eggs and sugar in a bowl until well combined, then add hot half-and-half mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Transfer custard to saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thickened and custard registers 175º on thermometer, 5 to 10 minutes (do not let boil).
  3. Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a metal bowl, discarding solids. Set bowl in a larger bowl of ice and cold water and stir custard until cool. Chill in refrigerator, covered, until cold, at least 1 hour.
Custard sauce can be chilled, covered, up to 2 days.


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