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Recipe for :

Hot, Hot Chocolate Cake

Jane ButelThis recipe has been reproduced with the kind permission of Jane Butel and comes from her latest book Real Women Eat Chile.

Often credited with starting the Tex-Mex mania, Jane Butel published her first cookbooks on New Mexican and American Mexican food in the 1960s. Sixteen cookbooks later, her books and her Cooking School in Albuquerque, which Bon Appetit called among "the best in the US", bring you all there is to know and love about this cuisine.

Jane is an internationally recognized authority on the regional cooking of the American Southwest. The daughter and granddaughter of accomplished home economists, she is a cookbook author, teacher and television personality.

Her interest in Southwestern cooking predates its current widespread popularity by decades. She was the first to write about the cooking style that evolved in the Southwestern border area and is credited with starting the USA's love affair with this cuisine.

Jane operates her own site-based Cooking Schools, which have been recognized far and wide for their quality of instruction. Jane's Cooking School specializes in week long and weekend full participation classes on New Mexican and Southwestern cooking - to find out more click here.

This is a yummy devil's food cake. Once I shared the recipe with the listeners of Sam Arnold's Saturday morning radio show on station WKOA in Denver and we got thousands of requests for it.


1/4 cup crushed Caribe chiles
1 cup boiling water
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pure Mexican vanilla extract
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk

Hot Fudge Frosting:
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons corn syrup
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
Chopped pecans and/or crushed Caribe chile


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 3 (8 inch) or 2 (9 inch) cake pans.
  • Boil chiles in the water for 10 minutes, the let stand for 20 minutes. This can be done early in the day or ahead of time. Strain the chiles, rubbing with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to remove as much pulp as possible. Pour the chile water into a measuring cup. Add enough hot tap water to make 1 cup of liquid. Stir cocoa powder into chile water to make a smooth paste. Add soda and vanilla, stir and set aside while preparing the cake batter.
  • Beat shortening and sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating vigorously after each addition.
  • Sift flour and salt into a small bowl. Add to eggs, alternating with the buttermilk, using low mixer speed. Beat on medium speed until smooth, then add the cocoa mixture and mix well.
  • If baking in layers, evenly divide the batter among the pans. Smooth batter to edges. Bake 35 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly pressed. (Bake rounds 20 to 25 minutes). Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out cake on wire racks to cool completely.
  • Prepare frosting. Frost cake while frosting is still warm and sprinkle with nuts and / or crushed chile.

Hot Fudge Frosting:

  • Mix sugars and cocoa together in a medium-size heavy saucepan. Add corn syrup and half-and-half. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until temperature reaches 236°F or a soft ball forms when a teaspoon of mixture is dropped into cold water. Remove from heat.
  • Beat vigorously until mixture becomes less glossy, adding more half-and-half as needed to make a creamy fudge.

Makes: 3 (8 inch) or 2 (9 inch) layers

Jane Butel

Reprinted with permission from Jane Butel's Southwestern Kitchen