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Mocha Cake with Caramel-Spiced Sauce

Mocha Cake with Caramel-Spiced Sauce
You will be surprised to discover that this fudgy cake contains no butter, oil or shortening. The sauce provides all the "icing" needed.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbs. instant espresso powder
  • 3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 Tbs. brandy
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 egg whites

  • For the sauce:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbs. water
  • 2 Tbs. fat-free sour cream
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. ground mace

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch springform cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a small saucepan over low heat, stir together the sugar, water and espresso powder until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the chocolate, egg yolks, brandy and vanilla until the chocolate is melted and smooth, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

In a large bowl, sift together the cocoa powder and flour. Stir in the chocolate mixture. In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the whites just until stiff peaks form. Fold the whites into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake until the center of the surface looks dry and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out with some sticky batter attached, about 35 minutes. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and let cool completely in the pan.

Meanwhile, make the sauce: In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together the sugar and 2 Tbs. of the water until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Cook, without stirring, until the mixture turns a dark amber, about 6 minutes. Using a pastry brush dipped in water, brush down the sides of the pan to remove any sugar crystals that form. Remove from the heat and stir in the sour cream, the remaining 1 Tbs. water, the cinnamon and the mace. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. Let cool to room temperature.

Release the pan sides and cut the cake into slices. Serve on individual plates. Drizzle some of the sauce over each slice.
Serves 12.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Fresh & Light, by Lane Crowther (Time-Life Books, 1998).