Holiday Dessert Bake-off: Jill Waldman’s Aztec Chocolate Cake |

Holiday Dessert Bake-off: Jill Waldman’s Aztec Chocolate Cake

Jill Waldman's Aztec Chocolate Cake

Jill Waldman’s Aztec Chocolate Cake


2 cups of flour

1 cup of cocoa powder

2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

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½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup unsalted butter (2 cups)

1 cup sugar

¼ cup brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 vanilla bean cut and scraped

1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream

¼ cup packed rehydrated ancho and/or chipotle chiles

½ cup dried cherries

Cocoa powder and ground cinnamonfor dusting

Whipped Cream (recipe follows)

Chocolate Ganache (recipe follows)


Grease and flour 2 8-inch round cake pans. Line bottom of pans with parchment. Sift together flour through cinnamon in a large bowl. In a large bowl mix butter and sugars until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla bean scrapings. Mix until combined. In a blender or food processor mix the sour cream, chiles and cherries.

Slowly add the flour mixture in batches to the butter mixture, mixing with each addition and alternating with the chili mixture until fully combined. Pour batter into the two pans and bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.

Check for doneness by poking a toothpick in the cake until it comes out clean. Cool the cakes. Turn them onto a serving platter. Use the whipped cream in between the two cakes to hold them together, stacking one on top of the other. Frost the cake with the remaining whipped cream. Pour the ganache over the top and garnish with sprinkling of cocoa poweder and cinnamon.

Whipped Cream:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ cup of sugar


In a large cold bowl mix cream with a wire whisk until peaks begin to form. Add sugar slowly and continue to beat. Add vanilla and mix until cream reached desired consistency. (It should not fall off the back of a spoon).

Chocolate Ganache

1 12-ounce bag of milk chocolate chips

1 ¼ cups of heavy cream

2 tablespoons of dark rum (optional)

½ teaspoon cinnamon

In a double boiler heat the cream. Do NOT boil. Place the chips in a large bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chips and let sit 2 minutes. Add the rum and cinnamon. Stir until smooth. Let cool. Pour over the caramel layer, cover with plastic wrap and then place in the refrigerator to set. Remove when hardened and garnish with reserved caramel sauce and sea salt.