Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for “fifth of May”) is a celebration held on May 5.

The holiday is called El Día de la Batalla de Puebla (English: The Day of the Battle of Puebla).  It originated with Mexican-American communities in the American West as a way to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy during the first years of the American Civil War, and today the date is observed in the United States as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. (Wikipedia 2013).

For me, Cinco De Mayo is an independence of the oncoming summer; a time for when we can be free of ourselves from the layers of winter; and express ourselves, with all of the beauties of spring, and summer to come. The 24th of May is Canada’s official summer time! 

Let’s celebrate Cinco De Mayo!  Let’s celebrate early!

The cake heat burns deliciously on my tongue and on the roof of my mouth.  The US may have called independence but Mexico will always be apart of earth.  In this world political boundaries are not important.

Diablo Chocolate Cake with Chilies

Chocolate Ganache And Rock Salt.

Makes one 9-by-9-inch square cake, 12 generous pieces

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 ounces plain, vanilla, or chocolate yogurt (thicker Greek-style preferred, do not use diet, fat-free or light yogurt; sour cream may be substituted)
  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee, room temperature or warm
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1 Tablespoon of Chipotle pepper (processed in food blender with coffee liquid)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, optional
  • Himalayan pink sea salt

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Line a 9-by-9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking or grease and flour a 10-inch round cake pan; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine egg, sugar, yogurt, oil, vanilla, and whisk until smooth and combined. Add coffee, cocoa powder (I use Callebaut). Whisk vigorously until batter is smooth and free from lumps. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and whisk vigorously until batter has just combined, about 1 minute. Note about processing chipotle with coffee; blend in food processor or blender until smooth . Together, they bring out and enhance the flavor of the cocoa powder and adds depth of flavor; The coffee can be any temperature other than piping hot; you don’t want to scramble the egg. Pour batter, which is a loose and fairly runny batter, into prepared pan and bake for about 25 minutes, or until top has set and a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool in pan completely, at least 30 minutes, before adding ganache or frosting the cake, or before slicing and serving. Unfrosted cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days, or store frosted cake in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


Chocolate Ganache

  • 9 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (about 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips)
  • 3/4 cup whipped cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or optionally use 1 to 2 tablespoons of one of these; rum, bourbon, coffee, orange, raspberry or chocolate-flavored liqueur)

Place chocolate in a double boiler and heat to soften chocolate; set aside. In a small microwave-safe bowl heat the cream (I use whipping cream) for about a minute. Pour hot cream over chocolate and let it stand about 1 minute. Whisk vigorously until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth and velvety. Add vanilla or optional flavorings and stir to combine. Set bowl aside for about 10 minutes, allowing ganache to cool and thicken a bit.


Butter Cream

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter

Whisk mixture briefly before pouring all of it over the cake. Lightly smooth and spread the ganache with a spatula or offset knife. Allow ganache to set up for at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving the cake; or speed this process up by placing pan in the refrigerator or freezer briefly.

This is sublime served with port or better yet a chocolate port!