Like Wanting For Chocolate ~ Nik Snacks

Bite it and write it. That's what I do.


On 12:46 PM by Nikki @ NikSnacks in , , , , , ,    10 comments
Whenever I tell people that I cook, that I’m a chef, the next sentence is:

“What is your specialty?” or

“What is your signature dish?”

I feel like a fraud and a sellout because I usually say,

"I don’t have one. Everything I make tastes good."
(OK, the last thing I made that didn’t taste good was a turnip and sweet potato gratin for Thanksgiving dinner. The turnip was older and bitter and that in turn, made the whole dish and a lot of guests bitter, too.)

I do have a signature dish or two that embody who I am as a person, a chef, and a person of the world. I like to take traditional dishes and give them a twist. For the past five years, a New South cuisine has been burgeoning from underneath restaurants’ skirts and I LOVE the idea of taking traditional Southern dishes and making them new again.


Grilled pimiento cheese sandwiches with arugula, jalapenos, and bacon on herb focaccia
Buttermilk fried oysters with balsamic tomato gravy
Creole shrimp toast with rice grits and a shoyu-sake glaze

…the list is endless!

Well, my signature dish has to be Chili-lime chocolate cake with avocado buttercream
The dark chocolate cake topped with the pretty avocado is pleasing to the eye.

The spicyness of the chili is offset by the calming effect of the chocolate, which is further cooled down by the surprising freshness of the cool, creamy avocado. I first made this dessert during a buffet at a catering event. I like to tell people “I can make something out of whatever’s in your refrigerator” and it’s true, apparently. This recipe came straight from the sparse innards of a client’s icebox. And they couldn’t have been happier.

Yes, the combinations sound weird, but trust me, it’s good.

Please try this recipe for yourself. I'd love to hear how it turns out for you!

Chili-Lime chocolate cake

2 cups cake flour
2 cups Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
1 cup (2 STICKS) unsalted butter
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup lime juice

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
4 Tbs chili powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt

Sift flour and sugar into large bowl.
Bring butter, cocoa, lime juice, and water to a boil in saucepan. Pour over flour mixture; mix well. Add buttermilk, baking soda, chili powder, vanilla, eggs and salt and mix well.
Pour into greased and floured 10x15-inch cake pan. Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean.
Cake may be baked in 9x13 inch cake pan for 40 to 50 minutes. or cupcake pans for 15-20 minutes.

TIPS: Use other forms or types chili powder for the heat: Dried chipotle, cayenne, chipotles in adobo sauce.

Don't have buttermilk on hand? Just add 2-3 TBsp vinegar or lemon juice to regular milk and let sit 10 minutes.

Let all ingredients come to room temperature before starting.

Avocado Buttercream

2 large avocado, ripe, pitted

2 tsp lime juice

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

16 oz confectioners' sugar

Combine all the ingredients in large mixing bowl and whisk or mix at slow speed until smooth. If stiffer icing is needed, or if the weather is very warm, add a little extra sugar.

TIPS: Firm up buttercream in refrigerator until it is just pliable enough, so it won't melt when icing cake.

After icing cake, place in refrigerator to set icing.

Add lime zest to add extra color/flavor to recipe. The pieces might be an undesireable contrast because the avocado makes the buttercream very smooth and creamy.


Rebecca said...

avocado buttercream icing? i've gotta try that!

glamah16 said...

Great idea. I see Asians using avacado as sweet(smoothies, etc)so why not as buttercream?

Nikki @ NikSnacks said...

Becca: Yeah, you should! It is odd, but delicious.
Courtney: I have never seen avocado in a sweet dish but it has so much potential!

Anaylli said...

Oh wow, I love avocado smoothies (my fave summer drink), so I know that avocado buttercream must be heavenly. It looks wonderful! Thanks for sharing!! :)

Vicci said...

I've made chili & cinnamon-spiced chocolate cakes to end Mexican-themed meals, but would never in a million years have thought of avocado buttercream as a frosting! This will go in my "entertaining" file-- I know just the friends who will be impressed! :)


Anonymous said...

wow, that avocado buttercream is really intriguing. I'm definitely trying this recipe out! Thanks for sharing :)

Anonymous said...

p.s. how long before the avocado discolors, or does it?

Nikki @ NikSnacks said...

Anaylli: Thank you for coming by to visit my blog! Avocado in anything is wonderful. The sweetness just makes it that much more interesting!

Vicci: this frosting is definitely something to pull out to impress people.

Jmom: Thanks for stopping by! The scant bit of lime juice in the recipe retards discoloration. I've had the frosting in the fridge up to a week and it was still bright green as day one.

Unknown said...

this sounds fantastic! i love the idea of the avocado contrasting with the chilli chocolate...genius! and with 4 T of chilli...hoo-ha! must be really spicy!

Nikki @ NikSnacks said...

Sinead: I must have spice in my blood, because the cake really isn't that spicy. I mean, you can taste it, but you can't feel it.