Good Food Hunting: Spices, Witches and Chocolate Cake

By Kat Nielsen

By now you’re asking, what on earth is she writing about this time? Well, I can tell you that all three of these things have quite a bit in common. Hear me out.

decadent spiced cake 2Healers are typically defined as practitioners of alternative medicine, basically it’s our terminology here in America for medicine as it’s practiced by other cultures. There is Aryuvedic, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Reiki just to name a few. As open minded individuals of Boston, many of us have embraced balancing these therapeutic modalities out with western medicine, but just how did we get to our current status of things as we know it? Believe it or not, it actually goes back to witches.

Every culture imaginable has had some version of a healer. They work with “magic,” better known as energy work, along with treatment options coming from nature’s elements. When the witch population died out here in America (Salem witch trials), we lost our ties with herbs and a form of healing energy. While I speak of medicine in our country as a whole, think about our food culture as well. Do we have a wide range of spices used in American food? Not really. Isn’t it a coincidence with the way things have developed?

This month I’m bringing to you a recipe that will perhaps stir up some magic in the kitchen by broadening your spice cabinet. And as luck would have it chocolate is a wonderful medium for spice. While I recommend cinnamon and chipotle chili powder in the main recipe, don’t be afraid to experiment with more bold pairings including curry powder and dark chocolate, cardamom and bitter sweet chocolate, ginger and dark chocolate or orange and pepper with milk chocolate.

To full plates and adding some spice into your life,

About the writer: Author Kat Nielsen is a horse enthusiast turned food blogger. She maintains a day job in the horse world handling marketing and brand support to various companies while enjoying her evenings and weekends writing recipes and blogging all about her culinary experiences. Visit her blog at or email her at

Recipe: Decadent Spiced Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:decadent spiced cake 1

4 ounces of Ghirardelli or other good quality baking chocolate
1/2 cup of butter, unsalted
3/4 cup sugar 3 eggs
1/2 cup of cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of chipotle chile powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt

Preheat oven to 375°F and butter an 8-inch springform pan. Line bottom with parchment paper and butter paper. If you don’t have a springform pan, a round 8-inch pan will work, just butter generously.

In a double boiler, or metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt chocolate with butter. Stir till smooth and completely melted. Remove top of double boiler or bowl from heat and whisk sugar into chocolate mixture.

Add eggs one at a time and whisk generously. (A slow addition of eggs and fast whisking does not allow the egg to heat and scramble on you).

Add cocoa powder, cinnamon, chipotle chile powder and salt into chocolate mixture, whisk until just combined. Pour batter into pan and bake in middle of oven 20 minutes, or until top has formed a thin crust. Cake will be domed, and during cooling will invert.

Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes and remove from pan. If you don’t like the inverted look, cool the cake for five minutes and invert onto a serving plate. Cake can be served immediately or stored in refrigerator till consumption. Dust with powdered 2 tablespoons of powdered Sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon.

Best eaten with ice cream and/or fresh fruit. You can also top with a homemade chocolate ganache or caramel sauce.

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