Cake: 2 C all purpose flour, 1 ½ C special dark Cocoa powder, 4 T ancho chili powder, 2 ½ t baking soda, ½ t salt, ½ lb butter softened, 1 C granulated sugar, 1 C brown sugar, 3 extra large eggs, 3 t vanilla extract, 2/3 C buttermilk, ¾ C sour cream, 3 T brewed espresso
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a sheet pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, chili powder, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, approx. 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, the vanilla and mix well. Combine the buttermilk, sour cream and coffee in a separate bowl. On low speed, add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture alternately in thirds until only blended. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 25 – 30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool cake before cutting into sections and set aside until assembly.
Ghirardelli Chocolate Panna Cotta: ½ C water, 5 t or 2 envelopes of unflavored gelatin, 8 oz Ghirardelli Bittersweet chocolate chopped, 6 oz Ghirardelli 70% cocoa chocolate chopped, 2 ½ C heavy whipping cream, 2 ½ C whole milk, ½ C granulated sugar, 4 t ancho chili powder, 2 t vanilla, 1 vanilla bean split and seed scraped.
Place ½ C water in small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over, let soften for 10 minutes. Place both chopped chocolates in a large metal bowl. Combine cream, milk, sugar, ancho chili powder and vanilla in large saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves; remove from heat. Add gelatin mixture and whisk to dissolve. Pour cream mixture over chocolates in bowl and whisk until completely melted. Place bowl over a large bowl of ice water and stir often until mixture thickens like pudding, adding more ice if needed, about 30 minutes. Remove and keep refrigerated until assembly.
Pecan Mascarpone Cream: 2 C Mascarpone cheese, ½ C pecans finely ground, 2 T powder sugar, 1 C heavy whipping cream.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the whipping cream with the powder sugar until stiff peaks form. Gently incorporate the Mascarpone cheese with the whipped cream and the pecans until mixed. Form into quenelles for the top of the dessert.To assemble: On a plate, start with a piece of cake centered. Spoon the Chocolate Panna Cotta over the top and let it ooze over the side. Top with the quenelle of Pecan Mascarpone Cream and lightly dust with ancho chili powder. Serve immediately and enjoy!