I’ve been a fan of Martin Yan’s cooking since I was a kid. I always watched his Yan Can Cook TV show and always wrote down the recipes for my mom. He is such a legend and a funny guy! This five-spice flourless chocolate cakes come from his Martin Yan’s China cookbook. I knew immediately I gotta try it out when I saw it uses Chinese five-spice powder. Chinese five-spice powder is commonly used in savory dishes too. My mom loves to use it to braise pork. Chinese five-spice powder is made of star anise, cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon, and fennel seeds being ground into powder.
Instead of getting the store-bought birthday cake, which we usually ended up wasting half of it, I decided to make this mini five-spice flourless chocolate cakes to celebrate my husband’s birthday and they were pretty well received.
Five-spice flourless mascarpone chocolate cakes (8 of 6 oz ramekins)
- 4 Tbsp butter melted and kept warm
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8 oz bittersweet chocolate chopped
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 ½ tsp Chinese five-spice powder
- 8 oz mascarpone cheese room temperature
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup heavy cream chilled
- 2 tsp sugar
- Preheat the oven to 300 F and generously butter eight of your 6-oz ramekins or you can use 3 of 4 oz mini cake pans with the melted butter. Dust the bottom and sides of each ramekin with some of the cocoa powder, tapping out the excess. Set the prepared ramekins on a baking sheet and set aside
- To prepare the chocolate, put 1/2 cup of heavy cream in a small saucepan and bring just to a boil over medium heat. Set aside
- Combine the chocolate, sugar, and five-spice powder in a large, heat-proof bowl. Set the bowl over a pot of gently simmering water and cook, stirring until the chocolate is completely melted, about 5 minutes. Add the heated cream to the melted chocolate and mix well. Remove the bowl from the heat and set aside to cool
- Combine mascarpone cheese and the remaining of the 1/2 cup heavy cream in a large mixing bowl and beat with electric mixer until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the chocolate mixture and mix on medium speed until just combined. Do not overmix
- Divide the batter among the 8 ramekins until each is 3/4 full. Bake until the centers are just set, about 1 hour. Remove the cakes from the oven and set aside for 10 minutes before unmolding
- Meanwhile, prepare the whipped cream by beating the heavy cream and sugar together in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form
- Unmold each cake by running a knife around the edge of the cake and inverting it onto a dessert plate. If you want to serve them warm , garnish each cake with a dollop of whipped cream
The richness of the mascarpone cheese and heavy cream are balanced by the “bittersweetness” from the chocolate and cocoa powder. I love the aroma of the five spice powder infused into the cake. It is quite a dense and rich cake, a little piece does fill you up quickly!
I love using Chinese Five-Spice in unexpected recipes. I can imagine it must be really tasty with chocolate. I am so curious now! Guess I just have to make this cake. 🙂
I am definitely trying this. How does it taste?
Hi Soe. It’s moist and rich. My husband thought the mini cake was not going to fill him up. Boy was he wrong. Just 1/2 of the mini cake and he said that really was rich LOL !