12 servings (serving size: 1 cake slice, about 1 1/2 tablespoons espresso cream, and about 2 1/2 teaspoons chocolate sauce)

Mocha beverages are popular at Isabel Cruz's restaurants. The addition of a chile pepper to one of her chocolate-coffee concoctions was the inspiration for this chocolate sauce. It has just a little heat and could also be served over vanilla ice cream. She added the espresso cream "to give you something creamy to drag a bite of your cake through." Strong brewed coffee can substitute for the brewed espresso, if you don't have an espresso machine. Instant coffee will work in a pinch for the finely ground espresso.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 2

To prepare cake, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Sift together flour and 3 tablespoons sugar; set aside.

Step 3

Combine 1 cup sugar and egg yolks in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed 5 minutes or until thick and pale. Combine 3 tablespoons of brewed espresso, ground espresso, vanilla, and salt in a small bowl; add to sugar mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Sift flour mixture evenly over the top of egg yolk mixture; stir just until moist.

Step 4

Beat egg whites with a mixer at high speed until foamy using clean, dry beaters. Add cream of tartar; beat until soft peaks form. Slowly add remaining 1 tablespoon sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Gently stir one-fourth of egg white mixture into batter; gently fold remaining egg white mixture into batter.

Step 5

Pour batter into a 9-inch springform pan. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool in pan 1 hour; run a knife around outside edge; remove sides of pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Step 6

To prepare espresso cream, combine tofu, condensed milk, and 1/4 cup of brewed espresso in a blender; process until smooth. Chill.

Step 7

To prepare chocolate sauce, combine chocolate and fat-free milk in a 1-cup glass measure; microwave at high 1 minute or until chocolate is almost melted. Add chile powder, stirring until smooth. Spoon espresso cream onto dessert plates, spreading evenly. Drizzle chocolate sauce in center of espresso cream; top with a cake slice.

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