Gochujang Is The Unexpected Ingredient Your Chocolate Cake Needs

Chocolate cake is arguably the epitome of both comfort and indulgence. Not much compares to the feeling of biting into a piece and sensing the rich, bittersweet taste melt decadently onto your taste buds. But what if we told you there's even more to this classic dessert than the typical flavors? Despite already offering so much, it can be taken up a notch with all kinds of ingredients, even something as seemingly odd as gochujang. This idea may sound far-fetched at first, but as recipe developer Kara Barrett has proven with her gochujang Texas sheet cake recipe, it's not only possible but also holds great potential. Barrett says, "I like introducing people to how enjoyable the combination of sweet and spicy can be in a dessert."

Gochujang hardly needs an introduction given how widely popular it's become in recent years. The Korean red chili paste offers a tumultuous mix of sweet, spicy, and borderline-pungent tangy notes that are unlike anything else. Although typically a fixture in countless savory Korean dishes, it can also work wonders in chocolate cakes. Woven in between the dark, rich cocoa notes is a fiery heat that serves as an element of surprise, catching the palate off guard in the best way possible. You'll adore the way all the chaotic flavors meld into a unique fusion that makes the chocolate cake as impressive as it is unforgettable.

How to add gochujang to the chocolate party

A gochujang chocolate cake requires all the same ingredients as the regular ones, with of course, a tablespoon or two of gochujang. It all depends on the specific recipe, but generally speaking, you can mix it alongside other wet ingredients like melted chocolate, butter, eggs, and vanilla extract. If you don't want to fully incorporate the condiment into the cake, putting it into an icing or glaze will add the spice just in the topping, which is how Kara Barrett adds it to her sheet cake. Just cook the chili paste with cocoa powder, butter, brown sugar, and other optional ingredients like milk or caramel over low heat until it reaches a desired consistency.

Considering just how versatile chocolate is, this gochujang pairing also knows no bounds. Not in the mood for whipping up a large, elaborate cake? No worries, chocolate brownies, mochi cakes, or lava cakes are just as good. They're also soft and fudgy, and adding gochujang will lend a flavor intensity that will have you savoring every bite.

That's not all. Outside of cake territory, there's a world of other sweet treats you can add gochujang to. As always, cookies are the foolproof way to go. From there, you can get even more creative and turn them into ice cream sandwiches, with a gochujang-infused vanilla or chocolate ice cream. Then you've also got chocolate fudge or bark, both of which make fantastic chocolately snacks with a secret serving of spice inside.