Well, the dessert didn't merit the awesome name Fallen Ladies, but it WAS met with unanimous approval.
I'd intended to have individual fallen chocolate cakes, but then I realized those can't really sit around for 24 hours, and there was too much going on for me to leave work early to whip them up within a few hours of their intended consumption. SO, I changed my plan and instead found a recipe for flourless chocolate cake. But I still wanted individual serving sizes, so I fudged it and baked 12 ramekins of cakes instead of one big one. They came out okay, maybe a tiny bit more dry than I'd have liked, but I think that's partly the nature of that type of cake.
Then there was the spice-infused chocolate sauce. After reading a number of recipes, I decided to use David Lebovitz's recipe, which was a good call. My pastry chef consultant told me to heat the water with some spices in it: I doubled the recipe, so put in a whole cinnamon stick, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, and half a dried ancho chili (after I failed to find a dried chipotle pepper).
After a few minutes of steeping, I strained the water (I ran it through a coffee filter balanced precariously in a sieve, over a bowl). I made sure I had the proper volume of water, and continued with David's recipe.
It came out okay, but the heat was SUPER subtle. I really wanted it to be more smoky and warm, so that was kind of disappointing. I suppose I'll keep my eye out for dried chipotles (which are just smoked then dried jalapenos, and may not exist, even!), but I could also try using chipotle powder, I suppose.
So, we'll see. There was room for improvement, but it went over FAR better than I feared. And I have a jar of it left in my fridge!