9 ounces chocolate, divided
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/4 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 tbsp bourbon, combined with 2 tbsp hot water
1 1/2 tbsp unsweetened, sifted cocoa powder (nonalkalized)
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup all purpose flour
7 large eggs, room temperature
Fudge Glaze (recipe follows)
Position rack in the middle of oven preheated to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease the bottom of a 10 inch springform pan (which is at least 2 1/2 inches deep). Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Generously grease the paper and sides of the pan. Dust with flour and tap out any excess.
Coarsely chop 6 ounces of the chocolate. In a heavy saucepan, combine the chopped chocolate, butter, salt and vanilla. Warm over low heat, stirring frequently and watching carefully to prevent scorching. When chocolate and butter are completely melted, remove from heat. In a thin stream, stir in the bourbon-water mixture. Add the cocoa powder and mix well. It may appear slightly curdled. This is okay!
In a food processor, combine the sugar and pecans. Process until the nuts are ground to a powder but not oily (approximately 1 to 1 1/2 minutes). Transfer the pecan mixture to a large bowl. Wipe out the food processor with a paper towel. Coarsely chop the remaining 3 ounces of chocolate. Process the chocolate in the food processor until chopped fairly fine. Add the flour and process until the chocolate and flour are blended and the chocolate is very fine, about 45 seconds.
In large mixing bowl with whisk beater attached, beat the eggs and pecan mixture until well blended. Turn speed to high and beat 3 to 4 minutes or until the mixture is lightened and almost doubled in volume. Reduce the speed to medium and beat two minutes longer. The mixture will deflate but will be stable. Remove 1 cup of the egg mixture from the bowl and stir it into the melted chocolate mixture until well blended. Add the melted chocolate-egg mixture and the flour mixture to the large bowl. Using a whisk, combine the ingredients just until well blended, but don’t over mix. Turn the batter out into the pan. Rap the pan on the counter to release any air bubbles. Set of a rimmed baking sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes. Lower the temperature to 325 degrees F and continue baking for 20 to 25 minutes longer, or until the center springs back when lightly tapped and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean except for some moist crumbs at the bottom.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack. Let cool completely 1 1/2 hours, or more. Run a knife around the cake and gently remove the pan sides.
To glaze the cake, which has been carefully inverted from the pan following complete cooling, place back on the 8 inch round cake pan bottom.
Pour a generous two thirds of the fudge glaze over the top of the cake and lightly spread it out to the edges using a long bladed metal spatula. Keep your strokes even and smooth and spread remaining glaze over the sides of cake.
Yields 10 to 12 servings
Similar to the fudge making process, the challenge is determining when the glaze is done (soft candy stage, unset, unlike fudge). It’s an excellent glaze for brownies and any type of cake you want to top with chocolate.
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp light corn syrup
2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/8 tsp salt
4 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Hot water, if required
In a heavy 2 1/2 to 3 quart saucepan, combine the cream, sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt. Bring to a full boil over medium-high heat, stirring with a wooden spoon. Cover he pot with a tight fitting lid and boil for 2 minutes to allow the steam to wash the sugar crystals from the sides of pan (this eliminates possible graininess). Wash any sugar remaining on spoon.
Remove the lid and reduce heat to medium. In any sugar remains, wash down the sides of the pan with a damp paper towel or a pastry brush dipped in warm water. You may wish to use a candy thermometer to test for doneness. Gently boil, stirring, occasionally scraping the bottom of the pan until the mixture reaches 227 to 228 degrees F. This will take about 1 ½ minutes. Remove from heat.
Gently stir the chocolate, then vanilla, into the mixture until just the chocolate melts and the glaze is completely smooth. If it looks oily, you have over mixed it and must thin with a bit of hot water until it is glossy, and smooth. Set aside for 2 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the glaze thickens and cools slightly. If too thick, add a bit more hot water until a pourable, spreadable consistency is obtained. If it is too thin and runny to spread, allow to cool further so it will stiffen.
Yields enough for a 9 x 13 inch pan of brownies or a 9 inch cake. (Recipe originally appeared on “Gourmet A Go-Go” blog pre-2007.)