Baking & Dessert

By Lindsay Hunt | February 2, 2011

Photo: Lindsay Hunt

For a work event, my coworkers and I were encouraged to bring desserts for a potluck.

I asked my colleague what I should bring and she requested chocolate. I readily agreed, and started searching for a chocolate dessert recipe.

As I flipped through my cookbooks, and perused various recipe websites, no chocolate-based treat inspired me. It was then that I came to my realization: I don’t love chocolate. I would readily eat a bowlful of butterscotch pudding, or an entire batch of caramels, but chocolate doesn’t make my mouth water.

However, even for a non-chocolate fanatic like me, sometimes the craving strikes, and only dark, luscious chocolate cake will do. This is the kind of cake that with each bite, you are aware it’s chocolate you’re eating, and chocolate you will be eating until your indulgence overcomes you. A cake like this should be almost fudgey, and most likely needs a glass of milk by its side.

The first chocolate recipe to call to me (that wasn’t a chocolate-chip cookie) was this Chocolate-Whiskey Cake from Bon Appetit’s recent mega-desserts tome: Desserts. I flip through the pages lustily, wishing I could take a bite from each pudding, cake, or tart. The cake, originally called the Chocolate Decadence cake, gets its volume from eggs, and has no other leveaning. You whip them into a custard-colored cloud to get volume, and then carefully incorporate the chocolate mixture. The chocolate should be highest-quality, as it comprises half of the ingredients.

Photo: Lindsay Hunt

After letting the cake cool fully, (one of the cruelest commandments of any dessert recipe), I released the sides of my springform pan to find a dense pastry. It didn’t even need sugar in the whipped cream, only a dollop of it unsweetened atop my dessert.

This is the cake I wish I had found instead of the cocoa-based bundt cake I brought to my work potluck. One bite transformed me into a chocolate lover, at least until the next treat came along. (That treat was what I’ll share next week: Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter Cookies.)

Barely adapted from Bon Appetit Desserts’s Chocolate Decadence cake
Bon Appetit Desserts: The Cookbook for All Things Sweet and Wonderful

  • Butter and flour for dusting the pan
  • 1 lb bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 10 tbsp (11/4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3 ounces Bourbon(I used Woodford Reserve)
  • 1 tbsp cocoa-powder
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Unsweetened whipped cream, for serving

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch diameter springform pan with 23/4-inch high sides. Combine chocolate and butter in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Whisk in Bourbon and cocoa powder. Cool to lukewarm.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar in a large bowl until tripled in volume, about 5 minutes. Fold 1/4 of the beaten egg mixture into cooled chocolate mixture to lighten, then fold chocolate mixture into remaining egg mixture. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Smooth with an offset spatula.

3. Bake cake until tester inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs still attached, about 40 to 45 minutes. Cook cake in pan on rack (cake will sink as it cools). run knife around pan sides to loosen cake. Release pan sides.

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