This, besides black forest cake, is my oldest child’s favorite cake. I’ve only made it twice because she’s actually allergic to eggs, so as you might understand, when I do make it, she savors every mouthful. And for good reason — it’s rich, and yet light, and decadent. (My daughter wasn’t allergic to eggs the first time I made this. And though she won’t die from eggs now, her skin suffers horribly for at least a couple of weeks. I made the cake recently because she was leaving for two months and requested this for her farewell party.)
A food processor is helpful, though good old-fashioned bowl, whisk, and elbow grease will serve you well. The results are definitely worth it. And you’re not slaving away either in a hot kitchen, because it’s quick to mix up.
The original recipe appears in Julia Child’s Baking with Julia: Savor the Joys of Baking with America’s Best Bakers, one of my favorite baking books. I bought it brand new when I was younger and couldn’t get enough Julia Child on my shelves. But lucky you, there’s over a hundred copies available today at Amazon, starting at $1.82. I highly recommend it.
Make the bourbon cream early, ideally the day before:
Put the chopped chocolate in the bowl of a food processor. Heat up whipping cream in a saucepan over low heat just until bubbles start to form. With the motor running, pour hot cream through the chute into the chopped chocolate, processing until smooth, about 15 seconds. Add bourbon and process 5 seconds more.
Transfer to bowl, cover, and chill overnight. Bring back to room temperature, and stir well before serving.
Make the cake:
12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped up (I default to Lindt and Callebaut and Valrhona’s Guanaja especially when it’s for a birthday or anniversary)
1/2 cup bourbon
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 sticks / 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons flour (I’m quite sure this will work with gluten free flours, since it’s such a minute amount as to not affect texture that much)
Prepare a 9×2-inch round cake pan by greasing the bottom. Line with parchment cut to fit the bottom, then grease the parchment as well. Set the pan in a shallow roasting pan. You will also need hot water for baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Put the chopped dark chocolate in the bowl of a food processor. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, heat up bourbon and sugar until sugar is dissolved and mixture is syrupy, . With the motor running, pour bourbon mixture into the chocolate until smooth. With the motor still running, add butter, a bit at a time, then the eggs, one at a time. Add flour and process just until smooth.
Pour into prepared pan. Pour hot water around the cake pan, to come up the side of the pan about 3/4 to 1-inch high. Bake 30 minutes.
Remove pan from water bath and wipe dry. Run a small, sharp knife along the sides of the pan to loosen. Put a plastic sheet on top of the cake pan. Turn over onto a flat plate. Remove parchment, then set a flattish serving plate or cake server on top and flip again. Serve warm or at room temperature with the bourbon cream and the optional raspberry sauce.
Optional raspberry sauce: Puree 8 oz. frozen raspberries in food processor or blender, adding a few tablespoons sugar, or to taste. Pour through a sieve, pressing on the seeds.