This super-rich cake made with bittersweet chocolate is prepared in just one bowl and can be mixed with a handheld mixer. Be sure to use cold instead of room temperature eggs; it’s the secret to producing a light fluffy batter without having to separate the eggs and beat the egg whites.
3/4 cup pecan halves, divided
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao), coarsely chopped
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled but pliable, cut up
1 tablespoon bourbon or orange juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Powdered sugar for sprinkling
WHIPPED CREAM, if desired
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 8-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Reserve 24 pecan halves for garnish; spread remaining pecans on baking sheet. Bake 4 to 6 minutes or until slightly darker in color; cool completely. Pulse toasted pecans and flour in food processor until pecans are finely ground.
2 Melt chocolate in large heatproof bowl set over saucepan filled with 1 inch almost simmering water (bowl should not touch water). Let stand until chocolate is almost melted, stirring occasionally. Remove bowl from heat; stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in 3/4 cup sugar and salt.
3 Add butter to warm chocolate mixture; beat at medium speed 1 minute or until butter is melted. Beat in bourbon and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating just until blended. Increase speed to medium-high; beat 2 to 3 minutes or until batter is light and fluffy (mixture should resemble thick chocolate whipped cream). At low speed, beat in ground pecan mixture just until blended. Spread batter in pan; top with pecan halves.
4 Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted 1 1/2 inches from edge comes out clean. Place on wire rack; immediately slide thin knife around edge of cake to detach from sides of pan. Cool completely. (Cake will sink slightly but evenly.) Cover loosely; let stand overnight.
5 Sprinkle cake with powdered sugar before serving. Store at room temperature.
6 Beat cream and 1 tablespoon sugar in medium bowl at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Serve with cake.
PER SERVING: 510 calories, 40 g total fat (20.5 g saturated fat), 6 g protein, 37 g carbohydrate, 175 mg cholesterol, 80 mg sodium, 2.5 g fiber