Southern Snacks Cookbook

The Southern Sympathy Cookbook

I'm P.C., and I have studied food and cooking around the world, mostly by eating, but also through serious study. Coursework at Le Cordon Bleu London and intensive courses in Morocco, Thailand and France have broadened my culinary skill and palate. But my kitchen of choice is at home, cooking like most people, experimenting with unique but practical ideas.

I live, mostly in my kitchen, in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Bourbon Chocolate Decadence

Bourbon Chocolate Decadence

It is the sweet chocolate time of year. We’ve been pretty good (mostly) so far with those New Year’s resolutions and are ready for a reward. Decadent chocolate desserts are just the thing. And nothing says I love you like home-cooked food, so February is the perfect time to whip up a special meal for your love, your family, or your closest friends. And I say go overboard on every aspect. Revisit your favorite recipes or try something new and exciting. Just finish it off with this chocolate celebration and everyone will be happy!

The pay-off for this easy dessert is astounding. Rich and deep chocolate with this lovely, earthy bourbon note. Flourless chocolate decadence cakes with raspberry coulis were the height of sophistication when I was a young cook just starting to have dinner parties. The name fell by the wayside, but when I was trying to classify this recipe (torte, tart, pavé), it came back to me as the perfect descriptor, because this cake is nothing if not decadent. It’s easy to make this dessert beautiful as well – sprinkle the top with powdered sugar or cocoa powder, serve it with a few sweet red berries or a dollop of whipped cream.

Bourbon Chocolate Decadence

½ cup bourbon

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

2 ½ ounces bittersweet chocolate

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

5 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line the bottom and the sides of an 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Wrap the outside tightly with tinfoil so no water can get in. Find a roasting tin that the springform fits onto comfortably.

Stir the bourbon and sugar together in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently until the sugar dissolves. Do not boil, just heat it gently. Place the chocolate in the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times to chop it up. Pour the bourbon mixture over the chocolate and process until smooth. With the motor running, drop the butter in a piece at a time, processing until combined after each piece. When the butter is mixed in, add the eggs one at a time then the vanilla and process until the mixture is smooth and silky. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan.

Place the springform in the roasting tin and place it on the middle rack of the oven. Pour boiling water in the tin to come half-way up the sides of the springform. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, until the sides are firm but the center is still quite jiggly. Cool the cake for 10 minutes, then put it in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours. When it is cold, cover and keep for up to two days.

Serves 8 – 10

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