A Chocolate Cake to Die For

I have never been one of those people that crave chocolate, especially chocolate cake.   As a matter of fact, most of the time I can take or leave it.   I happen to be very discriminating if I am going to eat chocolate, it is usually Leonidas or a similar quality chocolate. Yes, I am a bit of a chocolate snob. In reading this recipe from Baking With Julia (1996) written by Dorie Greenspan, I was intrigued. Good chocolate, lots of butter and almost no flour. Steve loves chocolate desserts so for him I delved into unknown territory.  Besides Dorie has never lead me astray….

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First of all, there are just two of us in the house, so making a large cake is not the best idea. I dug out six individual tart pans and brushed them with melted butter and set them on a baking sheet.


The ingredients list called for bourbon in both the cake and topping. We have some gluten allergies among friends so I substituted grand Marnier in the White Chocolate Cream and  Patron Coffee Liquor in the cake, then some Gluten Free Flour (there is only 1 ½ tablespoons in the cake), just in case we shared it with them over the weekend.

Steve enjoyed one as a Valentine’s dessert. I did have a bite or two but, sadly, I am on a diet so I have to be good.  It is Lent after all :(.


This recipe is phenomenal. On Friday I sent two with my friend Cindy, who was having a few girls over that evening. She reported she ate one all by herself, that’s how good it was but felt sick afterwards. Why do we do this to ourselves?


The remaining three we shared with our dining companions for dessert. Everyone agrees this recipe is a keeper. Next time, I will opt for a warm cake with ice cream or a room temperature cake with plain whipped cream. The white chocolate topping, flavored with coffee, was wonderful but the topping and cake together were just too rich for my taste. Maybe I will try a different flavoring next time? We’ll see.

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Boca Negra, A Chocolate Cake to Die For
Adapted from Baking with Julia written by Dorie Greenspan
The White Chocolate Cream
  • 12 ounces White Chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • ¼ cup Grand Marnier (or more to taste)
The Cake
  • 12 ounces Bittersweet Chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1⅓ Cups Sugar
  • ½ Cup Coffee Liquor
  • 2 Sticks (8 ounces) Unsalted Butter, cut into 10 pieces, at room temperature
  • 5 Large Eggs, at room temperature
  • 1½ Tablespoons Flour
  1. For the White Chocolate Cream: Prepare the cream at least one day before serving the cake(s). Put the white chocolate in the work bowl of a food processor or in a blender container. Heat the heavy cream until small bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Pour the cream over the chocolate and process until completely smooth. Add the bourbon, taste and add up to a tablespoon more if you want. Turn into a container with a tight-fitting lid and chill overnight. (The cream can be kept in the refrigerator for a week or frozen for up to a month; thaw overnight in the refrigerator.)
  2. For the Cake: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9-inch round cake pan or 6 individual tart pans and line the bottom with parchment or wax paper; butter the paper. Put the cake pan (s) in a shallow roasting pan and set aside until needed.
  3. To make by hand: Put the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl and keep close at hand. In a 2-quart saucepan, mix 1 cup of the sugar and the bourbon and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a full boil. Immediately pour the syrup over the chocolate and stir with a rubber spatula until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Piece by piece, stir the butter into the chocolate mixture. Make certain that each piece of butter is melted before you add another.
  4. Put the eggs and the remaining ⅓ cup sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until the eggs thicken slightly. Beating with the whisk, add the eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until well blended. Gently whisk in the flour.*
  5. Baking the cake: Pour and scrape the batter into the prepared pan(s), running your spatula over the top to smooth it. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come about 1 inch up the sides of the cake pan. Bake the cake for exactly 30 minutes, at which point the top will have a thin, dry crust. Remove the cake pan from its water bath, wipe the pan dry and cover the top of the cake with a sheet of plastic wrap. Invert the cake onto a flat plate, peel off the parchment and quickly but gently invert again onto a serving platter; remove the plastic.
  6. Serve the cake warm or at room temperature with the chilled white chocolate cream.
  7. Storing: Once cooled, the cake can be covered and kept at room temperature for 1 day or refrigerated for up to 3 days. Wrapped airtight, the cake can be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw, still wrapped, overnight in the refrigerator.
*To make the cake in a food processor: Put the chocolate in the work bowl. Bring all of the sugar and bourbon to a full boil and pour the syrup into the work bowl; process until the mixture is completely blended, about 12 seconds. With the machine running, add the butter in pieces, followed by the eggs, one at a time, and then the flour. Process an additional 15 seconds before turning the batter into the prepared pan.


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