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Boca Negra

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Boca Negra by Julia Childes (with Lora Brody)

by Julia Childs (with Lora Brody)
Makes 12 Servings. A boca negra, or black mouth, is what you'll have after one bite of this intensely chocolaty cake--you'll also have a smile on your face. A chocolate craver's ideal, this cake calls for twelve ounces of bittersweet chocolate and you'll taste every ounce, so choose chocolate you love. The cake is meant to be served warm or at room temperature, when it is as moist, dense, and dark as the chocolate you use to make it. Chilled, it has all the appeal of fudge. The white chocolate cream, which is made a day ahead, is one you can use with other desserts, and neither the cake nor the cream is a challenge for beginner bakers. In fact, if you make it in the food processor, it takes only five minutes. 

The Cream:
12 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup bourbon (or more to taste)

Prepare the white chocolate at least 1 day in advance. Put the white chocolate into the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade or a blender container. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan 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 covered in the refrigerator for a week or frozen for up to a month. If you've frozen the cream, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator.

The Cake:
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1-1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup bourbon
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces, at room temperature
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1-1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment or waxed paper; butter the paper. Put the cake pan in a shallow roasting pan and set aside until needed.

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 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.

Put the eggs and the remaining 1/3 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.

(If you want to make the cake batter with a food processor, put the cocolate in the work bowl of the processor. Bring all of the sugar and the 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.)

Baking the Cake: Pour and scrape the batter into the prepared pan, running your spatula over the top to smooth it. Pour enough hot water into the toasting 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 into a flat plate, peel off the parchment, and quickly but gently invert again onto a serving platter; remove the plastic.

Serve the cake warm or at room temperature with the chilled white chocolate cream. (Note: Warm is recommended. Bitter Unsweetened Chocolate flavor is strongest when cold).

Storing: Once cooled, the cake can be covered with plastic and kept at room temperature for 1 day or refrigerated for up to 3 days; bring to room temperature before serving. For longer storage, wrap the cake airtight and freeze it; it will keep for up to a month. Thaw overnight, still wrapped, in the refrigerator.


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