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Pecan + chocolate + bourbon cake from Olive and Gourmando: The Cookbook by Dyan Solomon.
Olive and Gourmando: The Cookbook by Dyan Solomon.
Our cookbook of the week is Olive + Gourmando: The Cookbook by Montreal-based chef and restaurateur Dyan Solomon. Over the next three days, we’ll feature more recipes from the book and an interview with the author.
Boozy, chocolatey and nutty, this is a very special cake. It just so happens to be gluten-free, and exemplifies that ever-elusive combination of spectacular and straightforward. “It’s a really simple, very decadent and very impressive cake. People just freak out over it,” says Dyan Solomon.
To bake it, you can use any kind of mould you like: a rectangular pan as written, a greased and lined springform pan, a muffin tin or individual moulds. For Valentine’s Day, Solomon recommends using individual heart-shaped moulds, flowing the ganache over when cooled, and sprinkling with chopped pecans and flaky sea salt for a pretty presentation.
“If I were going to pick something for Valentine’s Day I’d go for (this) one for sure. How to get your boyfriend or girlfriend or whatever to stick around for a few more years,” she says, laughing. “I actually made (this) cake for my girlfriend for her birthday one year and yup, she’s still there.”
PECAN + CHOCOLATE + BOURBON CAKE
1 2/3 cups (165 g) roasted pecans
Approximately 1 cup (250 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Approximately 1 1/2 cups (250 g) 70 per cent dark-chocolate discs (Valrhona), coarsely chopped
1 cup (105 g) cocoa powder (Valrhona or Callebaut), sifted
1 tsp (5 mL) table salt
6 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (300 g) white sugar
1/2 cup (125 mL) high-quality bourbon (or dark rum, depending on preference)
Ganache and topping:
Approximately 3/4 cup (125 g) 70 per cent dark-chocolate discs (Valrhona), coarsely chopped
1 cup (250 mL) 35 per cent cream
5 tbsp (75 mL) unsalted butter, cut into cubes and at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter an 8 x 12-inch (20 x 30 cm) rectangular pan and line with parchment paper.
In a food processor, process the pecans until they are the texture of a medium-fine meal. It is important that the pecans are not ground too fine. Reserve 125 mL (1/2 cup) for the top of the cake.
In a double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate, gently stirring the mixture with a spatula. Set aside.
In a bowl, combine the ground pecans, cocoa and salt. Set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or using a hand mixer, mix the eggs and sugar until just combined. Do not overmix. On low speed, add the bourbon in a steady stream, followed by the melted chocolate. Add the pecan mixture and mix until just combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
Transfer the batter to the baking pan and bake one hour, or until the cake begins to shrink from the sides of the pan. Place on a cooling rack and let cool before unmoulding.
Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
In a small pot over low heat, bring the cream to the beginnings of a boil and remove from the heat. Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir gently using a spatula until the chocolate is melted. Add the cubed, room-temperature butter, one cube at a time, stirring briskly to emulsify the butter and chocolate. Do not use a whisk.
Pour the ganache over the centre of the cooled cake. Using a small offset spatula, quickly spread the ganache to the edges of the cake before it sets. This will help evenly distribute the glaze. Top with the remaining chopped pecans and sprinkle with Maldon salt flakes.
Makes: 12 servings
Note: This cake can be baked in muffin tins or individual silicone Bundt moulds (as shown in the picture). To bake the smaller cakes, reduce the baking time to about 13 minutes.
Excerpted from Olive + Gourmando: The Cookbook by Dyan Solomon (KO Éditions, 2019). Used with permission from the publisher.
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