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- 8 1-ounce squares semisweet chocolate
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 6 large eggs
- ⅓ cup brandy or cognac
- 1½ cups toasted pecans, finely chopped
- Tip: See Toasting Nuts and Seeds. Use standard measuring cups and spoons or scales for accurate measuring.
- 5 1-ounce squares bittersweet chocolate
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons whipping (heavy) cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup toasted pecans, finely chopped
- In top of a double boiler over hot water, Melt the semi-sweet chocolate and butter; stir to combine. Set aside to cool. Tip: Create a double boiler by filling a saucepan with 2 inches of water and bringing it to a simmer. Turn the heat off and place a stainless steel, ceramic, or glass bowl on top of the simmering water, the upper pan should not touch the water.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cocoa powder and sugar. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the eggs and brandy; whisk with a fork to thoroughly break up the eggs. Add the egg mixture to the sugar mixture and stir to combine. Pour in the melted chocolate mixture and stir until completely combined. Stir in the chopped pecans.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Set the pan into a much larger pan with sides and set both pans in the oven. Make a bain-marie (water bath) by pouring about 1 inch of very hot water into the larger pan. Tip: A large roasting pan works well for the outer pan.
- Bake: Bake 45 minutes, or until the cake is firm to the touch. Remove the 9 inch pan from the water bath and place on a wire cooling rack to cool for 15 minutes then remove cake from the pan and place the cake on the wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
- Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 6 hours.
- In top of a double boiler over hot water, combine the bittersweet chocolate, butter, whipping cream, and vanilla. Stir until melted and completely combined. Remove from heat and let cool about 5 minutes.
- Place a piece of wax paper under the chilled cake, and then drizzle spoonfuls of glaze along the edge of the cake, allowing the glaze to drip down and coat the sides. Pour the remaining glaze on top of the cake.
- Cover the sides of the cake with ½ cup chopped pecans, gently pressing them on with your hand. Let the cake sit, uncovered, at room temperature or in the refrigerator until the glaze is set. Transfer cake to a serving plate.
- Cover cake and refrigerate until ready to serve. Refrigerate Leftovers.