Makes one 9-inch cake, or 8-12 servings
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and softened, plus more for the pan
9 ounces pecans (about 13/4 cups)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons bourbon
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan. Line with parchment paper. Butter the paper.
2. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the pecans in the pan and dust with 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar.
3. In a food processor, pulse the remaining pecans with the remaining 1 cup sugar until the mixture resembles wet sand. Add 1/2 cup butter, the eggs, and bourbon and pulse until smooth. Add the flour and baking powder and pulse just until incorporated. Add the chocolate and pulse (just a few times) until incorporated. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Smooth the top.
4. Bake in the lower third of the oven for about 50 minutes (rotating the pan halfway through), or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
5. Invert the cake onto a serving plate or board and peel off the parchment paper. Dust the cake with the confectioners' sugar, if desired, and serve warm or at room temperature.
Prep: The cake is best within 48 hours but can be wrapped and held at room temperature for up to 5 days.
- Reprinted from Modern Potluck (Clarkson Potter 2016)
Note: You need a food processor or powerful blender to get the pecans the right consistency. Or sub pecan meal (available at kingarthurflour.com) or any other nut meal.