Bête Noire (or The Smaller "heart Of Darkness" Chocolate Cakes)
Time 45 min.
8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, broken in small pieces
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, broken in small pieces
1 1/3 cups superfine sugar
1/2 cup water
2 sticks (8 ounces) sweet (unsalted) butter, at room temperature, cut into 10 chunks
5 extra large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup fresh cherries, stemmed and pitted
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp bourbon
How to make it
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the center position. Lightly grease a 9" layer cake pan and then line the bottom with a 9" circle of parchment. Lightly grease the parchment. Set the cake pan in a jelly roll pan or roasting pan.
Combine one cup of the sugar and the water in a medium sized saucepan and, stirring occasionally, cook over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a vigorous boil. Turn off the heat and immediately add the chocolate to the boiling syrup and stir until it is completely dissolved.
Stir in the butter, one chunk at a time, stirring until each chunk is incorporated before adding the next.
Beat the eggs together with the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar until they are foamy and slightly thickened and then whisk them into the chocolate beating well to incorporate all the ingredients.
Pour and scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and level the batter with a rubber scraper.
Place the chocolate in the work bowl of a food processor. Crack the eggs into a spouted cup. Combine the 1 1/3 cups sugar and the water in a saucepan and stirring occasionally, cook over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a vigorous boil. Pour the boiling syrup over the chocolate, cover the processor with the feed tube in place and process for about 12 seconds or until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture smooth. With the machine on add the butter a chunk at a time, then add the eggs. Process for an additional 15 seconds.
Pour and scrape the batter into the prepared pan, leveling the top with a rubber scraper.
Place the cake pan and jelly roll (or roasting pan) in the oven and pour hot water to the depth of about one inch into the larger pan.
Bake the cake for exactly thirty minutes. The top will have a thin dry crust on top, but the inside will be very moist. Carefully remove the cake pan from the oven (leave the water bath until it cools).
Cover the top of the cake with a piece of plastic wrap. Invert the cake onto a flat plate or cookie sheet. Peel off the parchment. Cover with a light, flat plate and immediately invert again.
Place water and cherries in a pot and set heat to medium. Let this come to a boil and then add the sugar. Raise temperature to high and cook for three minutes, constantly stirring as to make sure it does not burn. Lower heat to a simmer and let cook for eight minutes, stirring frequently. Add vanilla and bourbon, stir and cook for one minute. Add more sugar if needed. Otherwise, turn off heat and let the sauce cool (it will also thicken a bit more at this point).