Thursday, March 6, 2014

(Sort of) Chocolate Pavé

Sometimes something that seems like it could potentially turn out to be a disaster ends up okay. Or better than okay. I'm not sure I'd call myself cynical, but I try to be realistic about the world around me. I've probably talked about this, but I distance myself from others when I first meet them due in part to general introversion but also because I just want to...observe so I can figure out what to do. When I first met some of the people who are now my closest friend, they thought I was uppity and didn't like them and I thought they were weird or didn't like me. So what I originally imagined would be a series of uncomfortable encounters turned out to be some of my most important memories. 

Jack Daniel's awkward cousin, Zackariah Harris. He doesn't get out much. 

So I was making my (gluten free) sister a cake for her birthday. I had been eyeing up BraveTart's Chocolate Pavé for a while, and had just purchased some actually high quality chocolate (for once), so I gave it a go. Something went weird in the middle of baking...the from the center bubbled a clear, odorless liquid while the rest was completely baked. In a panic, I tweeted (yeah, I have a twitter, it's pretty inane, but feel free to follow me) to Stella to ask for advice. Cups or scales? She asked me. Aw, crap. That would do it. Volume is way (weigh, harharhar) different from weight. I almost cried at the thought of all my chocolate going to waste, so I soldiered on, living with my mistake.

And you know what? It tasted great! I still have no idea what Chocolate Pavé is supposed to taste like, but what I ended up with was kind of like a giant, nuanced chocolate truffle. And my sister loved it. So I can live with that.

Rebecca's Chocolate Pavé
unintentionally adapted from BraveTart

12 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup bourbon
1/2 cup honey

1 cup corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp kosher salt
10 ounces dark chocolate
1/2 cup cocoa
6 eggs

1 cup cream
1 cup dark chocolate 

In a medium pot, melt the butter together with the bourbon, honey, corn syrup and vanilla. When the butter has melted, turn the heat up so the mixture simmers very gently. Let it simmer for 10 minutes. Shut off the heat and steep for at least 30 minutes, or as long as you like, honestly.

Meanwhile, prepare a 9” x 13” metal baking pan by lining it with two sheets of tin foil, and greasing it lightly with pan spray or melted butter.

Preheat the oven to 300°

When you’re ready to proceed with the recipe, return the mixture to a simmer. Whisk in the chocolate and cocoa powder. Once you’ve whisked in the cocoa and chocolate, shut off the heat. Let this mixture cool slightly, about five minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a small bowl. Set a strainer over the chocolate mixture and pour the eggs in, whisking until they pass through. Discard any eggy bits that remain. Gently stir the eggs into the chocolate, just until homogeneous.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and rap it against the counter once or twice to release any air bubbles. Bake for about 30ish minutes, or just until the cake becomes slightly firm to the touch. Remove and cool, in the pan, for about an hour.

When you’re ready to glaze the torte, bring the cream  to a simmer and whisk in the chocolate
Pour the warm ganache over the torte, use an offset spatula to make sure the ganache spreads to all of the corners. Refrigerate until the ganache firms.
To remove the torte from the pan, run a knife around the sides to loosen it and gently tug at the foil. When the torte moves freely away from the sides, use the foil to gently lift it out and onto a cutting board.
Tip the torte over so it stands up on its side, then peel off and discard the foil. Cut the torte into even portions using a clean, sharp knife. I like to dip the knife into a pitcher of very hot water and dry the blade briefly on a towel before slicing. The warm knife slices the torte into beautiful, clean portions.


  1. You can't go wrong with chocolate! My mouth is watering just thinking of this!

    1. Thanks! It is really delicious, thankfully...and they last a long time too!

  2. This looks great! I love the idea of bourbon and chocolate together :)


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