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Boca Negra

Close your eyes. Imagine the fudgiest brownie you have ever tasted. And understand that this cake is a million times better. It is all the fudge and none of the dryness, none of the chew of a brownie or a cake. It is silky, liquid fudge.

I turned back to Baking with Julia this week to find the Boca Negra cake. Boca negra means “black mouth” in Spanish. It is named because, the book claims, it will turn your mouth black with chocolate ater one bite. I can’t verify this because I had it with tea.

I suspect that this “cake” is really a baked custard in disguise. It is mixed very quickly in a food processor and baked in a water bath. The recipe directs you to unmold it directly after taking it out of the oven. I was apprehensive, as often cakes don’t hold their shape as well as promised, but this one popped right out. Not only that, I was able to turn it out and re-invert it onto a cake platter with ease – which made for a shockingly beautiful presentation. Unlike most flourless or nearly flourless chocolate cakes, there is no flaky crust waiting to crumble into a fine dust at first knife cut.

I served it after cooling it for about a hour, while it was still warm, but it kept well at room temperature. This cake can also be made ahead, but it will have the texture of fudge if served cold, so let it come up to room temperature before serving.

Boca Negra
12 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup bourbon (or rum)
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
8 oz (2 sticks) butter, cut in 10 pieces
5 eggs

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 9 inch round cake pan, line the bottom with a circle of parthment or wax paper and butter again. Set the cake pan in a roasting pan and set aside. Set a kettle of water to boil while making the batter.
Place the chocolate in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade.
In a medium sauce pan, combine bourbon and sugar. Cook over high heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Bring it to a full boil and pour over chocolate. Whizz chocolate and syrup until smooth, about 20 seconds.
With the motor running, drop in the butter piece by piece, making sure each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Add in the eggs one at a time.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Place roasting pan in the oven and fill it with boiling water from the kettle until it reaches 1/2 way up the side of the cake pan.
Bake for exactly 30 minutes.
Carefully remove the cake pan from the water bath. Dry the cake pan. Lay a piece of plasti wrap over the top of the pan. Invert cake (and plastic wrap) onto a flat plate and remove the parchment paper circle. Reinvert cake onto a serving platter and remove plastic wrap.
Serve warm, or at room temperature, with whipped cream.

Note: This cake can be stored at room temperature for one day or in the refrigerator for up to three days. It can also be made well ahead and kept frozen for up to a month. If it is frozen, defrost it, wrapped, in the refrigerator overnight. Bring the refrigerated cake to room temperature before serving.

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  • cookie jill
    September 21, 2005

    Oh, Nic…you are “evil”…really “evil”


  • Clare Eats
    September 21, 2005

    You are only evil becuase this cake is so far away from me!

    looks great nic YUM!!!

  • Lori
    September 22, 2005

    This recipe looks a lot like ‘Bete Noir’, Lora Brody’s famous chocolate cake recipe. 🙂

  • J
    September 22, 2005

    hi nic, that’s one of my favourite chocolate recipes from baking with julia…it’s just mind-blowingly divine, isn’t it?

  • Melissa
    September 22, 2005

    Boy-Howdy…..you are a roll this week!

  • Samantha
    September 22, 2005

    I made that recipe while I was at culinary school, I was working patissiere in the french restaurant. Great recipe, so easy and so delicious. Hmmmm, might have to find a reason to make it again. 🙂

  • Helen (AugustusGloop)
    September 22, 2005

    Nothing like a chocolate-coated grin! This looks so delicious.

    ps. I hope you don’t mind but I’ve tagged you for this meme. It’s an easy one (and interesting to see what your archive digs up as well).

  • Melissa
    September 22, 2005

    Wow Nic, that looks really beautiful. There are few things in life I obsess about more than a flourless chocolate cake. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Alice
    September 22, 2005

    Oh my, that looks so good. I will definitely need to try this for myself!

  • T
    September 22, 2005

    mmmm liquid fudge- you’ve got me tempted!

  • Ruth
    September 23, 2005

    Wow!!! Thanks for sharing. My chocoholic hubby will be forever grateful.

  • raquel
    September 23, 2005

    I think boca cocoa is a better name! 🙂

  • Ana
    September 25, 2005

    What a wonderful cake Nic. A keeper, for sure!

  • Anonymous
    August 10, 2006

    saw the cake, made the cake, ate the cake, had a huge oooorgasim. oh Nic you are sooo sinful.

  • daphne
    January 24, 2008

    Your site has become my baking bible. What great ideas! With this recipe, can I substitute the burbon for espresso or coffee? I’m looking for a chocolate/coffee flavored torte.

  • Nicole
    January 24, 2008

    Hi Daphne. Thanks! I think that coffee would work just fine in this recipe. If you try it, let me know how it turns out!

  • daphne
    February 1, 2008

    ok, Nicole…I did it with espresso and the flavor turned out perfect! However, I don’t think 30 min. was quite enough baking time. The center was still a little too undercooked, even after it set for a while. Next time, which will be next week, I’m going to cook it 5-8 min. longer and see how that works. But even a little too gooey, it’s getting eaten at my house!

  • Anonymous
    February 27, 2009

    Hi Nicole, this is very tempting! I want to make, but my food processor is a bit small. I’m afraid if the batter will overflood. Can I use blender?

  • Liz
    June 11, 2009

    This cake was fabulous! No one seemed to understand why I wanted to bake my own birthday cake, but it was a snap to make and so satisfying. I will be making this again, for sure.

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