Sunday, April 14, 2013

Chocolate Pecan Brownie Fudge Cake

Today is National Pecan Day! I've been waiting to post this recipe for awhile now. It's one of my absolute favorites. Gluten- free.. Kosher for Passover (with a few tweaks) and just plain fabulous. This adapted recipe first appeared in the L.A. Times on April 14, 2011 and again in August 2012 with a photo by Glenn Koenig (which will make your drool), so be sure and check out what the finished cake looks like.

Instead of flour, the recipe calls for ground blanched almonds. Almond and chocolate go very well together. The almond flour gives the following cake a nutty flavor that is complemented by the Pecans! Try using different types of chocolate to achieve the flavor you like best.This cake is simple to make and easy to enjoy! Add some fresh whipped cream if you need to. I particularly like the crunchy top of this cake and the fudge-y insides.

Notes on special ingredients:

Almond Flour:  Almond flour is readily available where I live, as well as online, but you can grind your own. Use a hand grinder (a clean coffee grinder) or blender. Don't use a food processor or you might end up making oil. If you use a blender, do it in small increments, about 1/2 cup at a time.

Turbinado Sugar: Turbinado sugar is a sugar cane-based, minimally refined sugar. It's medium brown in color and has large crystals. It's often mistaken for traditional brown sugar because of its light brown color, but it's made in a different way. It contains more moisture than regular white or brown sugar, so get some for your pantry. If you don't have it, and you want to make this cake today, you can substitute granulated sugar.

Potato Starch: No you don't have to make your own! Potato starch is available from Bob's Red Mill, King Arthur Flour and many other sources. It is not the same product as potato flour.


1/3 cup potato starch (see my note above)
1/2 cup finely ground blanched almonds (see note above)
1 cup turbinado sugar (in a pinch you can use granulated sugar)
Pinch salt
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon Madagascar vanilla extract
3 1/2 ounces good-quality bittersweet chocolate (the very best quality!), melted
1 cup chopped pecans

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 9-inch round or square baking pan and line with parchment paper so paper extends 2 inches beyond the pan. (Always good to ease the cake out of the pan)
2. In medium bowl, whisk together potato starch, ground almonds, sugar and salt.
3. In small bowl, whisk together oil, eggs and vanilla. Pour oil mixture over dry ingredients and stir together with wooden spoon until thoroughly combined and smooth. Stir in melted chocolate and chopped pecans. Pour batter into prepared baking pan. Level with frosting spatula dipped in cold water, if necessary.
4. Bake 25 to 30 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out slightly moist but without crumbs.
5. While still warm, cut into 8 equal pieces, leaving cake in pan. Set aside cake to cool completely, then chill.
6. Bring cake back to room temperature before lifting out of pan (using parchment 'handles'), and gently separate into portions.
7. Top with fresh whipped cream and serve!!

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