A Frederick Food Garden

Growing (and eating) fruit and veggies in a little downtown garden

Tuesdays with Dorie — Boca Negra


TWD-BocaNegra_1Hello, everyone. I'm so happy to be hosting this month. I'm even happier that this week's recipe features DARK CHOCOLATE (and lots of it!) Although, this slender cake looks sophisticated, the recipe couldn't be easier. If you can melt chocolate and stir, you can do this. Can't do that? Then you can do both the cream and the cake in the food processor. If you're just here for the text of the recipe, skip down to the bottom. (or you can listen to me blather on for a little longer.)

IMG_1876The recipe tells you to "choose a chocolate that you love", so I pulled out the big guns. I got a block of Sharffen-Berger 70% bittersweet. This chocolate is fruity with a big finish, so I was hoping it would really shine in the final cake.

A couple of notes about this recipe:

  • I mixed the cake by hand and it gets really stiff after you beat some of the butter in. "Room-temperature" in my kitchen in February is around 66°F. I had to microwave the butter until it was just on the edge of melting to finish mixing it into the batter.


  • The directions say to bake the cake for "exactly 30 minutes." After 23 minutes, the cake still looked raw and shiny. I was positive that it wouldn't be ready. I was wrong. It had the promised "thin, dry crust" after exactly 30 minutes.
  • The part of the recipe that really worried me was "the flip". I was concerned that the plastic wrap would melt onto the hot pan. I was also worried that the warm cake would break apart and fall on the floor. Do you know the Julia Child-Potato Pancake story? (Read it here: the 2nd chapter.) Julia said, "When you flip anything, you just have to have the courage of your convictions." I must've had more courage than I thought, since it stayed in one piece. We miss you, Julia!

IMG_1906But enough about the process, the real question is: does this cake pay off? Is this cake the deep, dark, chocolate extravagance of my dreams? I'm happy to say, "yes, yes it is." As a matter of fact, I would recommend thin slices, since this cake is intense. I would also recommend not skipping the white chocolate cream. I know there are a lot of white chocolate haters out there (you know who you are!), but the warm, soft, rich cake really benefits from the cold, firm, bourbon-ey cream. If you're really not into white chocolate, you could probably get a similar effect with the ice cream of your choice. A drizzle of raspberry sauce might be nice, too.

Boca Negra
Makes 12 servings. A boca negra, or black mouth, is what you'll have after one bite of this intensely chocolaty cake—you'll also have a smile on your face. A chocolate craver's ideal, this cake calls for twelve ounces of bittersweet chocolate and you'll taste every ounce, so choose chocolate you love. The cake is meant to be served warm or at room temperature, when it is as moist, dense and dark as the chocolate you use to make it. Chilled, it has all the appeal of fudge. The white chocolate cream, which is made a day ahead, is one you can use with other desserts, and neither the cake nor the cream is a challenge for beginner bakers. In fact, if you make it in the food processor, it takes only five minutes.

The Cream
12 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup Bourbon (or more to taste)

Prepare the cream at least one day in advance. Put the white chocolate in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade or a blender container. Heat the heavy cream until small bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Pour the cream over the chocolate and process until completely smooth. Add the bourbon, taste, and add up to a tablespoon more if you want. Turn into a container with a tight-fitting lid and chill overnight. (The cream can be kept in the refrigerator for a week or frozen for up to a month. If you've frozen the cream, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator.)

The Cake
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
1/2 cup bourbon
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces, at room temperature
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment or wax paper; butter the paper. Put the cake pan in a shallow roasting pan and set aside until needed.

Put the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl and keep close at hand. In a 2-quart saucepan, mix 1 cup of the sugar and the bourbon and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a full boil. Immediately pour the hot syrup over the chocolate and stir with a rubber spatula until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Piece by piece, stir the butter into the chocolate mixture. Make certain that each piece of butter is melted before you add another.

Put the eggs and the remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until the eggs thicken slightly. Beating with the whisk, add the eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until well blended. Gently whisk in the flour.

If you use the food processor: Put the chocolate in the work bowl. Bring all of the sugar and bourbon to a full boil and pour the syrup into the work bowl; process until the mixture is completely blended, about 12 seconds. With the machine running, add the butter in pieces, followed by the eggs, one at a time, and then the flour. Process an additional 15 seconds before turning the batter into the prepared pan.

Baking the cake: Pour and scrape the batter into the prepared pan, running your spatula over the top to smooth it. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come about 1 inch up the sides of the cake pan. Bake the cake for exactly 30 minutes, at which point the top will have a thin, dry crust. Remove the cake pan from its water bath, wipe the pan dry, and cover the top of the cake with a sheet of plastic wrap. Invert the cake onto a flat plate, peel off the parchment and quickly but gently invert again onto a serving platter; remove the plastic.

Serve the cake warm or at room temperature with the chilled white chocolate cream.

Storing: Once cooled, the cake can be covered with plastic and kept at room temperature for 1 day or refrigerated for up to 3 days; bring to room temperature before serving. For longer storage, wrap the cake airtight and freeze it; it will keep for up to a month. Thaw overnight, still wrapped, in the refrigerator.

Author: cathybruce

I'm a graphic designer, cook, gardener, geek, wife, and mom. Not necessarily in that order.


  1. Nice job Cathy! Your photos are perfect and your cake looks amazing. Thanks for hosting.

  2. I love that this was so easy, yet so impressive! and the white chocolate cream was to die for! Unfortunately, mine cracked when I flipped it back over, but it did seem to heal itself somewhat after cooling. Thanks for hosting!

  3. Your cake looks great! Thanks for hosting this week!

  4. That is one lovely looking cake! I had some issues when I unmolded the cake but it turned out ok in the end!
    Thanks for hosting this week
    smarkies recently posted..Baked these a little longer (15 minutes) and ended up with a dry looking top – as indicated in the…

  5. You did a great job Cathy. It looks amazing! Thanks for hosting today!
    Paula @ Vintage Kitchen recently posted..Boca Negra – or chocolate bourbon pudding cake

  6. This was an amazing cake for sure! Glad you had success and loved it – thanks for hosting!
    Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.) recently posted..Tuesdays with Dorie: Boca Negra

  7. That first photo captures the elegance of this cake perfectly. Thank you so much for hosting this week!
    Elaine recently posted..Boca Negra

  8. What a beautiful cake! It looks so delicious. I loved it too, I’ll do this one again. thank you for hosting.
    Miette recently posted..TWD: Boca Negra

  9. I had the same concern about the plastic wrap melting, but was thrilled that my concern was unfounded. (It was almost as bad as having to fish the cake out of the water-bath pan — ha.)

    Beautiful cake, and thanks for hosting!

  10. Great job, Kathy!! Your cake looks amazing! I started off with a big mistake, but it still came out lovely!! A perfect ending to our Valentine’s day dinner!! Thanks for hosting!
    Kathy recently posted..Baking with Julia ~ TWD ~ Boca Negra

  11. Pingback: twd: boca negra « a bend in the road

  12. Lovely cake, Cathy! Thanks for hosting!
    Sara recently posted..twd: boca negra

  13. THANK YOU for choosing this recipe! I can’t tell you enough how much I enjoyed it!

  14. O
    Must have NOW!
    Colette @ JFF! recently posted..Berry Pavlova Sponge Cake & GIVEAWAY!

  15. lucky you, getting to host this one—i loved it! yours looks like chocolaty perfection.
    steph (whisk/spoon) recently posted..Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Boca Negra

  16. Your cake is PERFECT!!! Thanks for hosting, Cathy!!!
    Liz recently posted..Boca Negra with White Chocolate Frangelico Cream…#TuesdayswithDorie

  17. Pingback: Tuesdays with Dorie — Boca Negra : Cookin' with Moxie

  18. Cathy, thanks for hosting this week. Your boca negra looks absolutely delicious, especially considering the Scharfenberger chocolate… wow! We couldn’t bake along with you this time, but look forward to making the recipe in the future.

  19. Woo hoo! Success!! Your cake looks gorgeous. My “cake” wasn’t. It wasn’t even a cake?! Alas, I didn’t blog about this one, but left a note on the TWD comments thread. :)

    Thanks for hosting!

  20. Yum! I agree, thin slices (but you can always go back for more that way!)
    Our cake could have benefited from a tad longer in the oven, 30 minutes produced a pudding-y center, but of course, it was still delicious.
    Katie recently posted..TWD: Boca Negra

  21. Great post! I liked your notes. I had the same concerns, especially the flipping a hot pan one!! This really was a great cake. I would make it again in a heart beat! And yes, the sauce definitely needs to be made too!
    SandraM recently posted..TWD-Boca Negra

  22. Wonderful cake Cathy! Your blog post is beautiful. I didn’t make the recipe this week but I am directing my readers to your blog. Blessings and happy cooking!
    Catherine Daugherty recently posted..DIY Sea Salt Scrub

  23. Pingback: Tuesdays With Dorie: Boca Negra | My Daily Bread Body and Soul

  24. Pingback: Boca Negra « galettista

  25. Lovely job – thank you for hosting this week.

    The flipping was kind of scary, wasn’ t it?
    Cher recently posted..The post in which I try not to be annoyed (TwD BwJ: Boca Negra)

  26. Thanks for hosting! It looks lovely!

  27. I also had qualms about inverting the cake straight out of the oven and thought the plastic wrap might melt. I’m glad to be reminded of Julia’s advice about flipping with the courage of your convictions. Your cake looks great.

  28. Your cake looks fabulous! Congrats on your flip (I need some more conviction!).

  29. Pingback: Recipe #27: Boca Negra | Baking with Dorie and Julia

  30. Your cake looks relish, and thanks for hosting!
    saucy gander recently posted..Belated Valentine: Boca Negra

  31. I know…..wasn’t this a spectacular cake? I’ve already made it twice!
    amy recently posted..Tuesdays With Dorie: Boca Negra

  32. Yes, I agree… what a delicious cake! Lovely post with great tips. Thanks very much for hosting.
    Janet recently posted..TWD – Boca Negra

  33. Nicely done, Cathy! I also have a chilly February kitchen. : )
    Thank you so much for hosting.

  34. Good article. I certainly appreciate this site. Thanks!
    wordpress theme developer recently posted..wordpress theme developer

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