Chocolate Caramel Pecan Soufflé

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Soufflé


Chocolate Caramel Pecan Soufflé

Cake: 
2-3 tablespoons melted butter 
1 cup unsalted butter 
1 cup superfine sugar, plus extra for sprinkling 
16 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped 
8 large eggs, separated, at room temperature 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
2 tablespoons bourbon 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Sauce: 
1 cup granulated sugar 
3 tablespoons water 
pinch of cream of tartar 
1 cup pecan halves 
3/4 cup heavy cream 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
2 tablespoons bourbon

The Cake: 
Oven 350°. Brush a 10-inch springform pan with melted butter and coat the bottom and sides with superfine sugar. Tap out excess. Place chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in microwave for 90 seconds at half-power. If chocolate does not melt when stirred, heat in 30-second intervals until chocolate melts when stirred. Stir mixture until smooth. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Set aside. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat egg yolks and salt until smooth. Gradually add 1/2 cup superfine sugar and beat until thick and pale yellow (4-6 minutes). Whisk in bourbon and vanilla. Gradually whisk egg mixture into melted chocolate and butter. Place egg whites and cream of tartar in a stainless steel bowl. Using an electric mixer on low speed, whisk until foamy. Increase mixer speed to high and beat until soft peaks form. Add remaining 1/2 cup superfine sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until stiff peaks form. Stir about 1/3 of egg whites into chocolate mixture. Carefully fold the remaining egg whites into chocolate mixture. Fold just until blended.

Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until cake rises and is puffy and firm. The cake should be moist but not liquid in the center. A pick inserted into the center should come out with moist crumbs. Allow it to cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. The top will fall some as it cools. Remove the sides of the pan.

The Topping: 
Combine sugar, water, and cream of tartar in a large, heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sugar has dissolved and starts to change color. Increase heat to high. Boil mixture 4-5 minutes, or until it turns a deep amber color. Be careful not to burn the mixture. Remove pan from heat and stir in pecans, cream, and salt. Place pan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, 3-4 minutes, or until caramel thickens. Remove from heat. Stir in bourbon. Set aside and keep warm if not using immediately. Spoon warm topping over cake. Allow cake and topping to cool completely before serving. Use a sharp knife to cut cake.

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