Recipe: Bourbon pecan flourless cake by Charlie Abowd |

Recipe: Bourbon pecan flourless cake by Charlie Abowd

Charlie Abowd
Karen's Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Cake is on the menu at Cafe at Adele's.
Brad Coman/Nevada Appeal |

It has been wonderful to see the sun again, welcome spring, and with it many changes.

Looking ahead, I’m working on a cookbook that will combine the areas of my life I love most: family, art, music and delicious food, which has long been influenced by my family’s Lebanese history and passion for cooking.

To this end, I will be focusing my next few columns on desserts, appetizers, salads and lamb dishes. Each are drawn from the past and, where desired, updated to add new flavors and interpretations.

Stay tuned for updates.

Now for the rest of the busyness of the season. The Greenhouse Project, as many know, is another passion of mine, as it promotes agricultural education while providing food for those who have less in our community.

Please mark your calendars for the ninth annual Concert Under the Stars, A Benefit for The Greenhouse Project that takes place July 12 and features The Family Stone and Lydia Pense & Cold Blood.

This year’s event marks a few milestones: The 50th anniversary of Sly & The Family Stone; the beginning of The Greenhouse Project’s collaboration with Carson Tahoe Hospital in providing a second garden site on the hospital grounds, which will mean more veggies grown specifically for our senior population; and the moving of the concert to the Brewery Arts Center.

Yes, we have outgrown the venue here at Cafe at Adele’s and that blessing means a time for change. A special thank you to Carson Tahoe Hospital for its generous title sponsorship, which is assisting not only with the transition, but will go a long way to growing a productive public-private partnership that lifts our community.

Tickets for the show range in price from $25 to $65, and I urge everyone to buy early at or at the BAC’s office or Carson City Visitors Bureau.

Now for a bit of delicious!

This chocolate cake is made without flour and is lighter than most flourless cakes and less sweet. However, the intensely chocolate flavor is beyond compare. Make the cake a day ahead to allow for chilling before glazing.

Bourbon Pecan Flourless Cake

Serves 12

Cake ingredients:

8 ounces butter

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (my preference is Trader Joe’s dark, bittersweet chocolate bar)

1 cup cocoa

2 cups pecans

1 1/2 cups sugar

6 eggs

1/3 cup bourbon

Chocolate glaze ingredients

2 tablespoons butter

8 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate

Directions for the cake:

Spread pecans on baking sheet and lightly toast in 350-degree oven, approximately 15 minutes. Once cooled, chop finely and set aside 1/2 cup that will be used as garnish.

In a double boiler, melt 8 ounces butter (cut into 12 pieces) and 8 ounces chocolate (also cut into small pieces) together. Add cocoa, smoothing until there are no lumps. Remove from heat and add sugar, eggs and bourbon, mixing well. Once mixed, gently fold in 1 1/2 cups pecans.

Butter the sides and line the bottom of 9-inch round pan with parchment. Pour mixture into pan. Place this pan into a larger pan, adding 1/2 inch of hot water. Bake in water bath at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes. It’s OK if the surface cracks a bit. Remove from oven and allow to cool, leaving in the pan. Chill overnight or freeze to unmold.

Directions for the glaze:

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter, adding the butter a tablespoon at a time, and whisk to smooth. Each piece should be partially melted before adding the next. If the mixture starts to thin out after adding half the butter, remove it from heat and continue adding the rest of the butter. Make sure butter is thoroughly mixed and leaves no streaks. The glaze should be thick enough to set rather quickly, but if it’s too thick, it will be difficult to spread a thin layer.

To test consistency, hold a teaspoon of glaze above the pan, letting it drip back in. The glaze should be visible about two seconds before disappearing into the rest of the glaze. If necessary, let the glaze cool to thicken or heat gently to thin.

Drizzle spoonfuls of glaze along the edges of the cake so glaze drips down and coats the sides. When the sides are completely covered, spoon the rest of the glaze over the top of the cake and if needed, smooth with a flexible metal spatula. Cover the sides of the cake with the remaining 1/2 cup of pecans, pressing them gently against the glaze with the palm of your hand.

Chef Charlie Abowd co-owns Café at Adele’s with his wife Karen Abowd. Café at Adele’s is located at 1112 N. Carson St., Carson City, and is open daily at 8 a.m. for breakfast. Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. For information or to makes reservations, call 775-882-3353, or visit