This recipe makes great cupcakes
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¾ cup water
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 2 Tablespoons vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups chopped pecans
- ½ stick (¼ cup) unsalted butter
- ½ cup half-and-half
- ½ cup confectioners sugar
- 5 oz. fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter cake pan well and dust with flour, knocking out excess.
- Melt butter (2 sticks) in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, then whisk in cocoa. Add water and whisk until smooth, then remove from heat. Whisk in separately sugar, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, then sift again into cocoa mixture and whisk until just combined (don’t worry if there are lumps).
- Pour batter into cake pan and bake until a wooden pick or skewer comes out with a few crumbs adhering, 45 to 55 minutes. (Leave oven on.)
- Cool cake in pan on a rack 20 minutes, then loosen edges with a thin knife and invert onto a plate.
- Spread pecans in 1 layer in a shallow baking pan (1 inch deep) and bake until fragrant and a shade darker, 6 to 8 minutes. Cool pecans slightly in pan on a rack, about 5 minutes.
- Melt butter in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over low heat, then stir in half-and-half and confectioners sugar. Add chocolate and cook, stirring, until smooth.
- Remove from heat and stir in pecans and salt. Cool glaze until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Spoon glaze over top and sides of cake (cake will still be warm) and spread with a small offset spatula or knife to cover completely.