Gifts are nice, but a homemade dessert is sweeter.

Dark Chocolate Bourbon Torte

Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Lisa Powell Bailey

Yes, yes, I know—diamonds are forever. Hand-drawn cards are priceless. And fancy bouquets of flowers can be hard to come by. But really, wouldn’t you rather enjoy a ridiculously delicious dessert on Mother’s Day? Give me this Dark Chocolate-Bourbon Torte over pancakes and bacon in bed any day. I’ll even eat a slice for breakfast, with a little extra bourbon in my coffee.

Alcohol aside, this is a decidedly grown-up cake. Whipped egg whites and a touch of flour give the torte a tender, soufflé-like texture and Dutch process cocoa and dark chocolate keep it from being overly sweet. If you like chocolate truffles or a rich, dense flourless chocolate cake, you’ll love this recipe. Flavored with a touch of vanilla and bourbon (optional, but who are you kidding?), the torte is best served slightly warm and needs nothing else except a dusting of powdered sugar. It’s perfect for amateur bakers, i.e. your spouse and/or dependents. Although that “necklace” of piped whipped cream sure is cute.

The recipe, which originally ran back in February 2008, was dubbed “rich in flavor without all the calories.” Leave it to Southerners to make dark chocolate (antioxidants!) and butter (dairy!) seem like diet food. While this torte is certainly lighter than many of our other chocolate desserts (cough, 18-layer chocolate cake, cough), it doesn’t skimp on flavor, and that’s what counts. And also what makes having a second or third slice seem like a no-brainer.

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Whether you’re making this cake for a special woman in your life or if you’re leaving the recipe on your kitchen counter for someone in your life to “discover,” here are two tips: Don’t overbake it. The cake is done when a wooden pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few crumbs on it. And don’t panic if it cracks a little bit in the middle. That often happens when a torte rises the oven, then sinks back down in the pan as it cools. Not that you'll care a bit about how it looks—this is the kind of dessert that makes your eyes roll back in your head.

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