This indulgent yet totally portable dessert is everything you want in a make-and-take cake. The recipe is excerpted from entertaining expert Elizabeth Heiskell’s cookbook What Can I Bring? Elizabeth says that when her mother talks about this fudgy dessert, her eyes glaze over. The cake was sold at the Lowry Motor Court restaurant in Greenville, Mississippi. Mama said they displayed it by the register under a glass dome, and each perfectly square slice was neatly wrapped in wax paper. Our love for chocolate desserts is serious and all-encompassing, and being able to bake this cake in a square pan gives it an extra easy appeal that makes us want to whip it up anytime. There are no fancy ingredients or difficult instructions; it’s just simply delicious. Toasting the chopped pecans makes a small, yet noticeable difference in flavor that is so worth it in the long run.
Preheat oven to 300°F. Place butter and chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH until completely melted, about 1 minute, stirring every 20 seconds. Add granulated sugar, and stir until well combined. Cool 10 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, and stir until blended after each addition. Fold in all-purpose flour and salt. Stir in chopped toasted pecans and vanilla extract.
Coat a 9-inch square pan with cooking spray. Line bottom and sides of pan with parchment paper, allowing 4 to 5 inches to extend over sides. Coat parchment paper with cooking spray. Pour cake mixture into prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes. Lift cake from pan, using parchment paper sides as handles, and cool completely, about 30 minutes. Cut into squares, and dust with powdered sugar before serving.