Mississippi Mud Cake

from melskitchencafe.com

*Note: this cake, once frosted with the glaze, needs to sit at room temperature for a couple of hours for the glaze to set so plan ahead!

*Serves 8-12

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 ½ cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

1 ½ cups whole milk

¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 large eggs at room temperature

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 ½ cups pecan halves, toasted (can use walnut halves in place of pecans)

Chocolate Glaze, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 10 ½-inch by 15 ½-inch jelly roll pan. Tap out any excess flour. As you can see from the picture below, I don't own a pan this size, however, by folding foil and using my mini-loaf pans, I adapted my large baking sheet to work just fine.

Sift the flour through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl. Add the sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir well to combine. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, milk, and cocoa powder. Bring to a boil, whisking frequently until the butter melts completely and the cocoa is incorporated. Add the hot chocolate/milk mixture to the flour mixture, whisking until combined. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until well blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let the cake cool completely in the pan.

Arrange the toasted pecans evenly over the top of the cake. Spoon the glaze over the top, carefully spreading it in and around the pecans. This step is messy and it's ok if the glaze isn't completely smooth over the top of the cake. Let the frosted cake stand at room temperature until the glaze sets, about 3 hours.

Cut into squares. Serve, or cover with aluminum foil and store for up to 2 days at room temperature.

Chocolate Glaze

6 tablespoons heavy cream

6 tablespoons dark corn syrup

8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream and corn syrup. Bring to a simmer then reduce the heat to low. Add the chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth, about 1 minute.

Remove from the heat and let the mixture stand until lukewarm, about 10 minutes. The glaze should be thick but pourable. Makes about 1 1/3 cups.