- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 3/4 cups packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup pecan halves
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- Vanilla ice cream, accompaniment
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Butter and lightly flour an 8-cup loaf pan (10 by 5 by 3), knocking out the excess flour.
- Into a large bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, molasses, and vanilla.
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar, beating about 3 minutes. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after the addition of each. Alternating, add the wet and dry ingredients in 3 additions each, mixing just until combined and being careful not to overwork.
- Pour into the prepared pan and bake until the cake is risen and just set and a tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. (If cake gets too brown, tent it with foil).
- Cool in the pan 40 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Slice cake into pieces, top with pecan topping, and serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.
- TOPPING: In a saucepan, combine the ingredients, and simmer until thick. Serve over top of cake.