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Bouche noire

12 ounces Baker`s bittersweet chocolate
1 and one-half cups sugar
One-half cup bourbon
1 cup butter, softened
6 eggs (at room temperature)
One and one-half tablespoons flour
1 cup whipped cream (optional)
2 cups Louisiana strawberries, sliced (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Butter a 9-inch springform pan, then place a buttered parchment sheet in the bottom of the pan. Cover the outside of the springform pan with aluminum foil to keep water from entering the pan during the cooking process. Place the cake pan into a large roasting pan with 1-inch sides. Set aside. Chop chocolate into one-quarter inch pieces and place into a large stainless steel mixing bowl. Place 1-inch of water in the bottom of a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Place the bowl of chocolate on top of the sauce pan, stirring occasionally as chocolate melts. In a separate sauce pan, combine 1 cup sugar and bourbon. Bring mixture to a low boil, stirring occasionally. When sugar is fully dissolved, pour the hot mixture over the chocolate, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted thoroughly. Remove the bowl from the sauce pan to a table or work surface and add the softened butter, a few at a time, melting completely before the next addition.
3. In a separate stainless steel mixing bowl, whip the eggs on high speed with the remaining one-half cup sugar and flour until pale yellow and thickened, approximately 5 minutes.
4. Using a rubber spatula, fold the egg mixture into the melted chocolate and blend until well incorporated. Pour the batter into the springform pan and smooth the top with the spatula.
5. Fill roasting pan with hot tap water until it reaches half way up the side of the springform pan. Place cake in oven and bake for 1 hour. The top of the cake should have a thin dried crust when cooked. Do not over bake. Remove cake from oven and allow the cake to cool 1 hour at room temperature. Cover the pan with clear wrap and place the cake in the refrigerator a minimum of 4 hours. When ready to serve, carefully remove the sides of the springform pan.
6. Place a cake plate or cardboard cake circle on top of the cake and invert to remove the bottom of the pan and parchment paper. This cake is extremely rich and truffle-like in consistency. Cut portions into one and one-half inch slices and top with fresh fruit and unsweetened whipped cream. Garnish with julienned mint leaves. 
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