If I had not taken a Baking and Pastry class previously, this recipe would have been very challenging. Dorie Greenspan does a really super job with directions, so I could have worked through it, but the extra experience sure helped (I'm not very confident trying new things in the kitchen. I need the remedial class most of the time!). The trickiest part is the carmel for the topping. That stuff is like molten lava, and the last thing you want is to have some sort of an accident. Yikes! But truth be told, I'd rather cook with that than chocolate. That stuff gets everywhere!
Since one of the rules is to not post the recipes for TWD, I'll just include some steps and pictures below.
The batter was pretty quick and easy. You can see the bowl from melting chocolate and butter over a pan of water behind the bowl with the batter. Like I said, that stuff gets everywhere!
One thing I do like about baking, is while the cake is in the oven, and/or while it cools you can do the dishes. It's nice to have a tidy kitchen.
After letting the cake cool, and preferable right before you serve it, you make the topping. That's when the science experiment begins. Many of the folks who tried this said this stage took longer than the recipe advised, and I had the same experience. Besides being the temperature of the sun, carmel is one of those things you need to keep an eye on. It takes forever to turn a carmel color, but once it turns it doesn't take long for it to pass the point of no return (and burnt tasting carmel). Happily mine did not.
Once off the heat peanuts are added, and then the cake, back in its freshly cleaned springform pan, is topped. I don't have any pictures of the cake once "released" from the pan, as that happened at work, and my co-workers took care of this cake in record time.
It's very good, though very sweet and very rich. A little goes a long way. I would definitely make it again -- especially as a celebration cake, or to impress someone.