27 October 2009

Chocolate bourbon cake

Last Christmas, I thought I had decided that I would make a pie for our Christmas Day dinner. And then I found this recipe for bourbon chocolate cake. How could I resist? It has chocolate. And bourbon. And chocolate! Don't serve this to kids. The bourbon is *powerful*. But it blends well with the chocolate.

2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pan
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
5 oz. unsweetened chocolate
¼ cup instant espresso powder
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup bourbon, rye, or other whiskey, plus more for sprinkling
½ tsp. kosher salt
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking soda
Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish (optional)
Gently melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Cool.

Preheat your oven at 325°F. Grease a 10 cup bundt pan. Then sprinkle flour into the pan. Then rub it with more butter. Then sprinkle in more flour and dust out all the loose flour into the sink.

Put the cocoa and espresso powder into a measuring cup, and pour boiling water in until you get a total of 1 cup of the liquid/powder mix. Stir until dissolved. Top up to a cup and cool. Pour 1 cup of your favourite bourbon in.

bourbon and coffee

Meanwhile, cream the butter in a mixer until light and fluffy.

creamed butter

Beat in the sugar. Then the eggs, one at a time. Beat the eggs until completely mixed in before adding the next egg. Beat in the vanilla and baking powder and chocolate, blending well after each addition.

chocolate batter

Beat in 1/3 the bourbon/coffee/cocoa mixture. Then beat in half the flour. Then 1/3 of the bourbon mix. Then the rest of the flour. Then the last of the bourbon mix. Got it? Pour this delicious, vaporous batter into the cake pan.

Bake for an hour and ten minutes to an hour and thirty-five minutes. To test if it's done, stick a toothpick in it, if it comes out clean, it's done.

Pull the cake out and cool it on a cooling tray. The first time I prepared this cake, I removed the cake from the pan rather too rapidly and ended with a blast of alcohol vapor to the face. It was a little bit exciting. But really, let the cake rest for 20 minutes on the counter, then remove it from the pan, and let it cool.


Dust with confectioner's sugar before cutting and serving.


This cake is rich, bourbony and delicious. And it would be *great* served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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