Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Cake

I love my family.
You love your family
We all love our families,
but sometimes,
sometimes that mostly fall around the holidays when you have to spend a few too many days under the same roof as your whole family you come to truly understand and embrace one of the fundamentals of the holidays … cocktails.

But what to do when you need the sustenance that cocktails cannot provide? Sure there is eggnog, but who wants to sit next to that old guy that has been drinking eggnog all day? When cocktails no longer pack enough of a punch to warm you up after a long walk outside and the ensuing slightly louder than is polite raised voices that greet you when you walk in the door, I offer you this as a form of comfort.

Whiskey & Chocolate & Cake.

It takes a bit of work ... but consider that at the end of the day you
get to indulge in whiskey & chocolate & cake.
All together.
All at once.
All delicious.

The Cake.
Recipe care of Orangette

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
(We didn't have any, I just used coffee instead. It was delicious)
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 a snowy finish

Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a 10-cup-capacity Bundt pan (or two 8- or 9-inch loaf pans). In a heatproof bowl set over – but not touching – a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate until just smooth, stirring occasionally. Let cool.

Put espresso and cocoa powders in a 2-cup (or larger) glass measuring cup. Add enough boiling water to come up to the 1 cup measuring line. Stir until the powders dissolve. Add the whiskey and salt. Let cool.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until fluffy. Add the sugar, and beat until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract, baking soda and melted chocolate, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

With the mixer on low speed, beat in a third of the whiskey mixture. When liquid is absorbed, beat in 1 cup flour. Repeat additions, ending with the whiskey mixture. It may seem like there is too much liquid, but don’t worry; it’s okay. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour and 10 minutes for a Bundt pan.
(Loaf pans will take less time; start checking them after 55 minutes.)

Transfer the cake, still in its pan, to a rack. Unmold after 15 minutes and sprinkle warm cake with more whiskey. (I did this by pouring a little bit into a teaspoon, and then shaking the teaspoon over the cake. I’m guessing that I used 3 teaspoons’ worth in all.) Cool completely before serving, garnished with confectioners’ sugar, if you like.

Yield: 10 to 12 servings.


erizabat said...

It is only because of you that I am now a food blog addict. It was you that introduced me to Smitten Kitchen. So I'm hoping you've already seen, made, and eaten this cousin to your whiskey chocolate cake:

ruby said...

Ou, that does look delicious. Thanks!
I haven’t tasted that version yet, but I am very well acquainted with the Nigella cake from her Feast book. Ps…if you haven’t leafed through that book, consider this a fond recommendation.