...a girl needs her chocolate and bourbon. Specifically, chocolate bourbon cake. This recipe ran in The New York Times on December 3rd and has been featured on several blogs since then (in its far, far prettier incarnation as a fancy Bundt cake rather than my, shall we say, rustic loaf cakes). This is a nice, moist, fine-crumb, boozed up cake that makes a great late-night snack. I am in need of late-night snacks these days, since Juni seems to be confused about daytime and nightime. She is out like a light when the sun shining but is wide awake in those wee hours of the morning when her silly mama wants to get some sleep. Thus the 4 am chocolate binging.
But back to the cake. This cake has a full cup of bourbon. And a quarter of a cup of instant espresso. This is not a demure cake. This is an up-all-night-slamming-shots-of-Maker's-Mark kind of cake. This cake is that fancy dinner party guest who has had far too much to drink and is now telling dirty jokes and speaking way too loudly. You get the picture. It's fun. Make it. I opted not to sprinkle the bourbon over the cake after baking, since I didn't want to get all carried away with the booziness. But be my guest.
Whiskey-Soaked Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake
from The New York Times2 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)
1. Grease and flour a 10-cup-capacity Bundt pan (or two 8- or 9-inch loaf pans). Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In microwave oven or double boiler over simmering water, melt chocolate. Let cool.
2. 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. Mix until powders dissolve. Add whiskey and salt; let cool.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat 1 cup butter until fluffy. Add sugar and beat until well combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract, baking soda and melted chocolate, scraping down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula.
4. On low speed, beat in a third of the whiskey mixture. When liquid is absorbed, beat in 1 cup flour. Repeat additions, ending with whiskey mixture. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Bake until a cake tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes for Bundt pan (loaf pans will take less time, start checking them after 55 minutes).
5. Transfer cake to a rack. Unmold after 15 minutes and sprinkle warm cake with more whiskey. Let cool before serving, garnished with confectioners’ sugar if you like.
Yield: 10 to 12 servings.