Friday, November 19, 2010

Chocolate Bourbon Bundt Cake

*tap* *tap* *tap* Hello? Is this thing on? Let’s talk about what’s been going on in my kitchen lately… *crickets chirping*

Yep, that’s a whole lot of nothing. What has been going on are papers and sermons and meetings and running and work and social events and a horrible cold and expiring Groupons that have kept me from anything exciting in my kitchen.

And to make matters worse, I’m skipping out on Thanksgiving. The biggest food holiday of the year, and I’m going MIA. I have a week off from classes and work, and Joe has one of his weeks of vacation, so we’re going here:


Sonoma County. Six nights. Wineries. Hiking. Local food. A little cabin on a vineyard in Healdsburg. Pretending my senior project doesn’t exist. Absolute heaven.

And not cooking Thanksgiving dinner. So I made this cake instead. It has chocolate, butter, sugar, and bourbon. I baked it while listening to the Swingin’ Christmas station on Pandora. That is all that you need to know. Oh, it is also very boozy, so keep it away from the kiddos.

After having a great buttermilk ice cream with a rich chocolate cobbler at Capitol Grille last week, I attempted to make buttermilk ice cream to go along with this, but it didn’t work out as planned. But ice cream is a nice complement to the richness of this cake. And if you aren’t a fan of bourbon? Well then that’s more for me to eat.


Chocolate Bourbon Bundt Cake
source: Erin’s Food Files

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
½ tsp. kosher salt
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking soda
Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish (optional)


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 bourbon 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 bourbon 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. Cool completely before serving, garnished with confectioners’ sugar, if you like.

Note: This cake tastes even better on the second day, when the intensity of the alcohol mellows a little bit.