Oh, I miss living in the city. I was just thinking today about how much I miss our little apartment by Lake Union as I was taking photos of this cake, because we used to live about 30-40 feet above the sidewalk, and now we live about 4 feet above ground level, which also happens to be right by our parking lot. There is this nosy lady who always walks her dog and lingers to watch me take photos, which I really dislike. She’s friendly, at least, but I sure wish she wouldn’t linger on so much.
At least we have a couple of trees by the patio, and so I also get visited by a little squirrel who gladly accepts pistachios and mixed nuts. I get a kick out of how efficiently he removes the pistachios from their shells. I don’t know why rats scare the hell out of me, but squirrels don’t; they are basically the same. The bushy tail makes them cute? Hmmm.
I hemmed and hawed about what to make this week. I was initially looking at apple dumplings, or something autumnal. Then I thought maybe some Mexican sweet breads. I learned that when looking recipes online for Mexican sweet breads, it helps to know the names of the different kinds in Spanish.
But! You don’t want to search for “conchas” at work! Trust me! I almost had a heart attack; luckily none of my co-workers or supervisors saw what came up on my screen, or that my computer didn’t get infected with any malware or viruses!
This is pretty straightforward, although I didn’t follow the directions quite exactly. The part in the original recipe where it calls for mixing the baking soda and into the wet batter sounded a little weird to me, since usually it is mixed in with other dry ingredients like the flour. But I did follow mixing the whiskey in, where you add the whiskey mixture in three batches, as opposed to most recipes that want you to mix the flour mixture in three batches, and liquid into two batches.
I think overall, it is a winner. You must like whiskey, though. I know a few people where this will not be their favorite. But if you like desserts with booze, this is definitely a keeper! I like desserts that have booze in it, and really assert their presence. It’s seems pointless to add booze, if you can’t tell it’s there. The exception is the Guinness Stout Chocolate Cake. It really doesn’t taste like Guinness to me, but I really, really like the type of chocolate cake it makes, in terms of flavor and texture/mouthfeel.
Anyways, I hope you are hanging in there. The world and political news continues to depress the hell out of me. At least I have been liking the turn to fall or autumnal (is that my favorite word? Autumnal. Hmmm….) weather in the Seattle area lately. I’m ready to whip out the pumpkin spice! Hahaha.
Chocolate Whiskey Bundt Cake (taken from NYT Cooking’s Whiskey-Soaked Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake)
8 ounces (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups, all-purpose flour
5 ounces unsweetened chocolate (I used 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate and reduced amount of sugar to 1 cup)
1/4 cup instant espresso powder
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup bourbon, rye, or other whiskey, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups granulated sugar (since I had bittersweet chocolate, I only used 1 cup)
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
confectioners sugar, for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare 10-cup capacity Bundt pan by greasing with slightly melted unsalted butter and flouring with all-purpose flour, tapping out excess. Or just use a baking (butter and flour) spray. Set aside.
Melt chopped chocolate by placing on medium heat in a bain marie or double boiler. Set aside to cool slightly to lukewarm. Set aside.
Add flour, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt into a sifter or sieve and sift into a medium bowl and set aside. Stir with a whisk to ensure that the dry ingredients are well mixed together.
Put the espresso powder into a 2-cup capacity container and add water to the fill to the 1 cup mark. Add the whiskey to this and stir to incorporate. Set aside.
Beat the butter with a hand held electric beater until fluffy. Add the sugar and cream with the butter until fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, and beating thoroughly until incorporated into the batter. Add the vanilla and do the same. Scrape down as needed the sides of the bowl.
Beat into the batter the melted chocolate until well incorporated.
Add 1/3 of the whiskey/espresso mixture, and beat on low-speed until absorbed into the batter, about 20 seconds. Add half of the flour mixture and beat until incorporated, being careful not to beat on high. Repeat alternating between whiskey mixture and flour mixture, ending with the whiskey mixture.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in oven at 325 degrees F., until about 1n hour and 10 minutes. Check 5-10 minutes earlier, but try not to check too much. Oven temperatures vary. Use toothpick test to see if it comes out clean from the center.
Transfer cake to rack and leave in pan for 15 minutes. (Since I forgot mine for 4 minutes after the 1 hour and 10 minute mark, I decided not to let it sit for 15 minutes in a hot bundt pan, so I unmolded mine after 5 minutes and it was fine.) Unmold and let cool on wire rack. Sprinkle or brush more whiskey over top of cake, if desired. I actually used a spoon and added maybe about 1/2 – 2/3 cup whiskey, since mine was a little over time, and I didn’t want to have it dry. It wasn’t dry.
Cool completely before sprinkling confectioners sugar over the top, if desired. I thought about making a whiskey caramel sauce, but then I thought that might be overkill, so I just sprinkled the confectioners sugar, as suggested.