Well, chocolate works with almost anything, really. Still, this recipe is for a dense, moist, decadent chocolate cake made with liquor. Usually I make it with bourbon, but for our party last weekend I made it with Irish Whiskey and Scharfferberg semi-sweet chocolate and baked it in a beautiful star studded Bundt pan. It was so pretty that I left off the usual chocolate ganache topping and just sifted on some confectioners sugar...and it was still a hit.
Bookmark this cake if you want a cake that is easy, impressive, rich, goes together quickly, and...best of all...very, very chocolate. If you make it ahead you can douse it with whiskey and wrap it up in cheesecloth and plastic wrap and it will get even better. Because it is so rich I usually serve thin slices, so it serves quite a few people, too. Once the party was over we didn't want so much temptation sitting in the kitchen, so Sweetie took a nice big chunk of it over to Spoiled Rotten Farm, where it was much appreciated, too.
86-Proof Chocolate Cake
from Maida Heatter's Book of Great Chocolate Desserts
Soft butter for the pan
dry bread crumbs (about 1/3 cup)
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
5 oz. unsweetened chocolate (I used semi-sweet and it was fine)
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup cold strong coffee
½ cup Irish whiskey
½ lb. (2 sticks) sweet butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups sugar
3 eggs (large or extra large)
Optional: confectioner’s sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F after putting oven rack 1/3 up from bottom. Butter a 10 cup capacity Bundt or other fancy tube pan. Dust the whole inside with fine, dry bread crumbs that have been mixed with a teaspoon of cocoa powder. Invert pan over a piece of paper and tap lightly to shake out excess crumbs. Set the pan aside.
Melt the chocolate in the top of a small double boiler over hot water on low heat (or microwave one minute at a time at half power, stir, continue until melted and smooth). When melted, set aside to cool slightly.
Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.
In a 2-cup glass measuring cup place the cold strong coffee. Add cold water to the 1 ½ cup line. Add the Irish whiskey. Set aside.
Cream the butter in a large mixer bowl. Add the vanilla and sugar and beat to mix well. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the chocolate and beat until smooth. Scrape bowl and beaters often.
Then, on low speed, alternately add the sifted dry ingredients in 3 additions with the liquids in 2 additions, add the liquids very gradually to avoid splashing. Continue to scrape bowl and beaters often. Inhale the wonderful fragrance of chocolate mixed with Irish whiskey!
Pour into the prepared pan. Level the top. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes or 15 minutes until a tester in the middle of the cake comes out clean and dry.
Cool in the pan for about 15 minutes. Then cover with a rack and invert. Remove the pan, sprinkle the cake with a bit of optional Irish whiskey if desired, and let cool.
Move to a serving plate. If desired, sprinkle the top with confectioners sugar through a fine strainer.
Cake is wonderful as is or can be served with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.