I first made this cake the day after my grandfather died. So this post is in honor of Grandpa Danny (1927 – 2009)
Recipe courtesy 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
2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup bourbon plus more for sprinkling
½ tsp. salt
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 T. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking soda
Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 325
1. In a heatproof bowl set over – but not touching – a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate until just smooth, stirring occasionally. Let cool.
2. Put espresso and cocoa powders in a 2-cup (or larger) 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour.
6. Transfer the cake, still in its pan, to a rack. “Unmold” after 15 minutes and sprinkle warm cake with more whiskey (At this stage I had to do some reconstructive surgery with parts of the cake that got stuck to the pan). Pour a little bit into a teaspoon, and then shaking the teaspoon over the cake, about 3 tsps in all. Cool completely before serving, garnished with confectioners’ sugar, if you like.