Irish Whiskey Chocolate Bundt Cake


I needed an excuse to use my adorable new Bundtlet (even the word is cute!) pans and St. Patrick’s Day happened to be around the corner, so I combed the internet for something with an Irish twist that didn’t involve Bailey’s Irish Cream. Because I don’t like it. Yes, you read that right and I’m sorry for it….I want to like it but I find it sickeningly cloying and in desserts it gets lost.. However, I do love Irish whiskey so I adapted a Whiskey cake from NYT Cooking. Is it cocky to say that I made some significant improvements to the recipe? You can use any whiskey or bourbon you like (or even rum, for that matter); the recipe is designed for a large Bundt pan but if you use small cute ones like I did, shorten the baking time a bit. This cake is best made the day before you want to serve it.

1 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
5 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted
1/4 cup instant espresso powder
2 T cocoa powder
1/2 cup Irish Whiskey 
1/2 t kosher salt
3 eggs
1 T vanilla
1 t baking soda
Soaking Syrup:
1/2 cup Irish Whiskey 
1/4 cup water
8 T unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 t vanilla
Optional glaze of powdered sugar and bourbon. 
For the cake:
Put espresso powder, salt and cocoa powder in a 2 cup glass measure and add boiling water to come up to 
1 1/2 cups. Mix until powders are dissolved and add the whiskey.
Using the whisk attachment on your stand mixer combine sugar and oil; beat in the eggs one at a time. Add vanilla, baking soda and melted chocolate. On low speed, add 1/3 of the whiskey mixture then 1 cup of the flour and repeat, ending with liquid mixture. Scrape bowl occasionally. 
Preheat oven to 325º.
Prepare Bundt (or bundtlet) pan(s); the best way to do this so that you don’t have a frustrating mess when turning out the cake is to use Baker’s Joy spray in every nook and cranny. Please trust me on this.
Add batter to the pan; the properly prepared pan; the pan you sprayed with Baker’s Joy per my very specific and insistent instructions and bake for about 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes. For my small Bundt pans I did around 40 minutes. Test with a bamboo skewer in the center of the cake until it comes out clean. 
For the soaking syrup:
After the cake comes out of the oven, combine all the syrup ingredients except the vanilla. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 5-8 minutes until thickened and add vanilla. Poke lots of holes in the cake with that bamboo skewer you used for testing the cake and slowly pour the syrup over the cake, allowing it to soak in. Let cake sit overnight (or at least for several hours). Forcefully tap the cake against the counter and invert the cake onto a platter. IF THE CAKE WON’T INVERT, DON’T FORCE IT! Simply cover it loosely with foil and put it in a 350º oven for 10 minutes and then invert. I have been successful with this method when I have a stubborn cake. 
You can make an optional glaze of powdered sugar and bourbon (just enough to make a drizzle consistency ) and glaze the cake for decoration. If you love Bailey’s and resent the omission, you could add it here to the glaze instead of whiskey. 

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