chocolate whiskey cake

This cake is one of my absolute favorites, ever. It spent a good bit of time on the restaurant menu, despite its, err, unsightliness. This cake is downright ugly, at least for people with rather conventional notions of pastry beauty. It's like that princess and frog....gross looking, but when she finally laid her mouth on it, she could see and appreciate what was behind the facade.

This facade hides a couple of ingredients that are subtle but powerful: coffee, black pepper, and cloves. None of these suggest themselves, but they unite with the other ingredients to form a deeply flavored cake. It's so moist, so dense, so amazing.

And you probably already know this, but bourbon and scotch are both whiskey. Scotch is whiskey from Scotland, typically with a peatier flavor, and bourbon is whiskey from the US, fuller bodied and slightly sweet. Revelations.

chocolate whiskey cake

3/4 c plus 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 c strong brewed coffee
1/2 c whiskey
12 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
2 c ap flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/8 tsp ground cloves
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 c mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325. Butter a 10 inch springform pan then dust with the 3tbsp of cocoa powder, knocking out excess.

Heat the coffee, whiskey, butter, and remaining cup of cocoa powder in a medium heavy saucepan over low heat until butter is melted, whisking occasionally. Add sugars and whisk until dissolved, remove from heat. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and cool.

While chocoalte cools, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, black pepper, and cloves in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs and vanilla. Starting with a slow drizzle, whisk the eggs into cooled chocolate mixture until combined. Add flour mixture and whisk until just combined, then fold in chocolate chips. Pour batter into pan and bake until a wooden pick comes out mostly clean, about 1 hour and 5 min.

Cool cake, store in fridge after one day, wrapped in plastic.