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Bourbon Chocolate Cake

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Serves eight to ten.

  • Make the menu:
    A Mardi Gras Menu for Eight
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 64

This mousse-like cake really does melt in your mouth. It can be baked up to a day before serving and stored lightly wrapped at room temperature. If you don’t have a 9x3-inch round cake pan, use a 9x2-inch pan (a standard size sold in supermarkets) and construct a parchment collar so the cake has room to rise. For this cake, it’s worth splurging on the best chocolate you can buy. We like Callebaut.

  • 11 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 6 oz. (12 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 oz. (1/4 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
For serving:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Position an oven rack on the middle rung and heat the oven to 350°F.

Butter a 9x3-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment and butter the parchment. Set the cake pan in a roasting pan large enough to accommodate it.

Melt the chocolate and butter over a double boiler. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

With an electric mixer (a stand mixer with the whip attachment or a hand mixer), beat the egg yolks with the brown sugar on medium speed until very pale, thick, and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed, add the chocolate mixture, and mix just to combine. Add the flour, mixing just to combine and scraping the bowl as needed. Blend in the bourbon and vanilla. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside.

In a clean mixing bowl with clean beaters, beat the egg whites with the salt on high speed until they hold soft peaks, 1 to 2 minutes. With a rubber spatula, fold one-third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, and then gently fold in the remaining whites. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan.

Set the roasting pan on the oven rack and add enough warm tap water to come halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake until the top feels set, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the cake pan from the water bath and run a paring knife around the inside of the pan (or the inside of the parchment collar) to loosen the cake and then let the cake cool completely in the cake pan on a rack. When the cake is completely cool, loosen the sides once more with a paring knife. Cover the cake with a serving plate and invert the cake onto the plate. The bottom of the cake is now the top. Peel off the parchment. (Don’t worry if the surface looks a little ragged; you’ll be dusting with confectioners’ sugar).

To serve: In a chilled bowl with chilled beaters, beat the cream and sugar to medium-soft peaks. Dust the top of the cake generously with confectioners’ sugar, slice, and serve each slice with the whipped cream.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on ten servings; Calories (kcal): 510; Fat (g): fat g 35; Fat Calories (kcal): 310; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 21; Protein (g): protein g 6; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 11; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 41; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 320; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 200; Fiber (g): fiber g 2;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Always a crowd pleaser. I modify it only slightly by adding 1 Tbsp espresso powder to the melted chocolate. Sometimes instead of whipped cream I serve it with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. Either way is delicious.

One of my favorite chocolate cakes. Easy to make, very moist and rich. Last time I accidentally put 1/3 c of sugar instead of 3/4, which did not change the taste, btw. I made a simple chocolate icing melting some semi-chocolate and white chocolate chips, a Tbsp of butter and milk. Thec cake always turns out very delicious.

My cake also fell in the centre, but as it is turned upside down, this is not an issue. The flavour was very chocolatey and the bourbon adds a nice zing. It turned out very dense and very rich-tasting. I was expecting something lighter and fluffier (more "mousselike"). Some enjoyed the richness, while others found it too rich and could not finish their pieces. Due to the intensity of the flavour, I found that one cake can serve 12-16.

This is one of my FAVORITE recipes! It comes out super-moist and almost melts in your mouth. I go light on the powdered sugar and go heavy on the whip cream (instead of frosting as well). This is a no-fail birthday favorite for friends and family.

FABULOUS-comes together easily and so moist, flavorful and delicious. It is my go-to cake. Mine tend to fall in the middle as well, but maybe I'm doing something wrong.

Very moist and chocolate tasting, one of the best cakes I have ever tasted. Topping it with whipped cream instead of icing also made it easy. Mine did fall a little in the middle, but my cakes always do. I'd like to know how to modify it for high altitude for next time.

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