Bittersweet Chocolate Irish Whiskey Cake
I am madly in love with chocolate – so does that make me a stereotypical girl? Probably, but I don’t care! Back in my restaurants days, the massive bins of chocolate chips would always call my name. I would get so sick snacking on them, but it was hard to resist. My waistline hate my guts for this horrible obsession with chocolate. The downfall to being surrounded by so much yumminess!
Now that I’m out of the restaurants, I find I’m less drawn to sweets as I used to be. This is probably due to making so many desserts over my lifetime, coming home smelling like pastries, “tasting” the product (for quality purposes, of course), and enduring too many stomach aches as a result. However, it’s still hard to say no to a dense, chocolate cake. Especially when booze is involved!
Luckily you don’t need a lot of this cake, just a small slice to satisfy your craving. The bittersweet chocolate gives it a rich flavor, that’s not overly sweet. Port would be a perfect pairing for this dessert, and with Valentine’s Day only moments away, how can you resist Port and chocolate? Am I right?
What special chocolate goodness will you be enjoying for Valentine’s Day?
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp Irish whiskey
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 2 tsp instant espresso or coffee powder, dissolved in 6 tbsp hot water
- 1/3 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
- 6 tbsp all purpose flour, divided
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
- 7 tbsp sugar
- 3 eggs, separated
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of sea salt
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 Pint of cherries, or any fresh berry
- Powder sugar, for dusting
- 1. Place oven rack in center of oven, then preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- 2. Place a medium size bowl in the fridge, you will use that to beat the egg whites in a bit.
- 3. Butter and flour a 8-in springform pan.
- 4. Boil 3/4 cup whiskey in a small sauce pan until liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup.
- 5. Combine bittersweet chocolate, espresso powder mixture and 1/4 cup boiled whiskey in a small glass bowl. Place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until chocolate mixture is smooth. Remove bowl from water and set aside.
- 6. Finely grind toasted almonds with 2 tablespoons flour in processor.
- 7. Using electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup butter and 6 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl until fluffy. Scrape down bowl with a spatula, then slowly beat in egg yolks, vanilla extract, and sea salt.
- 8. Fold in chocolate mixture, then ground almond mixture.
- 9. Using clean, dry beaters and the bowl from the fridge, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1 tablespoon sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold whites into batter alternately with remaining 4 tablespoons flour in 3 additions. Make very sure not to over-fold the egg whites into the batter. This will cause the cake to become "brick-like". Transfer batter to prepared pan.
- 10. Bake cake until tester (I usually use a toothpick) inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool in pan on rack 30 minutes. Remove pan sides and cool cake completely.
- 11. Combine semisweet chocolate and remaining 2 tablespoons whiskey in small metal bowl. Place bowl over saucepan of simmering water and stir until smooth. Remove bowl from over water. Add remaining 1/2 cup butter to chocolate mixture, 1 small piece at a time, whisking until each piece is melted before adding next.
- 12. Place bowl over larger bowl of ice water. Using electric mixer, beat icing until thickened to spreadable consistency, about 2-3 minutes. Spread icing over top and sides of cake.
- 13. To serve, top with cherries, or desired berries and dust with powdered sugar.
- Make sure not to over bake, which can result in a dry cake.
- Cake can be made and frosted 8 hours in advance, when stored in an air tight container.