Monday, February 9, 2015

Bourbon Cake

Between finishing grad school and a busy summer, I've been taking life too seriously.  All work, no play.  On New Year's Eve, I took a step toward having fun again.  Baking for the shear joy of baking. With booze. 

All of the ingredients are kitchen staples, so I was able to dive right in and bake.  By magic, my bourbon bottle had ⅔ cup left in it, exactly the amount needed for the recipe.

(Recipe from Brown Eyed Baker)
  • Cake:
    • 3½ cups cake flour
    • 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
    • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
    • 1¼ teaspoons salt
    • 1¼ cups unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1¾ cups sugar
    • ⅔ cup light brown sugar
    • 5 eggs
    • ⅓ cup bourbon
    • 1¼ cups buttermilk (I used 5 tablespoons powdered buttermilk and 1¼ cups water)
  • Glaze:
    • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1 cup sugar
    • ⅓ cup bourbon

I started by greasing and flouring a bundt pan.  Preheat the oven to 350° F.

And then I took care of the boring part, which was measuring out the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and powered buttermilk and whisking together.

Now it was time to have some fun.  Combine the butter and sugars and beat on medium until well combined and fluffy.

There was something about the sight of five eggs that made me giddy.  I had forgotten how much I love baking.  Add them one at a time, beating between additions.  I cannot stress enough that it is a really good idea to crack the eggs into a bowl before adding to the batter.

Combine the bourbon and buttermilk (since I used powdered buttermilk, my combination was bourbon and water).  Alternate three batches of the flour mixture with two batches of the bourbon mixture. 

Beat only enough to incorporate all of the flour, and mix the last batch of flour in with a spatula. 

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes (until a tester comes out clean).

Toward the end of the baking time, prepare the glaze.

Heat the bourbon, sugar, and butter, whisking until combined.  Remove from heat.

Remove the cake from the oven and set a on wire rack.  Poke it mercilessly to create holes for the glaze to seep through.  More holes=more alcohol in the cake.

Slowly pour in ¾ of the glaze, adding more holes if needed.  Let the cake sit for 30 minutes to allow the glaze to seep deeply into the cake.

Place the serving plate over the top of the pan, and flip to remove the cake.

The glaze may cool and thicken, so you may need to microwave it for 30 seconds or so to loosen it.

Brush it lavishly and lovingly over the cake.

And start the new year off right!