There is a food blog I follow, called Blank Palate and whose author has changed locations from Alabama to Spain, that has lovely, interesting recipes that intrigue me. I enjoy the blog in general quite a bit, but there is one post, in particular, that haunted me for the longest time. It was a recipe for Chocolate Whiskey Cake and I couldn't get it out of my mind. I had to have it.
I've made it twice now, each time for guests, and the response is always a vigorous "YES!" Also, depending on the person's caffeine tolerance, it can elicit an occasional "You want me to paint the house now?!?" Very dark, very dense, decadently chocolate-y but with sweetness tempered (and made more fascinating) by deeper layers of flavor (black pepper, cloves, coffee), it is now one of my favorite cakes. Make it for people you like very much.
Dark Chocolate Whiskey Cake
3/4 cup plus 3 TB unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup strongly brewed good coffee
1/2 cup whiskey
12 TB unsalted butter, cut into chunks about 1 inch wide
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 ts baking soda
3/4 ts salt
1/4 ts fresh ground black pepper
1/8 ts ground cloves
2 ts vanilla
1 cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 325° F. Butter a 9 or 10 inch cake pan (or spring form pan) and then dust the pan with 3 TB cocoa powder, knocking out the excess.
Heat the coffee, butter, and 1 cup of cocoa powder on low heat until the butter is melted. Whisk occasionally. Add sugars and whisk slowly until sugars completely dissolve. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl to cool for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, black pepper, and cloves in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs and vanilla. Starting slowly, drizzle eggs into the cooled chocolate mixture and whisk them in to combine. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into your pan and bake until a wooden pick comes out mostly clean, about 1 hour and 5 minutes. Mostly cool before eating.
After a day (should you have any left) keep it stored in the refrigerator, covered in plastic wrap.