If eating whiskey cake for breakfast is wrong…

...I don't want to be right.

…I don’t want to be right.

Okay, this wasn’t today’s breakfast.  Today’s breakfast was Rice Krispie Treats.  We’ll get to that in a bit.

But, last Sunday, after enduring quite an awful week, I had a whiskey cake for breakfast.  It was a late breakfast, so I suppose it could be considered an early lunch dessert.  But, dessert isn’s something I should be eating with lunch anyway, right?

For a person who doesn’t bake, I’ve been making a lot of whiskey cakes lately.  The first was the batch I watched, while attending a City Chicks (soon to be Homemade Modern) class for the Boston Globe.

I never tasted heaven until I ate a freshly made homemade marshmallow!

I never tasted heaven until I ate a freshly made homemade marshmallow!

On the left is the main City Chick, Heather Schmidt. On the right is her right hand gal, confectioner Caitlin Berry. Together they were teaching a class on Holiday Gifts made from chocolate. We made Earl Grey truffles, fresh marshmallows with super-rich hot cocoa mix, and the aforementioned whiskey cakes.



My favorite part of the class was Caitlin’s method of covering truffles with chocolate. Messy…but foolproof.

But, even Caitlin’s easy-ish truffles seemed too complicated for the Globe, so the Globe got the whiskey cakes.  But, to put the recipe in the Globe, I first needed to make it at home.

As you might know, I’m not really a baker.  Baking has always require a bit too much discipline for me.

So, I gathered up my supplies and poured myself a wee glass of bourbon for courage.

Really...just four courage.

Really…just four courage.

An hour later, my house smelled like bourbon and chocolate and my kitchen looked like it had been hit by the Great Chocolate Massacre of 2012.

Don't worry.  Even the darkest chocolate batter wipes up easily.

Don’t worry. Even the darkest chocolate batter wipes up easily.

A couple weeks later, my intern had a bad week. Like…a really, really bad week. I’m a strong believer that chocolate and whiskey make just about everything a tiny bit better.  So late on a Thursday night, I whipped up another batch. (Okay, once again I used bourbon. But bourbon is a type of whiskey…so go with me here!)

I didn't need to pour myself a nip for courage this time, but I might have done so anyway!

I didn’t need to pour myself a nip for courage this time, but I might have done so anyway!

The whiskey cakes have been a huge hit with everyone who tries them.  They’re super rich, flavorful, and fun. Seriously. What could be more fun than eating cake out of a jar?

In class, the cakes are suggested as a gift. But, they’d be an even better for a party. The great thing about them is you can eat half, put the lid back on and take home the rest for later. That is…if you can resist eating the whole thing right away!

Caitlin didn’t mind me sharing her recipe with the 2 million readers of the Boston Globe, so I assume she won’t mind me sharing it with the 12 readers of this blog.  (By the way, who said print was dead?  2 million readers a week ain’t nothing to sneeze at!)

Chocolate whiskey cakes with whiskey-butter sauce
Makes 12 individual cakes

Chocolate whiskey cakes
2 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups strongly brewed coffee
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons whiskey
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk coffee, whiskey, butter, cinnamon, and cocoa powder until butter has melted. Add sugar. Pour mixture into a large bowl and let cool slightly.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and vanilla extract. Gradually pour into chocolate mixture. Add flour and whisk until just combined. Batter will be very thin.
4. Set the oven at 325 degrees. Fill 12 – 8 oz. jelly jars with scant 1/2 cup batter each. Place on cookie sheet. Bake 45-50 minutes, or until a tester comes out with small, moist crumbs. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before adding sauce.

Whiskey-butter sauce
1/4 cup whiskey
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup water

1. In a saucepan over medium heat, gently heat all ingredients until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat.
2. With a skewer, poke holes in the jarred cakes. Spoon sauce over cakes.

Recipe by Caitlin Barry, adapted from Gourmet Magazine.

Seriously. I can’t describe how fantastic these cakes taste. You’re just going to have to get yourself a box of jelly jars and try them yourself. Or, bribe me and I’ll cover my kitchen in chocolate again. It’s fun!

Inspired by my whiskey cake success, I’ve managed to do a bit more “baking” this holiday season.  Somehow, only the whiskey cakes actually went into the oven.  Everything else was oven-free.

So, stay tuned for a bevy of alliterative treats, including:

Toffee with Tina
Practically Perfect Pizzelles
Karen’s Chocolate Covered Krispies

Oh, and if you want to see the whole story in the Boston Globe, follow this link.


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