Today is National Bundt Day. November 15th was first designated as such 5 years ago by Nordic Ware, a U.S.-based kitchenware company best know for their Bundt ™ pan. For the past 3 years Mary, The Food Librarian, has celebrated by making 30 bundts in the 30 days leading up to National Bundt Day. It's an impressive feat and I am amazed by how many different bundt-shaped pans she owns. It's quite a collection!
She asked her readers to join the fun by making a bundt of our very own. I decided to booze it up and make a bourbon-soaked chocolate bundt cake using a recipe I found in the New York Times. The recipe calls for 1 cup (250 ml) of bourbon or any other whiskey. That seems like a lot of alcohol and you can definitely taste it, but I don't think it's too much. I'm not at all a drinker and I thought it was the perfect amount of bourbon to go with the dark chocolate cake.
And what makes bourbon even better? Luxardo cherries of course! I jazzed up the cake up by drizzling it with a Luxardo cherry glaze. This cake is not quite breakfast food. Some people at the office were still drunk at lunch time. I'm only slightly kidding. :)
Bourbon-Soaked Chocolate Bundt Cake
(Recipe from Melissa Clark as published in the NY Times)
1 cup (8 ounces/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, and more for buttering pan
2 cups all-purpose flour, and more for dusting pan
5 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup instant espresso powder
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 to 1 cup boiling water
1 cup bourbon (or rye or other whiskey), and more for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
Confectioners’ sugar (optional)
1. Grease and flour a 10-cup-capacity Bundt pan (or two 8- or 9-inch loaf pans). Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In microwave oven or double boiler over simmering water, melt unsweetened chocolate. Let cool.
2. Put espresso and cocoa powders in a 2-cup (or larger) glass measuring cup. Add enough boiling water to come up to the 1 cup measuring line. Mix until both powders dissolve. Add whiskey and salt; let cool.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat 1 cup butter until fluffy. Add sugar and beat until well combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract, baking soda and melted chocolate, scraping down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula.
4. On low speed, beat in a third of the whiskey mixture. When liquid is absorbed, beat in 1 cup flour. Repeat additions, ending with whiskey mixture. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Bake until a cake tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes for Bundt pan (loaf pans will take less time, start checking them after 55 minutes).
5. Transfer cake to a rack. Unmold after 15 minutes and sprinkle warm cake with more whiskey. Let cool before serving.
Optional: Dust cooled cake with confectioners’ sugar. Or you can drizzle the cake with a glaze like I did.
I don't have exact measurements for the glaze. It was approximately one cup of confectioners' sugar and I added some of the syrup from the Luxardo cherries until I liked the consistency of the glaze. I also added a few drops of bourbon to the glaze too.