Chocolate Whiskey Cake

INGREDIENTS

  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, more for pan
  • 85 grams unsweetened cocoa powder(about 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 ½ cups brewed strong coffee
  • ½ cup whiskey
  • 200 grams granulated sugar (about 1 cup)
  • 156 grams light brown sugar (about 1 cup)
  • 240 grams all-purpose flour (about 2 cups)
  • 8 grams baking soda (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 3 grams fine sea salt (about 3/4 teaspoon)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • Powdered sugar, for serving (optional)

PREPARATION

  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 10-inch springform pan. Dust with 2 tablespoons cocoa powder.
  2. In a medium saucepan over low heat, warm coffee, whiskey, 12 tablespoons butter** and remaining cocoa powder, whisking occasionally, until butter is melted. Whisk in sugars until dissolved. Remove from heat and cool completely.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, pepper and cloves. In another bowl, whisk together eggs and vanilla. Slowly whisk egg mixture into chocolate mixture. Add dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Transfer to oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean, 55 to 65 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack, then remove sides of pan. Dust with powdered sugar before serving, if you like.

Adapted from Dol Miles, Bottega, Birmingham, Ala. (Submitted by Marti Buckley Kilpatrick here: http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1014419-chocolate-whiskey-cake)

chocwhiskeycakeprep

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** Baker’s note: This is  2 tbsp or so shy of 1/2 lb of butter.  Since one mixes the first four ingredients on the stove over low heat, cut up the butter into smaller pieces than directed so it melts more quickly.

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Sea Salted Caramel Awesome Cookies

These cookies are – in a word – awesome.

I made these for the first time a few weeks ago, and I can’t express enough how much Somebody *really* liked them…so much so, that He seemed to insist on an offering of the first dozen of them as soon as they came out of the oven 🙂

Ingredients

* 1/2 cup butter, softened

* 3/4 cup granulated sugar

* 1 large egg

* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

* 2 tablespoons milk

* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

* 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

* 1 package of butterscotch instant pudding mix (3.4 ounce pkg, or 4 serving size pkg)

* 1 3/4 cups of all purpose flour

* 30 soft caramel candies, unwrapped

* 2 tablespoons sea salt

Preparation:

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.  (Please note: If you don’t have parchment paper – which I didn’t – you can lightly grease the cookie sheets with Crisco shortening before putting cookies on the sheet.  Be sure to re-grease with the shortening between batches, though, otherwise the cookies will stick.)

2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until creamy.  Add the egg, vanilla, and milk; beat until mixed.

3. In a medium bowl, combine the baking soda, baking powder, pudding mix and flour.  Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until combined.

4.  Shape the cookie dough into one-inch balls.  For each cookie, flatten one cookie dough ball into the palm of your hand; place caramel candy in the center, and wrap the cookie dough around the candy.**

5. Place the cookies on the prepared cookie sheets about two inches apart. You can either sprinkle the cookies with the sea salt…or you can take each cookie (before placing it on the cookie sheet) and dip it lightly into the 2 tbsp of sea salt that you have poured into a small bowl or dish, before placing it on the cookie sheet.

6. Bake 10 minutes, or until the cookie edges are light golden brown.  Sprinkle with additional sea salt, if desired.  Allow the cookies to cool 5 minutes before transferring cookies to wire cooling racks to cool completely.

Makes 30 cookies

** I used Werther’s Soft Caramels which are long and somewhat rectangular; I had difficulty trying get the cookie dough to completely surround the caramels.  And whatever caramel is exposed during baking will melt out and around the edges of the cookie and burn.  So what I did was before trying to wrap the cookie dough around the caramel, I rolled down the squared edges of a room temperature caramel so that the  caramel was more rounded than squared…and that made for much less caramel spurtage during baking.

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Here is the first batch — which I offered to Loki — because 1.) He seemed *really* excited about these and it seemed that He didn’t want to wait for them to cool; and 2.) He seemed to prefer that most of the first batch were a hot caramel mess. ❤

As well, I made another batch of these, and took the rest of those to a Yule ritual the next day – along with 5 dozen chocolate chip cookies – and these caramel cookies were gone within 15 minutes or so.  They taste incredibly awesome.  I would so make these again 🙂

Whiskey Steak

Every time that I make this, Somebody *loves* it!

I usually use Jack Daniels or Jack Daniels Honey, but I have used Knob Creek, regular Jim Beam, and even Red Stag Honey Tea — any whiskey would prolly work well (except for something strongly spiced like Fireball.  I find that Fireball is best for use in fruity-spicy baking endeavors, but I digress…)

Ingredients:

1/4 cup whiskey (but I add more like a 1/2 cup or more, because…well, Loki)

1/4 cup light soy sauce

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1/4 cup finely chopped green onion

1 teaspoon garlic powder (or 2 squished/minced cloves of fresh garlic if I have it)

1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger

1/4 cup packed brown sugar (or perhaps a bit more if I really went heavy on the whiskey…)

1 teaspoon salt

1 dash Worcestershire sauce

Ground black pepper to taste

Stir together all ingredients, and marinade up to 2 lbs of sirloin or flank steak for about 20-30 minutes before cooking (or more if it’s a thick cut over 1.5″ thick, like London broil)

I suggest grilling the steak on a preheated barbecue grill, but if you can’t grill it, pan-searing this way works too:

If you own a cast iron pan — Preheat oven to 500 degrees (yep) with the cast iron pan in the oven.

Remove pan; add one whole stick of butter.  Let melt.  Add marinated steak to pan.

Cook steak 25 seconds per side.

If done this way, steak should be medium done at this point (still a bit pink in the middle).  This pan-searing really seals in the juices.  Awesome.

Enjoy!