August 13, 2015

Chocolate Whiskey Buttermilk Cake with Praline Topping

Bittersweet Chocolate Cake with Ganache and Pecans
As you probably know I have a sweet tooth and one of my favorite sweet treats is chocolate!
When I came across this recipe in Southern Cooking for Company, (enter to win a copy here) I knew I had to try it! I mean come on- chocolate, whiskey, and pralines?! It's a Southern foodies dream dessert! Chocolate Whiskey Buttermilk Cake with Praline Topping may sound intimidating but it is relatively easy to make and assemble and the result: an EPIC cake y'all! I made one as a thank you for a friend and one small one just for me  for my husband and I. I am still thinking about it. I have a feeling this cake is going to be made over and over again in our home!

Ingredients:

Makes 8-10 servings
For the cake:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup whiskey
For the frosting:
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 (6 ounce) bar bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
For the praline:
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp whiskey
  • 1 cup chopped toasted pecans

Directions:


  1. To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease and flour an 8 inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  3. In a heavy saucepan melt the butter with the cocoa and water over medium heat. Let cool slightly.
  4. In a medium bowl whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk the buttermilk, egg, vanilla, and whiskey.
  6. Whisk the cocoa mixture into the buttermilk until smooth.
  7. Add half of the flour mixture, whisk until smooth, then stir in the rest of the flour mixture.
  8. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 25 to 40 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Let cool in the pan 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. To make the frosting, heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until just boiling. 
  11. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate and butter.
  12. Let stand until mostly melted, then stir.
  13.  Let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes, until spreadable. Place the cake on a serving platter and frost the top and sides. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
  14. To make the praline, in a heavy saucepan stir the brown sugar, cream, and butter over medium high heat until the butter melts.
  15. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute without stirring.
  16. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the sugar and whiskey.
  17. Stir in the pecans and immediately pour over the top of the cake, spreading to the edges.
  18. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature (try to not eat it all in one sitting!).
Recipe from Southern Cooking for Company by Nicki P. Wood



Grease and flour an 8 inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
I chose to make two small cakes (as thank you gifts) 
so I used my small heart stoneware pan and a small round pan.
In a heavy saucepan melt the butter with the cocoa and water over medium heat.
 Let cool slightly.
In a medium bowl whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
Any whiskey will work for this recipe. I usually use Bourbon when I bake but
 I happened to have this Irish Whiskey on hand so I used it instead. 
 
I make my own buttermilk by mixing 1 tbsp lemon juice 
per 1 cup milk and letting sit for a few minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk the buttermilk, egg, vanilla, and whiskey.
Whisk the cocoa mixture into the buttermilk until smooth.
Try not to lick the bowl!
Add half of the flour mixture, whisk until smooth,
 then stir in the rest of the flour mixture.
Pour the batter into the pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 40 minutes (depending on pan size),
 until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
For the frosting:
use 6 oz bittersweet chocolate but be careful because most bars now 
are only 4oz so you need a bar and a half.
Roughly chop the chocolate.
Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until just boiling. 
Remove from the heat and add the chocolate and butter.
Let stand until mostly melted, then stir.
 Let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes, until spreadable. 
Once the cake is removed from the pan and completely cooled on a rack, 
it is time to frost it!
Place the cake on a serving platter and frost the top and sides.
 Refrigerate for at least an hour.
Now time to make the praline topping. 
 In a heavy saucepan stir the brown sugar, cream, and butter
 over medium high heat until the butter melts.
Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute without stirring.
Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the sugar and whiskey.
Stir in the chopped pecans.
How amazing does that look?!
Immediately pour over the top of the cake, spreading to the edges.
Bonus: if you have leftover praline topping pour onto wax paper and let cool. 
Now you have delicious praline treats too!
Slice and serve warm or at room temperature (try to not eat it all in one sitting!).
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