Let me just start by saying that this is an amazing cake.
The recipe is from The Little Loaf, and I haven’t done anything to change it, it’s perfect as it is. It is a wonderful, fudgey, rich chocolate cake, covered with a decadent chocolate ganache, and finished off with a hint of smokey whiskey.
You really need to have this cake in your life.
I made this for our Burns Night Supper, alongside this Raspberry Cranachan Cheesecake. On the night, three separate people told me that it was the best chocolate cake they had ever eaten.
I think i’m inclined to agree.
The cake itself is made without butter, instead it’s moisture comes from oil, eggs and boiling water. The whiskey buttercream, made with condensed milk is a revelation. It’s sweet, creamy and thick, and I have no doubt that I will be making it over and over again.
My cake had a bit of a wonky look about it. The top layer of cake cracked as I assembled it, and slowly slipped down as the afternoon went on. By the time I served it, I had to prop it up with a couple of tins to stop a landslide. Andy was very kind about it. He said the cake defiantly didn’t look bad, just maybe a little bit drunk. Poor thing, I guess it’s only fitting for a whiskey cake.
My ganache didn’t quite thicken as much as I’d hoped either, leaving me frantically scooping it up as it trickled down the sides of the cake to make sticky puddles on the table. I expect thats due to the cream I used. In an end of january effort to save a few pennies, I used a ‘thickened’ cream that was already in the fridge, rather than buying double cream. Although by the time it had been on the cake a few hours it did set, it wasn’t quite the thick even layer I had hoped for. It tastes amazing though, so does it really matter if it’s not quite smooth around the edges?
If you make one new cake this year, make it this cake. It really is that good.
Chocolate Whiskey Cake
(from The Little Loaf)
for the cake
340g plain flour
525g caster sugar
128g cocoa powder
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/4 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
3 large eggs
375ml full fat milk
188ml oil (the original recipe calls for groundnut oil, i used corn oil)
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
375ml boiling water
for the whiskey syrup
100g caster sugar
for the whiskey buttercream
150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
350g icing sugar
4 tablespoons condensed milk
2 tablespoon whiskey
for the ganache
250g dark chocolate, chopped
250ml double cream
100g light brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line 3 20cm cake tins.
In a large bowl, measure out your flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Whisk them together until well combined.
In a separate bowl or jug, whisk the eggs, then add the milk and oil.
Add into the dry mixture, mixing until well combined.
Slowly pour in the boiling water, mixing as you go.
The cake batter will be very runny.
Pour even amounts into the three lined cake tins.
Bake for about 25- 30 minutes until the cakes are firm, and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
During the last few minutes of baking, make the whiskey syrup.
Heat the water and sugar together in a small pan until the sugar is full dissolved. Let it all bubble away for a couple of minutes. Add the whiskey, and simmer for about another minute. Drizzle over the cakes while they are still warm. Leave to cool completely.
Once cool, make the buttercream.
Beat your butter until it’s very smooth, light and creamy. Sift the icing sugar into the bowl and beat into the butter. Add the condensed milk. Finally, slowly add the whiskey and beat until everything is well combined.
Place a blob of your buttercream onto a plate or cake stand. Set the first layer of cake on top. Spread half of the buttercream across the top of the cake, then top with the next layer of cake. Add the rest of the buttercream, then top with the final layer of the cake.
Make your ganache.
Chop up your chocolate into small pieces, then put into a heatproof bowl.
Heat the cream and the sugar together until the sugar has dissolved. Boil for about a minute, then take off the heat. Leave to stand for one minute, then pour of the chocolate. Rapidly whisk until all the chocolate has melted. Leave to cool for about half an hour, until it’s reached a spreadable consistency.
Using a palette knife, spread it across the top, and down the sides of the cake.