Monday, July 25, 2011

Imbibe Mondays: Bourbon Cake-in-a-Jar with Bourbon Butter Sauce, Whipped Cream, and a Rummed Cherry:

"A bad review is like baking a cake with all the best 
ingredients and having someone sit on it." - Daniel Steel

It's time for the first baked product of Imbibe Mondays. Anyone who has been perusing the blog world for baked treats will know very quickly that the cake-in-a-jar is currently the thing to do and looking at various recipes my wife and I thought we should give it a go. The thought of putting jars in the oven was a little strange at first, but being that we have been doing some canning as of late (i.e. heating glass jars in boiling water) it wasn't too much of stretch to move onto baking with glass. This version of the cake-in-a-jar was most appealing not simply because of the use of whiskey, which is the whole reason for blogging it here, but because the flavor arrives beautifully. And when it comes to the bourbon butter sauce, the alcohol doesn't cook out entirely, leaving you with a stronger and more pronounced baked whiskey product  in line with something like a rummed tiramisu.

I do want to give a shout out to our neighbors and their friends who graciously tasted and sampled the finished product. Needless to say, we didn't have leftovers!

Also to Sprinkle Bakes, from which much of the recipe is adapted.

We used tall and short jars. Any will do, just make sure they are 8 oz.

The main key is to fill the jars halfway - they rise quite a bit so filling the jars more than halfway will cause overflow.

Note: that the sauce is thin, so the skewer makes the perfect size hole for the sauce to seep into.

Yes, they're good!

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups brewed coffee (instant coffee works fine)
1/4 cup plus 3 tbsp. Bourbon whiskey
1 cup unsalted butter

1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
2 eggs

1 1/3 tsp vanilla extract
10 - 8 oz. or 12 oz. glass canning jars

Directions for Cakes:
Step 1: Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Step 2: Whisk flour, baking soda and salt together in a large mixing bowl and set to the side.
Step 3: In a medium saucepan, add coffee, whiskey, butter (
cut in slices), cinnamon, and cocoa powder.  Place over moderate heat and whisk until butter has melted.  Remove from heat and add the sugar.  Whisk until combined and pour into a large bowl. Give a small amount of time for it to slightly cool. 
Step 4: Whisk eggs and vanilla extract and gradually pour into chocolate mixture.  Add flour mixture and whisk until combined.  Note: that the mixture will be very thin.
Step 5: Place canning jars on a cookie sheet and fill each with batter halfway. Bake for 45-55 minutes. 

Bourbon-Butter Sauce:
1/4 cup Bourbon (I used Bulleit Bourbon)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup water

Directions for Bourbon Butter-Sauce:
Step 1: Combine ingredients in a small saucepan, and cook gently over medium heat until sugar has dissolved. Then remove from heat.
Step 2: After the cakes have cooled for ten minutes, with a skewer, poke holes in each of the cakes.Divide up sauce evenly between all jars.

Final Step: Top cakes with whipped cream (recipe below) and rummed cherry.

Homemade Whipped Cream (2 cup heavy cream yields about 4 cups whipped cream):
1 pint heavy cream and flavorings in mixing bowl. Note: Avoid ultra-pasteurized cream.
3 teaspoons of vanilla extract per cup of cream
3 tablespoons of sugar

Directions for Whip Cream:
Step 1: Add all ingredients into mixing bowl.
Step 2: Using a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat cream. Starting slowly, increase speed of the mixer until it can go as fast possible without splashing. As the cream thickens, turn the speed up. The end product should form a soft peak which bends over at the top when you remove the whisk. As it starts to lighten, begin checking for this soft peak. Once this peak begins to form, slow down, so as not to over whip (essentially making it into butter). If needed adjust the flavorings as you go along.
Step 3: Top on Bourbon Cake-in-a-Jar.

Total Time: 5 minutes
*After a few hours, it will start to lose volume. But you can mix it again and it's still good to eat, even after a day or two.

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