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Bittersweet Chocolate Irish Whiskey Cake

Serves: Makes 1 (9-inch) cake


  • ¾ cup Irish whiskey
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso
  • 6 tablespoons hot water
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • ¼ cup blanched almonds, toasted
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
  • ½ cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting the cake

    • Irish whiskey whipped cream

      • 1 cup heavy cream
      • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
      • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
      • 2 tablespoons Irish whiskey, more to taste if desired


      This mildly rich cake has hints of chocolate, almond and whiskey flavors. As most of the alcohol flavor can be removed in the cooking process, we serve this cake with Irish whiskey cream, to enhance the flavors within the cake.

      Preheat an oven to 350 degrees, and position the rack to the center of the oven. Prepare a 9-inch deep springform pan with butter and flour, or baking spray.

      In a small saucepan, add the whiskey, place on a high heat and reduce to ½–cup remains, about 2 minutes.

      In a small bowl, add the espresso powder and dissolve with the hot water.

      Place a medium pot of water on the stove over a medium heat, and bring to a simmer. In a medium bowl, combine the chocolate and dissolved espresso powder mixture, and the reduced whiskey. Place the bowl over the simmering water, and melt the chocolate mixture until smooth, about 8 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat and set aside.

      In a food processor, fitted with a metal blade, grind the almonds with the flour, until well combined and smooth.

      In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the butter and 6 tablespoons of granulated sugar, until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla extract, and thoroughly combine, about 1 minute. Slowly add the egg yolks, one at a time, then the salt, until all combined. Fold in the chocolate mixture, and then the almond flour mixture.

      In a separate clean and dry bowl, add 2/3 of the the egg whites and beat until soft white peaks form. At this stage, gradually add the remaining tablespoons of granulated sugar, until stiff white peaks form. Add the remaining egg whites and blend until well combined.

      Transfer the cake batter to the prepared springform pan, and place in the oven. Cook until an inserted cake tester comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. When cooked, transfer pan from oven to a wire rack, and remove sides when the cake is cooled, about 30 minutes.

      To make the Irish whiskey whipped cream: Place the cream, sugar, and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until the mixture visibly thickens and begins to hold a shape. Beat in the Irish whiskey.

      To serve: Dust the chocolate cake with confectioners’ sugar. Cut a slice of chocolate cake, and serve with a dollop of Irish whiskey cream.

      Tested and perfected in the Sur la Table kitchen

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