Beth’s Chocolate Whiskey Cake | ENTERTAINING WITH BETH


– Hey, guys. So a couple of weeks
ago, I shared with you some stories related
to my Italian heritage, and as it relates to my four-generation spaghetti and meatball recipe. Well, with St. Patrick’s Day upon us, I thought it was the perfect time to pay tribute to the
other side of my family, which my mother always likes to remind me, especially around St. Patrick’s Day. That in addition to being half Italian, I am also a quarter English
and a quarter Irish. So this recipe for St.
Patrick’s Day is dedicated to my early Irish ancestors, who came over on a boat from Ireland
headed to Massachusetts. They had a big family of five kids, which then led to my mom’s own family of five children, which then led to the extended generation
that I’m a part of. And let me tell ya, those family reunions, where we all get together,
are quite a blast. This group really knows
how to have a good time. (laughs) So for this St. Patrick’s Day, I wanted to create an elegant dessert that would pay homage to
my early Irish ancestors. And when I think of them,
back in the Victorian era, I think of them sitting
in an elegant parlor room enjoying something like
a chocolate whiskey cake with a caramel toffee glaze. It’s a fantastic dessert
that’s really easy to put together, let me
show you how to make it. So the first thing we’re gonna do is take a large Pyrex bowl. We are then gonna place two
ounces of bittersweet chocolate. To that, we are gonna add a cup of unsweetened cocoa powder. So using the two types
of chocolate is what is going to create a really
rich, dark, decadent cake. Then we are gonna add a
cup of hot, boiling water. This will allow that
cocoa power to “bloom,” as they say, which will
deepen the flavor and allow it to really give you the
best chocolate punch. Then we are gonna add
two cups of white sugar. Now, at first glance, this might look like a ton of sugar, but keep in mind that the cocoa powder is unsweetened. So the nice thing about this dessert, and this is why my mom likes this recipe, is that it’s very chocolatey and rich without being overly sweet. Then we are gonna add
a cup of vegetable oil. Now, I’ve done a lot of experimentation with cake recipes, and I have found that vegetable oil will
get you a moister cake than butter, and I think it has to do with the fact that there
is water in butter, and it’s not really a pure fat the way that vegetable oil is. But if you wanted to use
butter, you certainly could, I just find that the vegetable oil tends to work a little bit
better for a moister cake. Then we’re going to add three eggs and two egg yolks. Give that a stir, just until
it’s nice and combined. Then we are gonna add one
tablespoon of vanilla, and two tablespoons of Irish whiskey. Now, if you don’t drink,
you could definitely leave the whiskey out, but because I’m making this for St. Patrick’s Day, and paying homage to my Irish ancestors, I had to throw in the whiskey. You won’t taste it in a kind of boozy way, it really just is more about the flavor, because as the cake bakes, it will actually cook off the alcohol. But it is that nice
flavor that does remain, which helps to just accentuate all the richness of the chocolate. So you can set that
mixture aside, and then we are going to sift
together our dry ingredients. We’re going to combine a cup and a quarter of flour, a teaspoon and a half of salt, and one teaspoon of baking soda. Go ahead and just sift that together, and then you will see you’ll have a very nice, fine flour texture. Now, when it comes to
sifting dry ingredients, I try to avoid that step
as much as possible. Who need the extra work, right? But I will say, for this
cake, I make an exception, because you really wanna have a delicate, fine crumb
to this chocolate cake, and the only way to do that is to avoid mixing your cake, or overmixing your cake, by trying to incorporate the flour. If you sift your flour, you’re gonna end up with a finer-texture flour, which doesn’t need to be mixed as much as if you had flour that you didn’t sift. So in this instance, I
say, go ahead and sift. You wanna use the least amount of turns to incorporate the flour,
so one of the things I like to do is just use a wire whisk and do a nice figure
eight, just making sure you’re getting all that
flour incorporated, and as soon as it is, stop. And basically, our batter is done. So now our next step
is to take a Bundt pan. Now, when it comes to Bundt pans, they’re not all created equal. I think the best ones are
the ones that come nonstick. However, just for some
added assurance, I also like to spray it with a little
baking cooking spray. Because, let’s be honest, the whole idea of a Bundt cake is to
be able to release it and see that beautiful design. If for whatever reason it ends up sticking here or there, and it tears, (groans) game over, it’s
not gonna be as good. So take the added measure of a little bit of cooking spray, and
you’ll be happy you did. And then you’re gonna pop it in the oven at 350 degrees for exactly 40 minutes. 40 minutes, I have found, is
the perfect amount of time. And the best way to know that it’s done is to take a long skewer
or a long toothpick. One of the things you wanna know about baking cakes in Bundt pans is that they’re really
deep, and so a little, tiny toothpick might just
get the top of the cake, but it’s not gonna make sure that it’s really cooked all the way through. So a long toothpick or a
skewer is really the way to go. Then, when your cake is
cool enough to handle, you’re gonna go in with a cooling rack, place it on top, and flip that cake over. And when you release it, you will see, you will have a beautiful design. I love Bundt cakes, they’re
very vintage and sort of old-world, and they’re
not used a lot today. And I think they deserve a comeback, because you end up with a beautiful design with hardly any effort. I find that the layer cakes,
they take a little bit of doing to create something impressive, but a Bundt cake does
all the work for you. Then we are gonna take out a sheet pan, and we are gonna line it with foil. And we’re gonna take our cooling
rack and place it inside. Now you can see that our cake is all ready to be glazed, and we won’t
have a big mess to clean up after the caramel starts
to drip over the cake. Now, making homemade caramel is actually easier than you think. You just have to follow a few key tips. So tip number one is you wanna make sure that you use a saucepan
with a high profile, meaning that it’s nice and deep, and you’ll see why in a minute. Then you’re going to add
a cup of white sugar, and you’re gonna place your flame on a medium-high setting. Now, do not walk away. (laughs) This is not the time to multitask. You really need to watch that sugar, because if it starts
to boil over and burn, you will have a huge mess on your hands. That can really scald you and hurt you, there’s nothing worse
than a hot sugar burn. So definitely watch it. But what you will start to see is that that sugar will begin to melt down. And as it does, you can take a wire whisk and just start to give it a good stir. You’ll start to see that that liquid will begin to turn a
beautiful amber brown. You wanna take it a little bit further and allow that liquid to
actually become translucent, so you’ll be able to
see through it, and then it’ll start turning into
a beautiful caramel color. At that stage, you wanna add
a half a cup of heavy cream. So here’s my second tip for you. It is much better if
you can add heavy cream that is either warmed
or at room temperature, because you’ll see, when you pour that heavy cream in, this
caramel is going to boil up, and it is going to look
like a witch’s brew, and you’re gonna think you’ve
totally ruined your caramel. You haven’t, don’t worry, it’ll settle down as you keep stirring it. But if you take cold cream and throw it into that hot caramel mixture, it’ll actually start to congeal, and you’ll end up with a really tough, almost, like, homemade
candy on your hands. So you wanna make sure that you use room-temperature or warmed cream. Then the final step is just to add a quarter teaspoon of salt. You’ll see it’s a really great combination between that sweetness of the caramel and the little saltiness
that the salt will provide. Now it’s time to glaze our cake, so we’re gonna take a small ladle. And you’re going to begin to pour that hot caramel on the top of the cake. So this is where gravity
really comes in handy, because as you pour it
on the top of the cake, it will start to drizzle down and create these wonderful, beautiful drip marks along the side of your Bundt cake. Then we are gonna add a quarter cup of toffee bits to the top. So toffee bits, you can
find in the baking aisle, usually next to the chocolate chips. But if you can’t find the toffee bits, you could also use some
nuts, that would be great. And you wanna let this cake rest and set. Typically an hour is really
good before you start to move it, because if your
cake is still warm inside, and you go to try to move the cake to a cake stand, it could crumble on you. So you wanna make sure all of your hard work does not go to waste, and that your cake is actually wonderfully cooled, set, and ready to be moved. Then, the finishing touch
to this beautiful cake are some homemade crepe-paper shamrocks. Now, I cannot take credit for this idea. These actually were made by my friend Robert Mahar of Kin Community. If you wanna know how to make them, head on over to Kin Community, just click the annotation, and his video for how to make the crepe-paper shamrocks has also posted today. Now, Robert is getting ready to start posting videos to his own channel too. So if you’re not yet a
subscriber to Robert’s channel, you wanna make sure you subscribe, because he has got some really wonderful, clever ideas to help make your life a little bit more beautiful and handmade. Then to serve, you can
slice a generous piece of this beautiful cake,
place it on a plate, and serve it with a
dollop of lightly scented homemade whipped cream. If you wanna know my recipe
for the whipped cream, it’s also in the description,
and I have spiked it with a little bit more
Irish whiskey. (laughs) Just to send it over the edge. And there you have it, a
elegant, sophisticated dessert to serve this year on St. Patrick’s Day. I hope you guys give it a try, and let me know what you think. And Mom, I hope this dessert would make your relatives proud. (laughs) At the very least, I’m looking forward to sharing a slice of it with
you this St. Patrick’s Day. Okay, I’ll see you guys next time, bye. (midtempo piano music) ♫ Oh, what a day, what a day ♫ I know, I know I need to get away ♫ Oh, what a day, ♫ what a day it’s been ♫ Seems like everybody’s ♫ starin’ and laughin’ at me ♫ You know I could’ve been a painter ♫ Mix in some color to your lives ♫ Create a disasterpiece named ♫ “The Man and His Godawful Wife”

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