Saturday, January 14, 2012

Bourbon Soaked Chocolate Cake and Honey Bourbon Glazed Croissant Pudding, a New Year and Sushi Talk

It's a New Year and in my head, I was going to do a lot more with all of my plans for this blog. But, reality strikes, and hey! At least I've been cooking up some fantastic meals and treats still. 

New Year's Eve Dinner was epic. Ideas of grandeur danced in my head the preceding week. Lobster, crab, sushi - everything was a bit fancy. I wanted food that I'd get on a date night but was usually too nervous or impractical to try at home. 

Lobster was vetoed by the husband, something about a shrieking dying animal scaring the children. I say, "psssh," to that, they're not actually screaming, after all. But, obviously, my heart is cold and blackened. I settled with the idea of crab, but that didn't exactly pan out. I was distracted by sushi. Sushi and my mad "double boiling" skills I never knew I had - chocolate dipped strawberries are distracting, am I right?

I ended up with a lovely slab of Ahi Tuna to surprise my husband with and am lucky enough to have some really awesome friends (Thank you, Dania and Noah!) who lent me some tools and gave me some pointers. I would never have known to fan the rice. I had never heard of Mirin. I wouldn't have known that plastic wrapping the bamboo mat would make it easier to roll and clean. I wouldn't have had a sharp enough knife! 

So, really, thanks to them our sushi making was a complete success. I say our, because really, my husband did a lot of the handiwork, and it is a 2 person job. I was shocked how good it was. How affordable it was. How fresh it tasted. And we had so much food, too. We were all full after going through the tuna and making some regular avocado rolls. They weren't the prettiest rolls you ever did see, but it wasn't a complete disaster and I was proud.

You'll see what I did with the crab once I can crank out another post. I'd insert a million excuses, but don't forget - I am The Realistic Housewife, here. So, we chowed down on sushi and couldn't keep our hands off of the strawberries, but we did save some room for dessert.

I was really loving on my husband New Year's Eve, and he really inspired most of the food that night. I grabbed some 1792 Ridgemont Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey for us to sip on while cooking all afternoon and that inspired the entire dessert. If whiskey isn't for you, maybe espresso is. This smooth cake would do very well with some rich espresso. Black Joe Cake is always a favorite around here. 

But, I wanted to do something more. And I was truly inspired. I came across a Monkey Bread and Croissant Pudding picture earlier that I just couldn't get out of my head. I had cravings I couldn't resist. I had to make some kind of Bread Pudding. So, this is what I came up with!

Bourbon Soaked Chocolate Cake with Honey Bourbon Glazed Croissants Pudding

Bourbon Soaked Chocolate Cake

  • 1 Cup Quality Bourbon (or Espresso/Coffee, if you so choose) plus 1/4-1/2 Cup for Soaking
  • 5 Ounces Baking Chocolate
  • 2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 1 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 3 Eggs, Separated
  • 2 Sticks Unsalted Butter
  • 1 1/2 Cup Sifted Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Take a metal bowl and place over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water and whisk together half of the sugar and the egg yolks, when hot, remove
  3. Beat on medium until it ribbons (you'll see it, it folds into itself)
  4. Melt butter and chocolate in another metal bowl over the same simmering saucepan until melted, set aside to cool
  5. Add whiskey to chocolate/butter mixture
  6. Add yolk mixture to the bourbon/chocolate mixture
  7. Beat in egg whites and the other half of the sugar
  8. Add honey
  9. Slowly beat in sifted flour, baking soda and salt
  10. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans or one bundt pan, bake for about 50 minutes
  11. Let cool and pour 1/4-1/2 cup bourbon over top
Honey Bourbon Glaze

  • 1/4 Water 
  • 3 Tablespoons Quality Honey (I used Ames Farm)
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup Cream
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 6 Tablespoons Butter Cut into Small Pieces
  • 1/4 Cup Bourbon
  1. Dissolve sugar and honey into water in small saucepan, stirring
  2. Caramelize it until it turns a dark amber color, careful not to burn, do not stir
  3. Remove from heat and add butter, cream and salt, stirring
  4. Add bourbon and refrigerate for at least one hour (it will thicken as it cools)
Amazing Cake/Croissant Pudding

  • 1/2 Bourbon Soaked Chocolate Cake Cut into Chunks
  • 4 Large Croissants Cut into Chunks
  • 1/2 Cup Honey Bourbon Glaze
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 1 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 2 Cups Cream
  1. Pour glaze over croissant chunks
  2. Toast cake and croissant chunks to dry out
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  4. In large mixing bowl whisk together eggs, yolks, milk and cream
  5. Place a mixture of croissant and cake chunks into 2 8x8 glass pans, or 2 similarly sized casserole dishes
  6. Pour mixture of eggs and cream over chunks evenly, let soak in
  7. Bake for 1 hour until top puffs up and is golden
Well, that was one big mouthful. Trust me, this recipe is seriously worth it. The Bourbon Soaked Chocolate Cake on its own can move mountains. Smooth and velvety, the smokey whiskey flavor just melts through. Sprinkle some powdered sugar on top to pretty it up a bit, and there you have it. Actually, each aspect of this recipe can be used in a variety of ways. Try the Honey Bourbon Glaze drizzled over ice cream or even use it as a sauce for a pear tart. Or go crazy and top the chocolate cake with some ice cream and a drizzle of the glaze! 


  1. Better than tiramisu! Looks good, but the taste will knock you out. Great dessert, Rachel. Do not tell my weight watchers group that I had this for dessert tonight. Ouch! Very rich and deep flavors. I loved it! Thank you for saving some for us.

    1. Always happy to share! And, no worries, it's our little secret :) And, nothing is better than tiramisu...

  2. I made this last weekend and holy Hannah it was a-m-azing! The only change I made was I used a peaty Scotch for the glaze and a couple sweet Scotchs for the cake and pudding. It was kind of a triple Scotch version.

    Awesome post!

  3. Thanks! That is awesome! I actually was thinking about using Scotch (2 Gingers Whiskey, to be exact) but went with Bourbon for the hubs. I'm glad you tried it and made it your own! It's definitely worth it.

  4. Wow - this bread pudding achieves perfection! It's a super-sophisticated yet humble "comfort" dessert. Rich but not decadent, with complex layers of flavor. This recipe will go into my judiciously cultivated "Special Chocolate Dessert" file. Thanks for sharing it!