Whiskey Chocolate Cake with Ganache Glaze

For cake:
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process) plus 3 tablespoons for dusting pan
1 1/2 cups strong brewed coffee
1/2 cup whiskey (rum also works)
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1-2 teaspoon(s) vanilla

For glaze:
3 oz. chopped bittersweet/semi-sweet chocolate
1/3 cups heavy cream/whipping cream
1/2 tablespoon corn syrup
1/2 tablespoon butter

Directions for cake:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 325°F. Butter bundt pan well, then dust with 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, knocking out excess.

Heat coffee, whiskey, butter, and remaining cup cocoa powder in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, whisking, until butter is melted. Remove from heat, then add sugar and whisk until dissolved, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and cool 5 minutes (or longer).

While chocolate mixture cools, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together eggs and vanilla in a small bowl, then whisk into cooled chocolate mixture until combined well. Add flour mixture and whisk until just combined (batter will be thin and bubbly). Pour batter into bundt pan and bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes.

Cool cake completely in pan on a rack, about 2 hours (Really. If you remove it before then, it sometimes has a hard time leaving the pan). Loosen cake from pan using tip of a dinner knife, then invert rack over pan and turn cake out onto rack.

Directions for glaze (sometimes I double the recipe):
In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. In a heat-proof bowl, combine the chopped chocolate with the corn syrup and butter. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let stand until melted, about 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Let the ganache glaze cool until thick but still pourable, about 5 minutes.

Pour the ganache over the cooled cake.Let the cake stand until the glaze is set, at least 30 minutes, before serving.

NOTE: This cake improves in flavor if made at least one day ahead and kept, in a cake keeper or wrapped well in plastic wrap, at cool room temperature.  In this case, make the glaze the day of serving. The cake can be made up to 5 days ahead and chilled (really! I’ve done this, and it’s great).


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