7-Layer Vanilla Bourbon Birthday Cake

9 Feb

February 9th, 2015

This weekend we celebrated my Husband’s birthday with a very boozy, 7-layer cake. He’s a big fan of drinking Whiskey (not to mention, our dog is named Whiskey) so I decided to make a vanilla Bourbon cake for his special day. Initially I only intended to flavor the cake part with Bourbon, but the alcohol baked off and only a mild alcohol taste was left. To intensify the booziness, I added more Bourbon to the buttercream. This was definitely a very adult tasting cake! 

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Vanilla Bourbon Cake

1 lb + 2 oz sugar
¾ C oil
3 eggs
1 ½ C heavy cream
1T vanilla extract
1 lb + 6 oz AP flour
2 ¼ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ C buttermilk
optional: 2-3 T Bourbon (I used Basil Hayden)
 
Y= 3- 6 inch rounds 

Directions:

  1. Combine oil and sugar together in a mixer bowl. Use the paddle attachment to mix to combine.
  2. Add eggs, one at a time.
  3. Add heavy cream and vanilla extract.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Alternate adding the dries and buttermilk, mixing in between. Scrape down sides of the bowl as necessary.
  6. Add Bourbon if using.
  7. Prepare 6-inch round cake pans- coat with non-stick spray and dust with a thin layer of flour.
  8. Divide batter evenly into cake pans.
  9. Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes. 

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The birthday boy with his cake. 

Bourbon Simple Syrup
1 ½ C water
1 ½ C sugar
1-2 T Bourbon

Y= This recipe yields a lot of simple syrup so set aside the desired amount for soaking the cake and save the rest for future use. 

Directions:

  1. Combine water and sugar in a saucepan. Mix together. Bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to simmer until sugar is completely dissolved. Simmer for about 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  4. Add Bourbon to taste.

Vanilla Bourbon Buttercream:
3/4C egg whites (I used carton egg whites)
9 oz sugar
1lb softened butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 to 5 T Bourbon

Directions:

  1. Whisk together sugar and egg whites in a mixer bowl.
  2. Place bowl over a pot of simmering hot water.
  3. Using a hand whisk, constantly whisk the sugar-egg mixture until sugar is completely dissolved. The mixture should be warm to touch, but not burning hot on the finger.
  4. Transfer the mixer bowl to the mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whisk on medium speed until mixture is cooled. Continue to whisk until the mixture becomes meringue-like.
  5. Once the meringue is cool enough, add the softened butter, a few pieces at a time. Allow the butter to mix in before adding the next few pieces.
  6. Once the butter is all in, whisk on high speed for a few seconds. Scrape sides down if necessary.
  7. Add Bourbon to taste.

White Chocolate Ganache
125g white chocolate, chopped (I used Valrhona)
65mL heavy cream
food coloring (I used a soft gel by AmeriColor)

Directions:

  1. Place chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Heat the cream until it starts to bubble along the edges.
  2. Pour the heated cream over the chocolate. Let it stand for a few minutes.
  3. Stir to combine.
  4. Add food coloring and mix together.

To assemble the cake: 

  1. Divide cakes, lengthwise, into 7 even layers.
  2. Using a pastry brush, generously soak the first layer with the Bourbon simple syrup.
  3. Spread buttercream on the first layer.
  4. Add the second layer and repeat with the simple syrup and buttercream. Repeat with other layers.
  5. Apply a crumb coat to the cake. Refrigerate to set the crumb coat.
  6. Apply a final coat to the cake.
  7. Decorate with white chocolate ganache.

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