Bundt cakes might not be the most glamorous, but don’t underestimate this one. It’s rich with chocolate and infused with espresso and a whole cup of bourbon. The cake isn’t overly sweet, and this isn’t one of those times the alcohol cooks out. Our kitchen smelled so good while this was baking that we could barely resist cutting a slice as soon as it came out of the oven. I can tell you with certainty that it’s better the day after baking, once the booze has had a chance to mellow out, but I won’t judge you if you want to indulge in a slice straight out of the oven. I’ve only made this with bourbon, but you could also give it a try with another type of whiskey. Either way, make sure you use something you’d be willing to drink. Because of the amount of it in the cake, don’t risk compromising the flavor with something subpar.
This cake is delicious the day it's made but tastes even better the next day after it has soaked up the bourbon.
Heat oven to 325º. Generously butter a 10-cup Bundt pan and lightly dust it with flour and/or cocoa powder (I prefer a mixture of the two when I'm baking chocolate cakes).
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool. Bring water to a boil. Place espresso and cocoa powders in a 2-cup or larger glass measuring cup, then add enough boiling water to bring the mixture up to the 1 cup line. Stir until the powders dissolve, then stir in the bourbon and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and continue beating until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla, baking soda and melted chocolate, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low, then add about a third of the bourbon mixture. Once the liquid is absorbed, beat in 1 cup of flour. Repeat with another third of the bourbon mixture and the remaining cup of flour. End with the last third of the liquid. The batter will be thin. Scrape bottom and sides of bowl with a rubber spatula, then pour the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth the top with the spatula and bake for about 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Place cake on a cooling rack and allow to cool for about 15 minutes, then carefully unmold the cake onto a serving platter. Brush on an additional tablespoon of bourbon and allow to cool completely. Once cool, dust with confectioners' sugar, if desired.