Six Layer Bourbon-Soaked Genoise With Chocolate Butter Cream

 It was Tucker's grandmother Gwen's 85th birthday a few weeks ago and the family decided to throw her a southern food themed birthday party (Gwen is originally from North Carolina). The amount of food was out of control: fried chicken, deep fried scallops, North Carolina style BBQ chicken and pork butt, grilled scallops, black eyed peas, biscuits, and sweet tea. Oh and for dessert, this six layer cake soaked in bourbon and Aunt Weezie's famous coconut sandwich cookies (I love those things, I'll have to get the recipe to post soon). I think it was Tucker's dad, Buffer, who decided that it was important that the cake fit all 85 candles (yes, really), but without causing a firestorm (apparently there had been a previous incident at an 80th birthday party). This explains the shape of the cake, which we baked in a jelly roll pan, sliced in thirds, and stacked. There were three layers of cake, and three of frosting (all together, 6 layers.. yeah, that might be cheating a little). We were inspired by Hungarian seven layer cake, which I have enjoyed at many family gatherings, traditionally purchased at a bakery on the north shore. We had to make it Southern to match the theme, so we soaked the cake in a bourbon simple syrup overnight.

This cake was all sorts of delicious... even if you just make it two layers (or even one), its going to be good... although I do like the high ratio of buttercream to cake on this one :)

Six Layer Bourbon-Soaked Genoise With Chocolate Butter Cream
Adapted from The Cake Bible

6T unsalted butter
2t vanilla
8 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup cake flour
1 cup cornstarch

1/4 cup +1 1/2 t sugar
1/2 water
2T bourbon

6 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
2 cups unsalted, softened butter
6 oz melted and cooled bittersweet chocolate

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Take a jelly roll pan and line it with parchment paper.
  2. First, clarify the butter: in a heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, partially covered to prevent splattering. When the butter looks clear, cook uncovered, watching carefully until the solids drop and begin to brown. Pour immediately through a fine strainer or a strainer lined with cheesecloth
  3. Warm the butter until almost hot (110F-120F) add the vanilla and keep warm.
  4. In large mixing bowl set over a pan of simmering water heat the eggs and sugar until just lukewarm, stirring constantly to prevent curdling. Using the whisk beater, beat the mixture on high speed for 5 minutes or until the volume triples.
  5. While the eggs are beating, sift together flour and corn starch.
  6. Remove 1 cup of egg mixture and throughly whisk into the butter
  7. Sift 1/2 the flour mixture over the remaining egg mixture and fold it in gently but rapidly until all the flour has disappeared. Repeat with the remaining flour. Fold in the butter mixture until just incorporated
  8. Pour immediately into the pan and bake for 25 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and starts to shrink slightly from the sides of the pan.
  9. Remove cake and let cool.sprinkle syrup over it. Let sit for several hours or overnight before assembling.

  1. In a small saucepan with a lid, bring the sugar and water to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Cover immediately and remove from heat, and allow to cool completely. Transfer liquid to measuring cup and stir in bourbon.
  1. Beat yolks until light in color
  2. Combine sugar and corn syrup in saucepan, heat, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves and syrup comes to roiling boil
  3. Transfer syrup to 1 cup heatproof glass measure to stop the cooking
  4. Gradually beat syrup into eggs, continue beating until completely cool

  1. Cut cake into thirds the long way. Frost liberally between each layer. Before frosting the top and outside, use a knife to even out the sides. Frost the top and sides completely.
  2. We decorated with pansies and violets, they were lovely.
  3. OPTIONAL: place 85 candles on the cake and light them, just be sure to do it quick or the butter cream will melt!

The Chef de Plunge is not liable for any firestorms accidentally created by this cake:


This looks amazing! Love the flowers, nice touch!

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