Throw Your Own Wedding: Brown Sugar-Bourbon Cake w/Brown Sugar-Bourbon Buttercream

Autumn was the inspiration for this cake, and my recent obsession with making 6″ cakes.  You can easily convert it into a 9″ layer cake AND make this any time of year.  Planning this cake out is going to be an important part to your success as well as using the best ingredients you can afford.  I prefer to use Guittard chocolate.

Cake
1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
2 c. brown sugar (light or dark)
4 eggs
1 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. Maker’s Mark Bourbon
1 tbsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla-bean paste
2 c. AP flour

Brown Sugar-Bourbon Buttercream
2 c. brown sugar (light or dark)
1/2 c. Maker’s Mark Bourbon
2 whole eggs + 2 egg whites
2 c. (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tbsp. vanilla-bean paste

Maker’s Mark Ganache
8 oz. dark chocolate chunks
1 c. heavy cream
2 tbsp. Maker’s Mark

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prep 4, 6″ round cake pans by spraying them with Bak-klene.  In the bolw of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream butter and sugar together, scraping the bowl with a spatula to ensure all of your ingredients are incorporated nicely.  Add eggs, buttermilk and Maker’s Mark, followed by the baking soda, salt, vanilla-bean paste and flour.

Divide batter evenly between pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a tester or toothpick comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then remove from pans and place on cooling rack to come to room temperature.  Cover with plastic wrap and place into refrigerator to chill.

In the medium saucepan over medium heat, place brown sugar and Maker’s Mark – stir ingredients so your sugar is well blended with the liquid.  Bring to boil and continue to cook until a candy thermometer reaches soft ball stage.  Syrup may flame up due to the alcohol content, you can easily blow the flame out.  While syrup is cooking, add eggs to bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment and beat for 2-3 minutes.  When syrup has reached soft-ball stage, remove from heat and with the mixer on medium speed slowly pour syrup in with eggs.  After you have poured all the soap in, continue to beat for ten minutes until syrup is cooled.  Cover bowl and place into refrigerator to chill for at least four hours.

After syrup has chilled, place bowl back into mixer fitted with whip attachment and on low speed begin to add butter sticks one at a time until butter is completely incorporated along with the vanilla-bean paste.  When all the butter has been added watch the consistency of the mixture – you will notice after 2-3 minutes it will change and begin to go from loose to setting up/stiffening.  Beat for one more minute to ensure all ingredients are mixed well.  Your buttercream is now ready to ice your chilled cake.

In a microwave-safe container add heavy cream and cook until cream is boiling depending on the strength of your microwave.  Remove from microwave and add chocolate chunks, stirring with a fork until they are melted – followed by the Maker’s Mark.  Once ingredients are combined and smooth, allow mixture to sit – stirring every few minutes until it begins to set up.  Remove cakes from refrigeration and set them on a cooling rack set inside a half-sheet pan to make this easier.  Divide ganache between the tops of all cake layers, making sure the ganache does not go over the edges – but puddles on the top.  If ganache runs to quickly, allow to set up further and redo.  Place into refrigerator and allow ganache to completely set up – this should take roughly an hour or two.

Remove cake layers from refrigerator and assemble/ice with the buttercream.  Place back into refrigerator and allow the cake to fully chill again – roughly 4-6 hours before serving.  Enjoy.

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