Two Favorites That Go Better Together?

wakatake-daiginjo-sake1.jpgI’m still working my way through Harry Potter.  Yes, I’m a slow reader.  It doesn’t help the fact that I also recently purchased a XBOX 360, and now I’m obsessed with earning as many achievement points as possible on the few games I have.

There hasn’t been much baking going on in my house this week either thanks to the above average temperatures, and the fact that potato bread takes an indecent amount of time to rise.

Instead, I’m going to share with everyone a recipe I found flipping through the latest issue of Cooking Light magazine.  The featured food this month is sake, one of my favorite alcoholic beverages.

I was first introduced to sake nearly 10 years ago, when my friend Chris convinced me to try it at the now defunct Hi Ricky’s in Chicago.  The Asian Noodle bar still goes down as some of the best Pad Thai I’ve ever eaten (and the coconut curry wasn’t anything to sneeze at either).  Ordering a glass for both of us, he warned me to drink it while it was still hot, because the colder it got, the more it tasted like rubbing alcohol.  He wasn’t wrong.  Not only did it knock the hell out of my throat, it knocked the hell out of my other senses to.  I was both disgusted, intrigued, and definitely a little tipsy.

Years later, I’ve learned that the stuff we ordered that day was pretty low on the drinkability scale.  I’ve had some amazing sakes since then, even turning more people onto the Japanese alcohol.

Katie, however, still looks at me funny.  But, she tried it.  I have to give her that.  Most people just ask how I can drink it so easily.  She at least tried it before swearing it off permanently.

So, today’s recipe is a Chocolate Sake Cinnamon Cake. I haven’t had a chance to try it yet, but thought I’d put the recipe out there for any other adventurous bakers to give it a go.  If I’m lucky, this may happen this weekend, but we do have a full weekend of Lollapalooza and Chicago dining planned.

Chocolate Sake Cinnamon Cake

3 Tbsp Sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour (approx. 9 oz)
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp instant coffee granules
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
1/2 cup sake
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Coat a 12-cup bundt pan with cooking spray, and sprinkle pan with 3 Tbsp sugar.
  3. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cup; level with a knife combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through cinnamon) in a large bowl; stir well.
  4. Place 2 cups sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium high speed until well blended (about 3 minutes).  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition addition.  Beat in vanilla.  Combine milk and sake; stir into egg mixture.  Add egg mixture to flour mixture; stir until combined.  Fold in chocolate.  Spoon batter into prepared pan.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool in pan 10 minutes.  Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack.

    Yield: 16 servings
    Serving Size: 1 slice

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