This is one of my favorite cakes ever. Eric Wolitzky spent his entire run on Top Chef: Just Desserts having crises of confidence because he was a baker, not a pastry chef by trade, but really, who cares if you can bake a macaron. This cake is where it’s at.
I have made it twice before, and not only is it ridiculously tasty, it’s practically un-messup-able. None of this worrying about over mixing under mixing add eggs one at a time whatever crap. It will turn out fine.
I’ve never actually made it with the bourbon before because I was too cheap to buy good quality bourbon, and too snobby to buy cheap bourbon. But the liquor store section of Woodman’s (which is easily the size of entire other, lesser grocery stores) has an extensive array of miniature bottles. So I bought the most expensive tiny bottle of bourbon they had and voila, depth. It’s actually amazing that it makes this much difference. Whereas uncooked bourbon is revolting (everything with alcohol in it is revolting to me, I am sorry), the cooked bourbon adds a spicy, mulled flavor to the caramel layer. Besides flavor, it adds a warmth, an impression that once you put this cake in your mouth you will feel as though you are snuggled up in a blanket by a fire. With cake.