Bourbon Chocolate Torte – Cooking With Beer

‘Any chance you want to cook with a local liquor instead of beer next issue?’

Would I?!? Hell, yes! And then I found out that Wigle was releasing a Bourbon and, well, here we are.

Bourbon plays well with chocolate, especially the darker, bittersweet chocolates. There is an inherent fruitiness in bitter chocolates that whiskey and bourbon nd and amplify, making the chocolate richer and, in cases like this cream pie, lets it keep that fruity bitter-sweetness even after it has been melted into creamy torte lling. I do NOT denature the bourbon in this recipe, it goes in raw and is never heated enough to get rid of the alcohol, a grown-up dessert.Though, to be honest, my nephews like it as much as they like any dessert that isn’t birthday cake…so 5/10?

All that whiskey-spiked chocolate awesomeness needs a delivery device. In this case, a salted pretzel and graham crust is perfect.The sweet & salty of the pre-baked crust along with the creamy and rich chocolate whiskey crème are only improved with fresh whipped cream and maybe if you’re feeling fancy, some fresh berries or toasted nuts to garnish. This is perfect in its simplicity.

I make this in a 9” springform pan with a 1⁄2” crust and about 1 1⁄2” of lling, that is what this recipe yields, it can be adjusted for your vessel of choice. This translates well into pies and squares, too. I only ever use fresh whipped cream, sometimes spiked with more bourbon, and whip it by hand right before I serve.

The hardest part about preparing this show-stopper of a dessert is waiting for it to set up and chill. Did I mention the only ‘baking’ you’re going to have to do is 12 minutes for the crust?? No? Oh…well, now I did. The rest is a very simple pot de crème-style custard made on the stove top. It takes longer to heat my oven than it does to put this recipe together. And they will think you slaved!


11⁄2 cups crushed pretzels 3 graham crackers, crushed 4 Tbsp. brown sugar
6 Tbsp. butter, melted

Get everything but the butter into the bowl of the food processor and pulse until crackers are powdered and pretzels are down to small chunks.Add butter and pulse until it is all evenly mixed. Press the crust into the bottom of a 9” springform pan to make an even, compressed layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes and set aside until the custard is ready.

Wigle Bourbon Chocolate Crème

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 11⁄2 cups milk, preferably whole
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1⁄2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  • pinch Kosher salt
  • 1 lb. bittersweet chocolate, such as Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, softened 1⁄2 cup Wigle Bourbon

Heat the heavy cream and milk in a pot over medium-high heat. While the cream heats, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla & salt in a mixing bowl. When the cream comes to a boil remove from heat and slowly pour half of the hot cream into the egg mixture while steadily whisking, using the hot cream to warm up the egg yolks. Return the remaining cream to the stove and bring to a simmer.When it starts to simmer, temper the egg cream into the simmering cream and leave over medium heat to thicken. Stir constantly until the cream starts to hold the lines from the whisk.

Get the chocolate chips and butter in a bowl. When the crème anglaise is thickened, pour over the chocolate and stir until completely melted. Stir in the bourbon. Pour it all into the springform pan on top of the crust. Refrigerate 6 hours or until set. Best if left overnight.

Cut with a hot knife for clean cuts.Top it with fresh whipped cream and a strawberry. Eat the most decadent dessert you will ever have spent only 30 minutes actually making. Accept the worship of your dining companions. Save me a piece!

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