The Derby

Chocolate Bourbon Cake ft. Mint Julep Frosting + Walnut Streusel

This beaut came about by the mare suggestion of my co-worker Jeff, who mentioned the upcoming Kentucky Derby and how it could serve as a source of inspiration for a cake creation. The 138th Kentucky Derby will take place this Saturday (coincidentally coinciding with Cinco de Mayo and thus dividing party-goers between their mint juleps and margaritas - or maybe they'll just resort to double-fisting).

The mint julep cocktail (mint, bourbon, sugar, water) originated in the South sometime during the early 20th century and has been linked to and promoted by the Kentucky Derby since 1938. Then there's that chocolate and walnut pie-that-shall-not-be-named (R) which is also infamous around those parts.

To top it all off, I got the chance to practice making frosting roses to represent the garland of red roses which is presented to the winning horse and jockey. Garnish with mint leaves and it's off to the races.

chocolate bourbon cake
1 box chocolate cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. bourbon
dash of salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease pans with butter or a non-stick spray like PAM. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric beater to combine eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk, salt, and bourbon, on a low speed for 1 minute. Slowly add in cake mix and  beat on a high speed for 1 minute. Pour batter into greased pans until each is 2/3 of the way full. Bake according to the times on the back of the mix box, depending on the types of pans you are using.

mint julep frosting
1/2 c. vegetable shortening or butter
4 c. powdered sugar
1-2 tsp. mint extract (creme di menthe)
1-2 tbsp. bourbon
water as needed
Beat shortening, mint extract, and bourbon in large mixing bowl until blended. Add powdered sugar into bowl one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition until frosting has thickened. Add water by the tablespoon if frosting is too thick.

walnut streusel
1 c. walnuts, chopped
1 tbsp. bourbon
1 tsp. mint extract
1 tbsp. brown sugar
In a small dish, mix bourbon, mint extract, and brown sugar. Toss walnuts in this mixture, lay on baking sheet and and bake in oven on low temp (200 degrees F) for 5-7 minutes.