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Makes one 9-inch Bundt cake, 10 – 12 servings
• 3 cups sifted cake flour, spooned in and leveled
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm
• 2 cups superfine sugar
• 3 large eggs
• 3 tablespoons very fresh instant coffee crystals, dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1/4 cup Irish whiskey or scotch
• 1 cup sour cream
• Powdered sugar for dusting, or Midnight Chocolate Glaze
Position the rack in the lower third of the oven. Heat the oven to 325° F. Generously butter a 9-inch Bundt pan, dust with flour, then invert it over the kitchen sink and tap firmly to remove the excess flour. Set aside.
In a large bowl, thoroughly whisk together the cake flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
Cut the butter into 1-inch pieces and place in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix the butter on medium speed until smooth and lightened in color, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar gradually, about 1-2 tablespoons at a time, taking 6 to 8 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, about 1 minute apart, scraping the side of the bowl as needed. Blend in the dissolved coffee and the vanilla extract.
Reduce the mixer speed to low. Stir the Scotch into the sour cream and add the mixture alternately with the dry ingredients, dividing the flour into 3 parts and the sour cream mixture into 2 parts, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix just until blended after each addition. Scrape the side of the bowl and mix for 10 seconds longer.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top with the bottom of a large soupspoon, and bake for 1 hour and 15-20 minutes. The cake is done when the top is springy to the touch, and a wooden skewer or toothpick inserted deeply into the center comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and let stand on a cooling rack for 20 minutes. Invert the cake onto the rack, gently lift off the pan, and cool the cake completely. When ready to serve, dust with powdered sugar. Note: If using the Midnight Chocolate Glaze, while the cake is on the cooling rack, make the Glaze. Place the cake over a rimmed cookie sheet, and glaze while it is still warm. If desired, after glazing, sprinkle the top of the cake with shaved chocolate.
Store the cake under a glass cake dome, or covered with aluminum foil for up to 5 days. This cake may be frozen.
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