A friend of his gave this dessert recipe to Chef. The original recipe says that this cake was always a Christmas dessert, made annually by their grandmother, Vashti Keoun, in Cotton Valley, La.
- 1 cup butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 6 eggs
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons milk, water or whiskey
- 3 cups hickory nuts or pecans, chopped (hickory nuts are best)
- 1 cup whiskey or bourbon, plus more for re-wetting the cheesecloth if the cake is stored for any length of time
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, whipped, for serving with cake
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually add flour, baking powder, and milk or whiskey. Fold in nuts and pour into prepared baking pan. Place a shallow pan of water on the bottom rung of the oven. Bake the cake in the middle of the oven for 1 1/2 hours, or until golden brown and a tester comes out clean when placed in the center of the cake.
Allow cake to cool on a cooling rack. When the cake has cooled completely, use a pastry brush to coat all sides of the cake with whiskey. This should use about 3/4 cup. Wrap the cake in a piece of cheesecloth and pour the remaining 1/4 cup of whiskey over the cheesecloth so that it is damp. Store the cake in the refrigerator for several weeks, re-wetting the cheesecloth as needed with additional whiskey.
Serve with whipped cream