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Recipe courtesy of Edward Lee

Bourbon Aficionado

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
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Fruit-Nut Cake:

Butter, for greasing the pan

1/2 cup chopped dates 

1/2 cup chopped golden raisins 

3/4 cup bourbon 

3 cups all-purpose flour 

2 teaspoons baking powder 

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 

1 teaspoon baking soda 

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

2 cups granulated sugar 

1 teaspoon fine salt

1 cup vegetable oil 

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 

3 large eggs

1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas

1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped


8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter

3 cups packed dark brown sugar 

2 teaspoons sea salt 

4 cups heavy cream 

2 cups milk 

1/4 cup bourbon 

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract 


Freeze-dried corn, finely ground in a food processor

Dehydrated chocolate

Brown butter ice cream

Bourbon maple syrup, such as Pappy Van Winkle Maple Syrup


Special equipment:
a culinary whipper (such as an iSi Whipper) and a smoking gun
  1. For the fruit-nut cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a half sheet pan (18 by 13 inches) and line with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the dates and raisins with 1/2 cup of the bourbon in a pot, bring to a simmer and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the bourbon has almost completely boiled off, 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. Sift the flour with the baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and cloves into a large mixing bowl, then mix in the sugar and salt.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, vanilla and eggs.
  5. Combine the mashed bananas with the date mixture in a food processor and pulse until combined. Add the banana mixture to the egg mixture. Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until smooth. Gently fold in the pecans.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared sheet pan. Bake until risen and golden, about 30 minutes. As soon as it comes out of the oven, while it is still hot, brush with the remaining 1/4 cup bourbon. Run a knife around the edges of the pan, then let cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack and cutting into cubes.
  7. For the butterscotch: Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat and let it brown slightly. Add the brown sugar and salt and stir to dissolve. Add the cream, milk, bourbon and vanilla and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and let cool. Transfer to the whipper and charge twice.
  8. For serving: Using the smoking gun, add smoke to each dessert glass. Layer in the cake cubes, butterscotch foam, dried corn, chocolate and ice cream. Drizzle the bourbon maple syrup over the top.