Our favorite whiskeys for these cakes were Jameson for its clean, bright flavor and Rittenhouse rye for its spicy depth. This recipe can easily be doubled to serve eight. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream. Don’t stir the whiskey syrup and the batter after dividing them among the ramekins.
Start to finish: 45 minutes | (20 minutes active) | Servings: 4
6 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
6 tablespoons whiskey, divided
8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter, divided
107 grams (½ cup) white sugar
¼ cup whole milk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
90 grams (¾ cup) pecans, toasted
65 grams (½ cup) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
In another saucepan over medium, melt the remaining 6 tablespoons butter. Cook, swirling the pan, until the milk solids are deep golden brown and the butter has a nutty aroma, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, heat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the middle position. Mist four 6-ounce ramekins with cooking spray and place on a rimmed baking sheet. When the butter is cool, whisk in the sugar, milk, egg, vanilla and remaining 2 tablespoons whiskey.
In a food processor, process the pecans until finely ground and beginning to clump, 30 to 40 seconds. Add the flour, baking powder and ½ teaspoon salt, then pulse until combined, about 5 pulses. Add the butter mixture and pulse until a smooth, thick batter forms, about 5 pulses, scraping down the bowl once.
Divide the batter among the prepared ramekins. Gently pour the maple mixture over the batter in each ramekin. Do not stir. Bake until the cakes are puffed and the centers jiggle only slightly, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes; the cakes will fall slightly as they cool.