Who doesn’t love a good chocolate cake?
I attempted to make what was suppose to be a wonderful chocolate bundt cake for my friend’s, (Gordon) birthday. It was from a Paris blog that I have followed for years but I have to say the results were disappointing and in fact the driest chocolate cake I have ever made.
What had attracted me to this recipe was the shape of the bundt pan. Did I need another pan in my pantry, heck no. But, do I want one? Of course.
When I mention chocolate cake to my son Paul, we always get a laugh. Seems like because my grandfather loved chocolate cake with canned syrupy peaches on the side my grandmother got it in her head that was Paul’s favorite dessert and anytime we went back to Missouri for a visit she always had a chocolate cake waiting for him and even though he didn’t even touch any kind of fruit back then (especially canned peaches) she had canned peaches chilled in the refrigerator. Believe it or not the peaches were good with the cake. These days if I could get my hands on a good fresh peach I’d be eating it besides my chocolate cake.
So after the failure of my first cake (and Gordon took it home to put slices in his freeze to feed his sugar cravings) I had to remake a chocolate cake using my new pan. I turned to who I know test recipes until they get it right and that is American Test Kitchens (Cooks’s Illustrated.) And, this cake was for my friend, Janet’s birthday.
Diet or no diet I had to taste the cake a few days later. How not to eat this chocolate cake — frozen. My husband had me to slice up the leftovers and freeze it and that’s how he ate it. He said something about it being dry (duh, frozen, how is it going to taste) so I had to try a piece. I popped it into the microwave for a few seconds, just long enough to thaw and warm and it was the most delicious, softest cake I’ve eaten in a long time. So, bottom line, eat this fresh, not frozen. Ice cream on the side with some fresh raspberries was delicious.
BLAST FROM THE PAST: These Pulled Pork Tacos will be great for a weekend party.
Brown sugar instead of white sugar.
Mix the cocoa, chocolate, espresso power and pour in the boiling water.
Let the chocolate and hot water sit for 4-5 minutes and then whisk until it is smooth with no lumps.
Mix the one tablespoon of melted butter and cocoa until smooth and using a pastry brush carefully coat ever nook and cranny of your pan.
In stand mixer beat the butter, sugar and vanilla.
Stir the sour cream into the chocolate mixture.
Add the flour mixture and chocolate alternately into the creamed mixture.
After all is combined…
Carefully pour the batter into the bundt pan trying not to get it on the sides, let it flow to the sides and then smooth top when you have all the batter in the pan.
Look at those beautiful swirls.
After you have turned it out, made the glaze and carefully drizzle over the cake.
- Cake release (for the pan)
- 1 Tbsp. butter, melted
- 1 Tbsp. cocoa
- 3/4 c. natural Cocoa (not Dutch-processed)
- 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate (I used half bittersweet and half semi-sweet)
- 1 Tbsp. espresso powder, optional
- 3/4 c. boiling water
- 1 c. sour cream, room temperature
- 1 3/4 c. all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 12 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 c. packed light brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
- 5 ounces (140g) semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 3/4 cup (180ml) heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- FOR THE PAN: Stir together butter and cocoa in small bowl until paste forms; using a pastry brush, coat all interior surfaces of standard 12-cup Bundt pan, see illustration below. (If mixture becomes too thick to brush on, microwave it for 10 to 20 seconds, or until warm and softened.) Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 350°F.
- FOR THE CAKE: Combine cocoa, chocolate, and espresso powder (if using) in medium heatproof bowl; pour boiling water over and whisk until smooth. Cool to room temperature; then whisk in sour cream. Whisk flour, salt, and baking soda in second bowl to combine.
- In standing mixer fitted with flat beater, beat butter, sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and add eggs one at a time, mixing about 30 seconds after each addition and scraping down bowl with rubber spatula after first 2 additions. Reduce to medium-low speed (batter may appear separated); add about one third of flour mixture and half of chocolate/sour cream mixture and mix until just incorporated, about 20 seconds. Scrape bowl and repeat using half of remaining flour mixture and all of remaining chocolate mixture; add remaining flour mixture and beat until just incorporated, about 10 seconds. Scrape bowl and mix on medium-low until batter is thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds.
- Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan, being careful not to pour batter on sides of pan. Bake until wooden skewer inserted into center comes out with few crumbs attached, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then invert cake onto parchment-lined wire rack; cool to room temperature, about 3 hours. Dust with confectioners' sugar, transfer to serving platter, and cut into wedges
- I was out of espresso powder (first time ever) so I brewed a cup of espresso in mu espresso maker. and I substituted that 1 Tbsp. of liquid from the 3/4 cup of boiling water. If you have instant coffee granules, you could use 4 teaspoons of that in place of the espresso powder (don't add water to instant coffee.)