Thursday, August 16, 2012

Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake

If I learn one important thing this summer, it is that the best thing to bring to a potluck is something chocolatey. My parents were headed to a cookout/potluck last week, and so I of course volunteered to bake something. Any excuse to try a new recipe that I might not normally make for just me and my family. This recipe has been on my mind for a while now, but I couldn't find a good reason for making a huge chocolate bundt cake, that is until the potluck appeared on my radar. I was so excited to whip together this cake that I just ignored how expensive it actually was to bake (over a pound of chocolate, almost 3 sticks of butter, 5 eggs, heavy cream, sour cream, you get the picture), I don't let that kind of thing bother me. For how rich and heavy this cake was, it was gone in a flash according to my parents. The came home with nary a crumb and said it was a huge hit. I was able to try a little bit of it and I concur, it was fantastic!

Like I said before, this was an extremely rich cake, but that's what makes it so much fun to make. Putting the cake together was simple enough, it took some time, but nothing unusual. The recipe does call for a 15 cup bundt pan, and I only have a 12 cup bundt pan, but it wasn't a big issue. I filled my 12 cup pan as full as I dared, and then used the rest of the batter to make some mini bundt cakes with my mini bundt cake pan. If you don't have a mini bundt pan, I'm sure you could just use a muffin tin and make some cupcakes with the leftover batter.

So making and baking the cake was no problem. Everything worked out perfectly, right up until I had to unmold the cake that is. As you can see from my pictures, I buttered and dusted the pan with cocoa about as much as I possibly could. That didn't seem to prevent the cake from sticking to the sides however. I have to admit, I used a very old bundt pan that probably was never a great pan. But after this fiasco, I won't be using it again. When I inverted the cake onto a wire rack, I felt it fall. The problem was, only half of it came out. When I lifted the pan I think I almost cried, the bottom of the cake was sitting nicely on the wire rack, but the entire top half of the cake was still still stuck inside the bundt pan.

Since I didn't have the time (or the money!) to remake this cake, I did the only thing I could. I scooped the remaining half of the cake out of the bundt pan, and tried my best to arrange it on top of the bottom of the cake. In the end it actually didn't look as bad as I thought it would. And it was at this point that I learned how to save a bundt cake that won't release from it's pan, one word: glaze. In this case my glaze was a nice thick layer of ganache. Once I poured the ganache over top of the almost ruined cake, you couldn't even tell that there had ever been a problem. This is a lesson I will keep in mind in case I have this kind of problem again in the future. As long as it taste good, a cake can be saved with a nice layer of chocolate (or another type of glaze I'm sure)!

A pile of ingredients

Grease and dust your bundt pan 

The yummy chocolate mixture

Time to cream

Putting it all together

Adding in the sour cream

Now it's time for chocolate

Almost ready

Because there wasn't enough chocolate already

Into the pan it goes

And baked

Here's where things got a little interesting, but as 
you can see, it isn't too horrible

Covered with ganache, you can't even 
tell that the structural integrity of this
cake has been compromised 

Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake
From: Lick the Bowl Good 
For the cake:
  • 1 cup cocoa powder, sifted, plus more for dusting pan
  • 7 1/2 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 20 Tbsp. (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 5 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
For the ganache:
  • 6 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
Preheat an oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a bundt pan and dust with cocoa powder; tap out the excess.

To make the cake, in a bowl, combine the 1 cup cocoa powder and the chocolate. Add the boiling water and whisk until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth and blended. Set aside.

Over a sheet of parchment, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 30 to 45 seconds. Reduce the speed to low, add the brown sugar and beat until blended. Increase the speed to medium and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating until incorporated before adding more and stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the vanilla until incorporated, about 1 minute.

Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the sour cream and beginning and ending with the flour, beating just until blended and no lumps of flour remain. Slowly pour in the chocolate-cocoa mixture and beat until no white streaks are visible, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading the batter so the sides are about 1 inch higher than the center. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached to it, 60 to 65 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool upright in the pan for 15 minutes. Invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan. Let the cake cool completely, at least 1 hour.

Meanwhile make the ganache: In a heatproof bowl, combine the chocolate and butter. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream just to a boil. Immediately pour the cream over the chocolate and butter. Whisk until the melt and the mixture is smooth.

Pour the ganache over the top of the cake, allowing the ganache, to drip down the sides. Let the cake stand until the ganache is set, at least 15 minutes.

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