Occasionally at my work, we have little parties where a group of us will bring in baked goods. We’ve done it for Halloween, the December holidays, and now for Valentine’s Day. Because I knew I was making a labor intensive meal for Valentine’s Day (see Rack of Lamb post), I wanted to make something relatively simple and easy. For some unknown reason, I wanted to make a bundt cake. Maybe it’s because I think the word bundt sounds funny. Or reminds me of the scene in My Big, Fat Greek Wedding. All I knew was that I wanted to make a bundt cake and it had to have chocolate in it. I headed over to Williams-Sonoma’s website this time to check out the recipes for bundt cakes and found a recipe for a Sour Cream Chocolate Bundt Cake. It sounded easy enough and the picture looked yummy. The aromas wafting through my kitchen as it baked were heavenly. After I took it out of the oven, I shaved some pieces off the bottom before I inverted it out of the pan and it was warm, moist, intensely chocolate and I was in love. I decided to skip the glaze and just give it a sprinkling of powdered sugar right before I served it. Besides the omission of the glaze, I mistakenly used fat-free sour cream instead of regular but didn’t notice any weirdness or taste difference.
I made the cake on the night before Valentine’s Day knowing there was an impending snow storm heading our way. Unfortunately, the cake didn’t make it into the office on Valentine’s Day because I was stuck at home in an ice/snow storm. Now my next step was my mistake. I decided to put the cake in the fridge and not take it out until the next morning to bring to work. I brought it into work and took the first slice before I let everyone know it was there. It was cold, dry, and hard and just didn’t taste good at all! I immediately placed it in the microwave for 10 seconds and it saved it. It brought back the softness and moistness and really made all the difference. Because I didn’t want everyone to think I was an awful cook, I had to put a note with the cake to microwave it for 10 seconds because it had been in the fridge overnight. Yes, I know, big dork. But everyone did seem to enjoy and follow my lead in microwaving their piece. I would definitely make this again but I would make the glaze next time. And not put it in the fridge!
Overall rating: 4 stars
Williams-Sonoma Sour Cream Chocolate Bundt Cake
16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sour cream
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
For the glaze:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1 Tbs. chocolate liqueur
Confectioners sugar for dusting
Whipped cream for serving
Have all the ingredients at room temperature.
Position a rack in the center of an oven and preheat to 325°F. Grease and flour a decorative 10-cup Bundt® pan.
To make the cake, over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt; repeat until well blended. 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 and gradually add the granulated sugar, beating until blended. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue beating, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl, until the mixture is light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating each addition until incorporated before adding more, until the mixture is thick and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes; stop mixer occasionally and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the vanilla.
Reduce the speed to low and fold in the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the sour cream and beginning and ending with the flour, until just blended and no lumps of flour remain. Then gently fold in the chocolate.
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 clean, about 1 hour. Transfer to a wire rack and cool the cake upright in the pan for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the glaze: In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the granulated sugar and water and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate liqueur.
Set the rack over a sheet of waxed paper, invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan. Generously brush the warm cake with the glaze. Let the cake cool to room temperature, then dust with confectioners sugar just before serving. Top slices with a dollop of whipped cream. Serves 16.