I’ve never experienced such a dichotomy between the subject of my post and trying to write the post. I don’t know why this did not photograph well, but words cannot express how delicious this was. It was gorgeous and delectable in person and looked kinda purple on film. Even my husband walked into the kitchen, looked at the computer screen, and admitted no he would not want to eat that (I asked him, he was just being honest). I was so frustrated–because I was really looking forward to sharing this recipe–that Sammy and I made the recipe again, with her friend Amelia, just so I could take more photos. I am not sure if it helped–but it was fun!
We made half-size bundt cakes, so that Amelia could take one home to her family. She chose the Bavarian, just behind the heart above (I confess I declared the heart off limits, to avoid squabbling, and because I knew Alex would want to see it). And because I did not have time to let each layer of milk chocolate glaze cool, the glaze on the smaller cakes is more transparent, thinner.
Sammy and Amelia both enjoyed smelling the batter at various stages. I chose not to worry about hair in my cakes.
I have to give a shout-out to my parents, who took me on a shopping spree for my birthday. They know each purchase around here is carefully scrutinized, deals are searched for, heart searching is done… in short it is fun to go out and just look, want, buy (within limits of course). The half-size bundt pan (with 4 different shapes) was purchased by them for me on said shopping trip, and I was excited to use it. It was a great pan to make cakes with kids with, as I said, because then the kids can take home a cake, showing their families what they helped make.
This picture cracks me up because Amelia looks so serious about her stirring. This recipe, once the chocolate is melted, is a great kid recipe because it is oil based, and therefore easy to stir should you choose to make it by hand. We took turns turning the mixer on and off. The recipe, by the way, came from Christie Matheson’s Cake Simple: Recipes for Bundt-Style Cakes from Classic Dark Chocolate to Luscious Lemon-Basil, which I am so excited about. It is a small cake cookbook, fifty-some recipes–but it is all bundt cakes, and I think by now most of my readers know how I feel about bundt cakes. And the flavors range from traditional and old fashioned to contemporary and exciting without being weird (like mojito, for example, or lemon basil).
- 4 oz (115 g) chopped milk chocolate (*see note above)
- ¾ cup boiling water
- ¾ cup (75 g) sifted natural cocoa powder
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (220 g) packed dark brown sugar
- 1¾ cups (210 g) AP flour
- ¾ t fine sea salt
- 1 t baking powder
- 2 t baking soda
- ½ cup whole milk (I used 1% plus some cream)
- ½ cup full fat sour cream
- 2 large eggs
- 1 t pure vanilla
- ½ cup neutral tasting vegetable oil
- Milk Chocolate Ganache Glaze:
- 4 oz (115 g) chopped milk chocolate (*see note above)
- ⅓ cup heavy cream, plus more to taste
- pinch of sea salt, to taste
- For the cake: Pour the boiling water over your chopped chocolate. Let it sit for a minute, and then whisk smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray the inside/s of a 10 cup bundt pan--or the equivalent in smaller bundt cakes--with Baker's Joy or some other flour/oil combo. Set aside.
- Whisk together the cocoa powder, sugars, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Be sure to get the leavening agents thoroughly and evenly distributed. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer with the whip attachment, a whisk or a hand-held beater, beat the milk, sour cream, eggs, vanilla and oil together until thoroughly combined. Drizzle the chocolate in while mixing on a low speed and then beat again on medium speed until the chocolate is fully incorporated.
- With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet. When they are incorporated enough to not have flour flying around your kitchen, increase the mixer speed to medium low and beat for 3 minutes.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl and fold the batter by hand a few times to make sure that all of the batter is mixed evenly. Pour the batter into the bundt cake pan (or smaller molds). For a full size 10 cup bundt pan, bake for approximately 45 minutes. For smaller cakes, bake for less time, checking the oven starting at about the 20 minute mark for signs the cakes are done. The cake is done when it begins to pull away from the edges of the pan and a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out with only a few crumbs attached (or dry). Let the cake cool in its pan for 10-15 minutes, and then invert onto wax or parchment paper on a cooling rack. Let it cool completely before glazing--and remove the wax or parchment paper before glazing, instead placing it under the cooling rack.
- To make the glaze: Bring the cream almost to a boil (you want to scald it, get it to the point that a few bubbles appear at the edges), and pour it over the chopped chocolate. Let it sit for a minute and then whisk it smooth. You may need to add a little more cream, by the teaspoonful, to get it to your desired pouring consistency. I prefer a thicker consistency, and therefore I prefer the picture at the top, of the first cake, where I got the layer quite thick. Wait for the cake to cool completely before glazing--and place foil or wax paper underneath the cooling rack to catch the excess glaze that drips down. This way you can let the glaze partially set and then pour the excess glaze back over the cake, for a thicker glaze if you desire. Plus I hate the idea of wasting ganache!
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