There are undoubtedly times in one’s life that call for a
hunk piece of chocolate cake. Whether you are happy, sad, depressed, stressed or just been dumped, this chocolate cake is exactly what you need. It is simple and rich, but elegant at the same time. It can be fancied up with some fresh berries and whipped cream or made even simpler with a dusting of powdered sugar. This recipe comes from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook and it is really a delicious cake. (Not to mention a great basic cookbook.) It is moist, flavorful, and a little more sophisticated than the average chocolate cake. Two kinds of chocolate, espresso, sour cream, and brown sugar make this cake the cake that I want when life is coming at me.
I am a little obsessed with the Bundt cake. Remember the scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding? After that, I had to go out and buy a Bundt cake pan. The thing that I love about a Bundt cake is that it is already special because of the shape of the cake. It is sturdy enough to travel and is really easy to make because you do not have to worry about frosting it. I do like mine with a simple glaze, but you do not have to worry about getting the frosting even and perfect looking. Glaze is supposed to be messy. I like messy. Messy and I get along just fine.
3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
6 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
1 teaspoon instant espresso
3/4 cup boiling water
1 cup room temperature sour cream
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
12 Tablespoons room temperature butter
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
5 eggs at room temperature
Put the cocoa, chocolate pieces, and espresso in a large bowl. Pour over the boiling water and cover with a plate. Let it stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in another bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
Whisk the chocolate mixture until it is smooth and set aside until it comes to room temperature.
When it has cooled, whisk in the sour cream.
Using either a hand mixer, or a stand mixer cream together the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla for about 5 minutes until pale and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time scraping the bowl after each egg.
Turn the mixer to low and add one third of the flour mixture to the bowl.
Add half of the chocolate mixture and repeat until all is incorporated. You will have three flour additions and two chocolate ones.
Pour the batter into the Bundt pan that has been either sprayed well with cooking spray (like the Bakers Joy kind with flour) or coated well with butter.
Bake the cake in a preheated 350 degree oven with the rack in the lower middle position. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes and rotate once during baking. A toothpick should come out with moist crumbs. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then turn the cake out and let cool completely.
To make the glaze, whisk together 1 3/4 cups confectioners sugar, 1/4 cup milk, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract, and a pinch of salt.
Pour the glaze over the cooled cake and let it set.