Friends gathered in my sunlit living room, once my orange cat was wrangled inside (despite his best attempts to avert such wrangling - he's got the spring fever too). A few of us meet every now and again to talk food and food happenings in and around the city. It's a great afternoon of
gossip catching up on what we've all been up to, what new restaurants are happening and where to get the best marble rye. Oh and we eat. That's goes without saying. But then one of us walked in with a bottle of cava and proclaimed we were celebrating. Not just any celebration mind you, but four years of being cancer free. If that doesn't call for champagne and cake, I don't know what does. Pop that cork and let's drink up, ladies!
On this day I created bundt cake. I'd seen one over at Joy's and knew I had to share it with my pals. Can't remember the last time I made a Bundt cake, if ever, in fact. I knew there was a pan kicking around in my cupboard - a hand-me-down from my Mom I reckon. Maybe I felt a little sorry for it, getting no baking love. All the attention goes to the springform or 8x8 inch square. Do you do that? Look at neglected articles in your kitchen and think "I need to use you more! Let me find a recipe so I don't feel guilty!". Okay, it's just me and I'm a giant weirdo. That's fair. Moving on. Oh yeah, Bundt cake.
So find your Bundt pan and dust it off, then dust it with flour. Pretty.
The batter is kinda cool. You melt cocoa and coffee together, then beat in sugar and eggs and flour and other cakey ingredients. It's got buttermilk, that's good. And don't be scared of the sugar amount. You totally need it, and the cake isn't overly sweet in the sweet department. Trust. Bake it, cool it.
Looks so freaking pretty once out of the pan. I couldn't stop staring at it. Again, I'm a giant weirdo.
Once it's cool, it's glazed with a pretty delicious sour cream and melted dark chocolate glaze. I love how it pooled in the centre of the cake. The Bundt has loads of photogenic power. I was Captivated.
And then I ate, and I cooed. It's glory-be good. Dense and fudgy with undertones of chocolate and coffee. Swaddled in the glaze, you'll almost want to lick your plate. If your friends aren't looking, go ahead. For a sweet accompaniment, I cooked down some frozen strawberries and made a little sauce, because you know, strawberries and chocolate kinda don't suck when paired up. If you have frozen raspberries, do it up. Or forget the fruit and just be happy with the dark chocolate sour cream glaze.
Over the last few days I've received two notifications that there was a passing of loved ones. I didn't know them very well, but to others, they were very, very dear. We all know that our time here is finite, but it's when tragic events like this occur that I'm reminded of how important it is so seize the small moments, every day, and not to freaking fret so much. So go ahead and book that plane ticket to see your best friend. Give extra cuddles and kisses to your favourite people and pets. Ditch work to see a movie or read in the park. Drink in the sky around. And eat cake. Two pieces even. Carpe Diem.
Mocha Bundt Cake with Chocolate Sour Cream Glaze
1 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp brewed strong coffee
3/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
2 1/4 cup granulated sugar (I used natural cane sugar and it turned out great)
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
1 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp buttermilk
1 cup plus 2 tbsp canola oil
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp all purpose flour
4 ounces (120grams) 70% dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup butter
2 cups icing sugar
1/3 cup sour cream, at room temp
1/4 cup (scant) of strong brewed coffee, cooled
To make the cake: Place oven rack in centre of oven and preheat it to 350*F. Butter and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan and set aside.
To make the batter, put brewed coffee and cocoa in small saucepan and bring it to boil, whisking constantly. Remove pan from heat and let it come to room temp. In the bowl of a mixer, with the whisk attachment, mix sugar, salt, baking soda, eggs and yolk on low speed for 1 minute. Add the buttermilk, oil and vanilla and mix on low for another min. Add the flour and mix on medium for 2 minutes. Add the cooled cocoa mixture and mix on medium for 3 minutes. Don't forget to scrape the sides down after each addition. Whew! The batter will be kinda loose. Pour it into your prepared pan and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely then invert onto cooling rack.
To make the glaze: melt butter in small saucepan and remove to a bowl. In the same pan, melt chocolate over very low heat, stirring constantly. Pour chocolate into large mixing bowl. Whisk in the melted butter and sift in half the icing sugar. Add the sour cream and whisk to combine. Sift in remaining sugar and whisk until smooth, thick and shiny. Add the coffee and whisk some more, so it's all glossy. If you find it too thick, thin with a tiny bit of milk. If too thin, add more icing sugar. Pour the glaze over your cake, and take a picture. Super gorgeous. Serves about 8-10. Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker and The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook.
For strawberry sauce: Place 2 cups thawed strawberries in food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Pour into a small saucepan. Add 3 tsp sugar and bring to a boil, reduce and simmer 5 minutes. Cool, and serve with cake.