Friday, March 30, 2012

Seize It: Mocha Bundt Cake with Dark Chocolate Glaze



Forever is composed of nows. ~ Emily Dickinson

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

Cake:
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

Glaze:
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.





18 comments:

  1. Wonderful post. This Bundt cake looks beautiful and scrumptious! It is so true... We are ALL just passing through. Might as well make the most of it:) Happy Friday.

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  2. I think my bundt pan needs a little love this weekend! (Though I was thinking the same thing about my donut pan - perhaps some mocha donuts!?) Your cake looks lovely and the sentiment at the end of your post is very well put.

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  3. Renee, That second to last shot kills me! The oozing chocolate is just too beautiful.
    (I am also stuck on your cancer comment. Did you have cancer four years ago?)
    xo
    E

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  4. Thanks everyone! Erin, no I didn't have cancer, but one of my friends did. She's feeling great now, thank goodness. Thanks for your concern :)

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  5. Oh good. I'm glad you are okay, and that your friend is too:)

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  6. Oh wow..I was going to make a lemon meringue pie today, but now I am torn ....this looks so good!

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  7. I don't even own a bundt pan. How's that for slacking? I keep seeing lovely bundt cakes such as yours and it's making me think I need to go pick up a pan, though. Sorry for your recent losses but glad to hear that you celebrated a cancer free anniversary. Hope your friend remains healthy and well!

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  8. This looks so decadent - can't wait to try it! As for flouring the pan when you are making a chocolate bundt, try using chocolate cocoa rather than flour. No bits of white residue on the ridges of the masterpiece :)

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  9. Renee: Your blog is an inspiration in so many ways - the recipes, the photography, the observations about life ... I just had to go out and buy a bundt pan today! The cake is now baking in the oven, and it smells wonderful! I know from experience how much work it is to blog, and you do a fantastic job. Keep it up!

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  10. Janie, chocolate will always trump lemon in my books :) Shelley, thank you and go get your bad self a bundt pan! Erin, thank for the tip! Anon, your words just made my day. Thank you so much! Hope you love your cake as much as I loved mine!

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  11. I'm a choco-holic so this cake speaks to me. Congratulations to whoever is celebrating four years cancer free, and amen to all that!

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  12. I'm sorry about the passing of two of your loved ones.

    On a happier note, congratulations to your friend for reaching this 4-year cancer free milestone. This gorgeous bundt was the perfect treat for such a great occasion.

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  13. Oooooh my god!! This looks so good!

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  14. Wow this looks absolutely devine!! I do have one question -- what is icing sugar?

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    1. Icing sugar is powdered sugar. Good question!

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  15. I bake all the time, however this cake looks like its not fully cooked inside, sort of like a brownie....extremely heavy....not something i would make...sorry.

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    1. Thanks for your comment. I've been baking a long time too, and believe me, the cake was fully baked. It's a dense, moist cake, as most bundts are, but delicious all the same. For lighter cakes, try angel food or chiffon.

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