Sunday, December 9, 2012

William Sonomas: sour cream chocolate bundt cake

The beauty of this bunt cake intrigued me, the simplicity of the baking method and the ease had to be  put to test. This recipe from the Williams -Sonoma's need a very special occasion and I waited for mine at Thanksgiving. This being the first time with  bunt, it sort of was a failure as tiniest part of the cake was not released as easily as it should have.  When I finally managed to nudge it  gently out of the pan, my next bet was to attach the cake with the icing (which looked more fudge-ish than  smooth flowing icing) which apparently was too thick and made the cake only heavier and more fragile than ever.
All looked fine until I had to load it with more icing on top and transfer it to  a beautiful plate which was another disaster in itself. Never in the past have I been so disappointed with my baking skills. After some pep talk from my hubster, I reluctantly packed the not-so-beautiful looking bunt to the Thanksgiving dinner hosted this year at my cousins at NY. I was able to retrieve only about 2/3rd of the bunt which my family relished happily  and the crumbled 1/3rd was put to the best use which eventually turned into a trifle with cake pieces, whipped cream, fudge and M&M on the top. The kids, mine and my sisters begged for seconds and thirds and it was the biggest hit of all the desserts I made for that day.

Now, I'm here to tell you that I later decided to give this recipe a second chance only because it was the moistest cake (duh, it didn't hold it's shape, remember?) that I made ever in my 12 years of baking and I got a big thumbs up from Dear H (who is not that much of a cake-eater). So I promised myself to make this for my Dear Hubby's surprise party. ( More cake pics  from the party at the bottom) Boy, am I glad that I did! He absolutely loved it and was singing praises for me. So, here's the praise worthy, melt in your mouth kinda cake recipe.

Sour Cream - Chocolate Bundt Cake from Williams-Sonoma

For the cake:
    2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
    2 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
    5 eggs lightly beaten
    1 1/2 cups sour cream
    1 1/2 tsp baking soda
    1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
    4 tsp vanilla extract
    1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

    1 cup cocoa powder, sifted, plus more for dusting pan
    7 1/2 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
    1 cup boiling water

For the ganache:

       6 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
       2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
       1/2 cup heavy cream

Have all the ingredients at room temperature.

Preheat an oven to 325 degrees F. Grease the Anniversary Bundt Cake Pan with butter and dust with cocoa powder; tap out the excess.

To make the cake, in a bowl, combine the 1 cup cocoa powder and the chocolate. Add the boiling water and whisk until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth and blended. Set aside.

Over a sheet of parchment, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, one minute. Reduce the speed to low, add the brown sugar and beat until blended. Increase the speed to medium and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating until incorporated before adding more and stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add in the vanilla.

While still at  low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the sour cream and beginning and ending with the flour, beating just until blended and no lumps of flour remain. Slowly pour in the chocolate-cocoa mixture and beat until no white streaks are visible, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the chocolate chips. I added the chocolate chips right into the mixer, skipping folding the chocolate chips with hand.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached to it, 60 to 65 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool upright in the pan for 15 minutes. Invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan. Let the cake cool completely, at least 1 hour.

Return the cooled cake to the pan. Using a serrated knife, gently saw off any excess cake that extends over the edge of the pan. Set the wire rack on a parchment paper lines baking sheet. Invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan.

Meanwhile make the ganache:
 In a heatproof bowl, combine the chocolate and butter. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream just to a boil. Immediately pour the cream over the chocolate and butter. Whisk until they melt and the mixture is smooth.  First time around, I got a very diluted version of ganache and I made addition of 1 tbsp of chocolate chips at a time to thicken this. Second and the third time was a perfect ganache so I guess there is no way to fail with this ganache.

Pour the ganache over the top of the cake, allowing the ganache, to drip down the sides. Let the cake stand until the ganache is set, at least 15 minutes.
 As an addition, I topped my ganache with cake crumbs and chocolate chips.