When I first bought my bundt cake pan from Williams Sonoma, I kept the recipe from the back of the box - a big square of cardboard hanging around in my cabinets for years. I was rearranging my bakeware the other day and decided it was finally time to try the recipe, if only so that I could get rid of that piece of cardboard.
But holy moly, you guys, this thing was awesome! It is crazy rich and moist and dense and intensely chocolaty - even my cake obsessed husband could only eat a little slice at a time. This is definitely a cake for sharing with friends, trust me, you cannot handle this cake alone.
Part of what makes this cake so awesome is that it has multiple kinds of chocolate in it, the first being bars of semi-sweet baking chocolate. I choose Ghirardelli because it seemed fancy to me and I was feeling fancy. You will combine the baking chocolate with cocoa powder for double the chocolaty awesomeness and melt with hot water.
To make the batter, you will beat butter and sugar together, add eggs and vanilla, then alternate in a flour mixture and sour cream - standard cake stuff. Then you will add in that double chocolate mixture and also semisweet chocolate chips, because there cannot be enough chocolate.
Hello, beautiful. After baking for an hour, you will invert the cake onto a rack to cool completely. It would be totally delicious just like that, but we are not going to stop there.
You are going to put some chocolate chips into a bowl with butter, and then whisk hot cream into it to make a luscious ganache. Then you will pour the ganache all over the cake and let it drip down the sides for ultimate chocolaty goodness.
Now here is where I made a mistake, I spread the ganache on while the cake was on the rack with a pan underneath to catch the drips. So far, so good. But then I decided I wanted to transfer the whole thing to a platter. This was unsuccessful and I lost a big chunk of cake (and then made it look like I cut it out on purpose, sort of). If you want to serve the cake on a platter, I suggest placing the pan back over the cake and carefully inverting it, then inverting it again onto the platter and icing it there. I don't think anyone will mind extra ganache pooled on the platter.
Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake
adapted minimally from Williams Sonoma
they say it serves 16, I vote 32
For the Cake:
7 1/2 oz (235g) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used 2 whole bars, which was 8oz)
1 cup (90g) nonalkalized cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
1 cup (250ml) boiling water
2 1/4 cups (360g) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
20 tbsp (2 1/2 sticks, 315g) unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups (545g) firmly packed light brown sugar
5 eggs, lightly beaten
4 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (375g) sour cream
1 1/2 cups (280g) semisweet chocolate chips
For the Ganache:
6oz (185g) semisweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup (125ml) heavy cream
Have all ingredients at room temperature. Preheat the oven to 325 deg F (165 C). Grease a bundt pan with butter and dust with cocoa powder, tap out excess.
In a bowl, combine the chocolate and cocoa powder. Add the boiling water and whisk until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth and blended. Set aside.
Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixture fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 30-45 seconds. 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. Beat in the vanilla until incorporated, about 1 minute.
Reduce the speed to low and alternate adding the flour mixture and sour cream as follows: 1/3 flour, 1/2 sour cream, 1/3 flour, 1/2 sour cream, 1/3 flour. Beat until just 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.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading the batter so that the sides are about 1 inch (2.5cm) higher than the center. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, 60-75 minutes.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let 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.
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.
Transfer the cooled cake back into the pan and then onto a serving platter. Pour the ganache over the top of the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides. Let the cake stand until the ganache is set, at least 15 minutes.