Please do NOT make this cake and whatever you do, do NOT serve it drizzled with chocolate ganache, with sliced strawberries, and whipped cream.
And don't blame me if you fail to heed my warning.
Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake
From America's Test Kitchen episode: There's a Hole in Your Cake
Serves 12 to 14
Natural (or regular) cocoa gives the cake a fuller, more assertive chocolate flavor than does Dutch-processed cocoa. In addition, Dutch-processed cocoa will result in a compromised rise. The cake can be served with just a dusting of confectioners' sugar. The cake can be made a day in advance; wrap the cooled cake in plastic and store it at room temperature. Dust with confectioners' sugar just before serving.
1 tablespoon butter , melted
1 tablespoon cocoa
3/4 cup natural cocoa (2 1/4 ounces)
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate , chopped
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
3/4 cup water (boiling)
1 cup sour cream , room temperature
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (8 3/4 ounces)
1 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), room temperature
2 cups packed light brown sugar (14 ounces)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
5 large eggs , room temperature
Confectioners' sugar for dusting
1. FOR THE PAN: Stir together butter and cocoa in small bowl until paste forms; using a pastry brush, coat all interior surfaces of standard 12-cup Bundt pan, see illustration below. (If mixture becomes too thick to brush on, microwave it for 10 to 20 seconds, or until warm and softened.) Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. FOR THE CAKE: Combine cocoa, chocolate, and espresso powder (if using) in medium heatproof bowl; pour boiling water over and whisk until smooth. Cool to room temperature; then whisk in sour cream. Whisk flour, salt, and baking soda in second bowl to combine.
3. In standing mixer fitted with flat beater, beat butter, sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and add eggs one at a time, mixing about 30 seconds after each addition and scraping down bowl with rubber spatula after first 2 additions. Reduce to medium-low speed (batter may appear separated); add about one third of flour mixture and half of chocolate/sour cream mixture and mix until just incorporated, about 20 seconds. Scrape bowl and repeat using half of remaining flour mixture and all of remaining chocolate mixture; add remaining flour mixture and beat until just incorporated, about 10 seconds. Scrape bowl and mix on medium-low until batter is thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds. Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan, being careful not to pour batter on sides of pan. Bake until wooden skewer inserted into center comes out with few crumbs attached, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then invert cake onto parchment-lined wire rack; cool to room temperature, about 3 hours. Dust with confectioners' sugar, transfer to serving platter, and cut into wedges; serve with Tangy Whipped Cream and raspberries, if desired.
Chocolate Ganache Drizzle
(from Jacques Torres on Food Network)
3/4 C whipping cream
6 oz Ghiradelli's Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
To make the ganache drizzle: Heat the heavy cream in a 2-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan until bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan. Place the chopped chocolate in a medium-size mixing bowl. Make a ganache by pouring about half of the hot cream over the chocolate and letting it sit for 30 seconds to melt the chocolate. Then, slowly whisk until smooth and homogenous. Do not add all of the hot cream to the cold chocolate at once. The shock of the temperature extremes will cause the fat in the chocolate to separate. If the ganache separates, it loses its elasticity, collapses, and becomes very liquid. I use a hand-held immersion blender to ensure a smooth ganache and to keep the emulsion of the chocolate. Add the remaining cream gradually and mix until all of the hot cream is incorporated and the ganache is smooth and homogenous.