Here it is, another birthday. Another year passing on the calendar. And can I just say hi excited I am to be working my way into my twenties? I look back at the years before and I laugh. I thought I had it figured out, thought I knew exactly who I was.
And then this year happened and everything I knew changed, in the best way possible. I danced, baked, traveled, laughed, drank, kissed, cried, read, yelled, argued, ate, sang and wandered more than I could imagine.
And it ain’t over, folks.
To celebrate another year of crazy antics in this fine city of mine, I stuck with an oldie-but-a-goodie of a recipe. A deliciously rich chocolate cake with gooey, gancache frosting. I mean, if you can’t go all out on your birthday, when can you, right? I’ve never been one to shy away from birthday celebrations, always doing it up. Last year, I went the triple chocolate chip cookie route, the year before I did a Devil’s Food Cake with Whipped Cream Frosting. So instead of doing a traditional layer cake, I thought it seemed fitting to forget the fancy decorations and find a recipe that delivered a powerful flavor kick. With crazy frosting, of course.
Bundt cakes aren’t looked at as major crowd pleasers but I think this one would sure impress anyone. The chocolate flavor is deep, the cake is moist (hate that word though) and the frosting is tooth-achingly sweet.
Here’s to another year, folks. Onward and upward…
- For the cake:
- 1¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon brewed coffee
- ¾ cup Dutch process cocoa powder
- 2¼ cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt or table salt
- 2½ teaspoons baking soda
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla
- 2½ cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, sifted
- For the frosting:
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (something around 70% cacao), coarsely chopped
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup sour cream, at room temperature
- ¼ cup brewed coffee, cooled (omit if you’re frosting a layer cake instead of a Bundt)
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees and generously butter a 10-inch Bundt pan (or two 9-inch round cake pans if you’re making a layer cake; see headnote).
- Bake the cake:
- Put the coffee and cocoa powder in a small saucepan and whisk as you bring the mixture to a boil. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Put the sugar, salt, baking soda, eggs, and yolk into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and blend on low speed for about a minute, until fully combined. Add the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla extract, and mix for another 30 seconds. Add the flour and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes, then the cooled coffee and cocoa mixture and mix on high speed for 3 minutes. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan(s) and bake for 50-60 minutes (or about 35 minutes if you’re making cake layers). Let the cake(s) cool completely in the pan(s), then invert onto a cooling rack.
- Make the frosting:
- Put the chopped chocolate in a double boiler or heatproof bowl and set over a pot of barely simmering water. Make sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a separate pan. When the chocolate is fully melted, remove from the heat, pour the melted butter over top, and whisk to incorporate. Sift half of the powdered sugar into the chocolate and butter mixture, add all of the sour cream, and whisk to combine. Sift in the rest of the powdered sugar andwhisk until shiny and smooth. Whisk in the coffee (unless you’re making a layer cake, in which case skip the coffee and see below), then pour the glaze over the cake, covering it completely. Leave at room temperature until ready to serve.
- If you’re making a layer cake, omit the coffee and let the frosting sit at room temperature for 2 hours until it thickens, as The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook authors say, "to the consistency of soft cream cheese.” Then, spread about half a cup of the frosting over the first cake layer, top with the second layer, and frost the outside of the cake with the rest. Leave at room temperature until ready to serve.
- Top each slice with loosely whipped, lightly sweetened cream, if you’d like. I like.
Recipe from Big Sur Bakery Cookbook via Sweet Amandine via Joy the Baker