Decadent Chocolate Cake

February 7th, 2012 was the day I started publishing this blog. That’s over 5 years ago! I can’t believe it myself.

All birthday celebrations should include cake so I spent quite a lot of time flipping through cookbooks to find just the right one to make. This delicious cake, from the Silver Palate Cookbook, was a doubly good choice because February is Chocolate Celebration month.

Here goes!

Start by getting the pan ready. Oil the pan, then coat it with cocoa powder (instead of flour when it’s a chocolate cake).

After oiling the bundt pan, sieve cocoa powder into the pan.

After oiling the bundt pan, sieve cocoa powder into the pan.

Pan is ready.

Coated.

Coated.

Now start the cake.

Put the chocolate and butter in a bowl.

Chocolate and butter.

Chocolate and butter.

Pour boiling water over to melt the ingredients. This hot water is to “bloom” the chocolate, increasing the flavour. And there’s the melting thing it does too.

Pour boiling water over (a whatfoodimade action shot™!).

Pour boiling water over (a whatfoodimade action shot™!).

After the chocolate, butter and hot water are mixed together, add the sugar.

Add the sugar (second whatfoodimade action shot™!).

Add the sugar (second whatfoodimade action shot™!).

Add the vanilla too.

Pour in the vanilla (third whatfoodimade action shot™!)

Pour in the vanilla (third whatfoodimade action shot™!)

Separate the eggs, then add the yolks one at a time.

Adding one of the yolks.

Adding one of the yolks.

Mix together the sour cream and the baking soda, then add the mixture to the chocolate mix.

Add the sour cream and baking soda mixture.

Add the sour cream and baking soda mixture.

Now combine the dry ingredients.

Flour and baking powder.

Flour and baking powder.

Mix the chocolate mixture and the dry ingredients together.

Combine the chocolate mixture with the dry ingredients (the fourth whatfoodimade action shot™!).

Combine the chocolate mixture with the dry ingredients (the fourth whatfoodimade action shot™!).

Get the egg whites into a bowl…

Two egg whites.

Two egg whites.

…and beat them until they hold a peak.

Whipped egg whites.

Whipped egg whites.

Add a quarter of the egg whites to the batter and combine. Adding the whites in two stages makes it easier to incorporate them without having them lose all the volume I just put in them.

One quarter of the egg whites.

One quarter of the egg whites.

Fold in the rest of the whites.

All the rest of the whipped egg whites.

All the rest of the whipped egg whites.

Cake batter.

Ready for the pan.

Ready for the pan.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

Pour the batter into the pan (whatfoodimade action shot™ #5!).

Pour the batter into the pan (whatfoodimade action shot™ #5!).

Ready for the oven.

Start baking.

Start baking.

After 45 minutes, it’s time to check the cake.

Looks baked.

Looks baked.

Use a toothpick. Insert it into the cenre of the cake and if it has no batter on it, it’s done.

Toothpick is clean!

Toothpick is clean!

Wait 10 minutes, then flip the cake out onto a wire rack to continue the cooling.

Cooled and turned out of the pan.

Cooled and turned out of the pan.

The cookbook provides a recipe for frosting, but because this cake was made in a Bundt pan, I used ganache instead.

Get the semisweet chocolate into a bowl.

More chocolate.

More chocolate.

Heat the heavy cream.

Heavy cream.

Heavy cream.

Pour the heated cream over the chocolate.

Pour the heated cream over the chocolate.

Pour the heated cream over the chocolate.

Leave that to sit for 5 minutes, then stir to combine.

Let this sit to melt the chocolate.

Let this sit to melt the chocolate.

Drizzle the ganache over the top of the cake.

Decadent Chocolate Cake.

Decadent Chocolate Cake.

Wait for the ganache to set, then eat the cake.

Decadent Chocolate Cake.

Decadent Chocolate Cake.

The recipe is here:
http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/8753-the-silver-palates-chocolate-cake

Decadent Chocolate Cake
12 portions

For the Cake:

1 cup boiling water
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup sweet butter, plus extra for greasing pan
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup dairy sour cream
2 cups less 2 tablespoons unbleached, all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder

For the Frosting:

2 tablespoons sweet butter
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons heavy cream
1-1/4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 10-inch tube pan. Knock out excess.

Cut the chocolate and butter into small pieces and place in a large bowl. Pour 1 cup boiling water over them; let stand until melted. Stir in the vanilla and sugar, then whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time.

In a small bowl, mix the baking soda and sour cream and whisk into the chocolate mixture. Sift the flour and baking powder and add to the batter, mixing thoroughly.

Beat the egg whites until stiff but not too dry. Stir a quarter of the egg whites thoroughly into the batter. Gently fold in the remaining whites.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Set on the center rack of the oven and bake until a cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, unmold and cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting: Place all the ingredients in a heavy saucepan over low heat and whisk until smooth. Spread on the cake while the frosting is still warm.

Or make ganache, like I did:

4 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream

Chop the chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl.

In a saucepan over medium-high, heat the cream until bubbles just start to form. Pour over chocolate and let stand 5 minutes.

Stir to combine, then drizzle over the cake.

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