April 23, 2016

Deep Chocolate Sour Cream Pound Cake

A recent conversation between my friend and I:

B: "Next time you bake can you make something chocolate?  You know how much I love it."  

Me: "Hmmmm...I'll think about it."

Anyone who knows me well would not be surprised by my response.  Now don't get me wrong, I do like chocolate - especially the dark variety - but it's not my preferred flavor profile.  I tend to lean more towards vanilla, lemon and other fruits.  Despite my less than fanatical reverence towards all things cacao I ended up making this chocolate pound cake for a couple of reasons.  1) I was looking for an excuse to use this recently acquired Nordic Ware Party Bundt pan and 2) I had a ton of sour cream in my fridge.   

In retrospect I was doing myself a disservice by not making this cake sooner.  The recipe comes from Tish Boyle's The Cake Book, a must-have for any cake lover out there.  I've made several recipes from this book and none have disappointed. As promised by its title, this cake has deep chocolate flavor with a moist and tender crumb.   Utterly delicious!  While the cake is fantastic on its own it tastes even better when topped with the ganache glaze.  

I have a strong feeling B will approve.

Deep Chocolate Sour Cream Pound Cake

Makes one 10-inch cake

1 1/2 cups (181g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (57g) cake flour
1 cup (92g) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (340g) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups (500g) granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup (242g) sour cream

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

CAKE: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease the inside of a 10-inch Bundt pan. Dust the pan with flour. [I like to use Baker's Joy baking spray instead.]

Sift together the flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until very creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in the sugar. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until the mixture is well blended and light, about 4 minutes. At medium speed, beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
In a small bowl, stir the vanilla extract into the sour cream. If your mixer has a splatter shield attachment, attach it now. At low speed, add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in three additions, alternating with the sour cream mixture in two additions and mixing just until blended.

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

Bake the cake for 65 to 75 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.

Invert the cake onto the rack and let cool completely.

GLAZE: Place the chocolate in the bowl of a food processor and process just until finely ground. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate to the pan. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and the glaze is smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract. Transfer the glaze to a small bowl. Cover the surface of the glaze with a piece of plastic wrap and let cool for about 10 minutes before using.

Place the cake on the wire rack, on a wax paper or foil lined baking sheet.  Slowly pour the glaze over the top of the cake, letting it drop down the sides.  Let the glaze set for about 30 minutes before slicing the cake.


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