Monday, December 23, 2013

ATK Sour Cream Chocolate Bundt 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 but is easily made more impressive with Tangy Whipped Cream and Lightly Sweetened Raspberries (recipes follow). 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.

INGREDIENTS

  • Cake Release
  • 1tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1tablespoon cocoa
  • Cake
  • 3/4cup natural cocoa (2 1/4 ounces)
  • 6ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
  • 3/4cup water (boiling)
  • 1cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 3/4cups unbleached all-purpose flour (8 3/4 ounces)
  • 1teaspoon table salt
  • 1teaspoon baking soda
  • 12tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), room temperature
  • 2cups packed light brown sugar (14 ounces)
  • 1tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 5large eggs, room temperature
  • Confectioners' sugar for dusting

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. 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.

TECHNIQUE

ENSURING AN EASY RELEASE

A Bundt cake is attractive only if you get it out of the pan in one piece. A simple paste made from melted butter and cocoa powder and painted into the grooves of the pan with a pastry brush worked wonders in helping to release our chocolate Bundt cake. We much preferred this tidy method over the standard technique of greasing and flouring, which left an unsightly pasty white film on the cake's exterior.

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