Friday, October 1, 2010
There are a few chocolate cakes that I have put on my must-bake list. This is one of them. I first saw it - a while ago - at Chubby Hubby. I looked at it, admired it, and then proceeded to attempt something more juvenile, like Steamed Moist Chocolate Cake.
I was, after all, a newbie at baking then ... and I felt such a "grown-up" chocolate cake should only be attempted after I had earned my stripes.
Maybe it's a sign ... because after a year of active baking, I came face-to-face with this cake again. This time at food.recentrunes. I have never left a comment on Ivan's blog, but for some reason, that slice of cake drew me in, and I asked if he could share the recipe. Guess what? He (and Cheryl) pointed me back to Chubby Hubby! So what was I to do? Well, take it as a sign that the time has come. ;)
First thing though, was to get myself some Dutch processed cocoa powder. I found it at Sun Lik (Valrhona cocoa powder, S$6.50 for 200g). The instant I laid my eyes on it, I bade a hasty farewell to Mr Hershey and said "Bonjour!" to Monsieur Valrhona.
He was richer, darker and smoother ... yes, I'm that shallow.
My very first Bundt cake!
Truth be told, when I unmoulded the cake, my heart sank a little. It looked so ... unimpressive. Thankfully, I listened to my instincts and avoided committing sacrilege by dusting icing sugar over. The beauty of this cake is truly on the inside. When I sliced it, I was amazed by its velvety interior and the rich, deep, gorgeous colour of mahogany. In fact, the first thing that came to my mind was, "I actually made that?!" Sometimes, I surprise myself. Hur hur.
Certainly, its appearance is simple, but this is undoubtedly the most sophisticated chocolate cake I have ever baked. I realised too, that I had crossed the point of no return ... no more kiddy chocolate cakes from now (unless it's really for the kids). Perhaps it is a natural progression, but I'd like to think that I have finally earned my stripes. :)
Deep Chocolate Sour Cream Pound Cake
(from The Cake Book by Tish Boyle and seen at Chubby Hubby)
Note 1: For a cake like this, you need ze best quality ingredients money can buy. It's compulsory, otherwise you're better off making one of those other cakes. Yawn.
Note 2: Ironically, I did not use sour cream. Instead I used crème fraîche - sorry, not a fan of sour cream!
- 1.5 cups (181g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (57g) cake flour
- 1 cup (92g) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 2.25 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1.5 cups (340g) unsalted butter, softened
- 2.5 cups (500g) granulated sugar (sorry, I just couldn't! I reduced this to 380g)
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup (242g) sour cream (or crème fraîche)
1. 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 with flour.
2. Sift the flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside.
3. In a 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.
4. In a small bowl, stir the vanilla extract into the sour cream. If your mixer has a splatter shield attachment, attach it now. At the low speed, add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the sour cream mixture in 2 additions and mixing just until blended. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
5. 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. Then invert the cake onto the rack and let it cool completely.