All I wanted was a Bundt Cake. A moist, chocolate, Bundt cake that I found on another blog. That was the plan. Bake a cake, and then eat it. By myself. It was a Thursday night and my husband was out. I called my sister. I told her my plans, she is privy to pretty much all my thoughts and ideas, at the very moment of their inception. Sometimes I think she wishes I didn't feel the need to keep her in the loop all the time but she humors me. She is kind that way. We discussed the fact that baking a cake for myself when no one was around to eat it might be wasteful. It's never stopped me before. But then she suggested a BBQ on the weekend. A BBQ was the perfect excuse to bake a cake. And it would make me feel less pathetic if there were other people around to eat the cake with me. She was right, so a BBQ was had.
I swore I'd keep the menu simple. After all, my sole purpose of the BBQ was to eat cake. My menu was to consist of sausage and buns, chips and dip, coleslaw and - of course - cake.
Then I went grocery shopping and I stumbled upon fresh figs. Fresh figs are rare in these parts. How could I resist?
My intentions of keeping my time in the kitchen to a minimum went to hell in a hand basket from that point on. The plan was corrupted. And I couldn't help myself. Simple chips and dip evolved into proscuitto stuffed with figs and brie, grilled on the BBQ and then drizzled with honey.
The coleslaw? Yeah, not so much. Instead, mixed baby greens, strawberries, goat cheese, candied pecans, dried cranberries, oil, balsamic syrup, fleur de sel and pepper. This was inspired by (okay copied from) a friend who came over for dinner recently with this salad in tow, except hers had roasted beets instead of strawberries. This salad has become a favorite, I can't get enough.
Then there was the matter of a side dish. I made twice baked potatoes because you can make them the day before and then throw them in the oven 20 minutes before you eat. They may have been neglected in the oven for a few too many minutes, as my friend so kindly pointed out. She does that. You know the type. I won't mention her name.
Notwithstanding their "slight" over-doneness, they were met with approval by even the most fickle palate. (The son of said friend, in fact.) Yup. He loved them.
And the main course... obviously, sausage was out. I made Rootbeer Bourbon Glazed Baby Back Ribs. So much for keeping it simple. I found this recipe on the Food Network years ago and it's been sitting in a binder of mine for years. I've only made it once before and I can't figure out why. I will probably post the recipe for it at some point.
And yes, there was Bundt Cake. But here's the irony: by the time I remembered the cake, it was 11:00 p.m. and we we were all stuffed. Nobody even wanted dessert. I think the only reason anyone even had a slice was because they knew that it was the real reason they were there. They knew this because I told them so. I guilted them into eating it too. I'm shameless. I didn't care. I made everything else for the sole purpose of baking the damn cake, after all, so they can bloody well eat it.
I found the recipe on Joy the Baker. It is a dense fudgy chocolate cake. Very moist and rich. It's crumb is not light or delicate, it's a heavy cake but that's okay. All cakes are not created equal. It was delicious, and even better the next day. I would put one caveat on my endorsement of this cake, and that is that the chocolate glaze had a very strong coffee flavour, which, frankly, I found a little over-powering. Next time I will omit the coffee from the glaze and just use hot water. The strong coffee flavor notwithstanding, the glaze was nice, it had a good drizzling consistency and looked glossy. The recipe makes a lot of glaze, and could easily be halved.
Recipe for Chocolate Bundt Cake:
1 1/4 cups plus 1 Tbsp brewed coffee
3/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
1 1/4 cups plus 1 Tbsp. buttermilk
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups, plus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour, sifted
For the Glaze:
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup sour cream, room temp.
1/4 cup brewed coffee, cooled (I would either sub water or dilute this)
Place oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan and set aside.
To make the cake batter, mix hot brewed coffee and cocoa powder together, set aside. Let come to room temperature.
In bowl of a stand mixer fit with the whisk attachment, mix together sugar, salt, baking soda, eggs, yolk on low speed for 1 minute. Add buttermilk, oil and vanilla and mix on low again for another minute.
Add the flour and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the cooled cocoa mixture and mix on medium speed for 3 minutes. The batter will be very loose. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, or until tester comes out clean. (Mine was done at 55 minutes.)
Let the cake cool completely in the pan and then invert onto cooling rack.
To make the icing: Chop the chocolate into small pieces and melt either in a double boiler or in the microwave until completely melted and smooth. Melt the butter in a separate bowl. Whisk melted butter into melted chocolate until thoroughly incorporated. Sift in half the icing sugar. Add the sour cream and whisk to combine. Sift in remaining icing sugar and whisk till smooth. The glaze should be thick and shiny. Lastly, add the coffee (or water) and whisk.
Pour over the Bundt cake, covering it completely. Leave at room temperature until ready to serve.