Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake

ATTENTION ALL CHOCOLATE LOVERS: THIS CAKE IS FOR YOU!!

As I was gathering ideas for Jessica & Brian’s wedding shower I came across this recipe, and I knew instantly I had to make it! If your household is anything like mine, with only the two of us I cannot bake things like this often.  Trust me when I say it would not be good for our waist lines to leave a chocolate cake laying around for a week. I knew since I was baking for a group of 30 this was the prefect time to bake a cake like this. OH MY GOODNESS, talk about chocolaty heaven!!! This is definitely not a cake to make for a small gathering- the is a mega cake and it needs a party of people to help eat it!

I made my cake in a large Bundt pan; however, I had a little bit of batter leftover which would not fit into the pan and there was NO WAY I was going to waste something that tasted as delicious as this! So, I whipped out my jumbo muffin pans, greased them the same way I did my Bundt pan, filled them up with the extra batter and popped them into the oven with my cake. Since they were much smaller they only required about 30 minutes, or so, of baking, but these were AMAZING! In fact, it gave me a great idea to use this same recipe but instead of making one large cake, I could make a dozen (or more) of little individual cakes! Individual cakes would be perfect for a party where you could top them with two or three different kinds of toppings! (Note: I got two extra “mini-cakes” out of the batter. Do not overfill your Bundt pan, as it will overflow in the oven if you do!)

This is a cake you should make the day before you are planning on serving it, as it is better as it sits over night! (Note: I made my cake the day before serving it and once the cake was completely cooled I put it back into the Bundt pan and wrapped it tightly with plastic wrap overnight. Then, a few hours before serving the cake, I took the cake out of the Bundt pan, made the ganache and topped the cake.)

You can top the cake off with extra chocolate chips on top of the ganache or you can also use fresh raspberries! I hope you enjoy this cake as I much as I did! I am already looking forward to my next party or pot-luck at work where I can make this cake again!!!

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Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake
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Ingredients:
For the Cake:
1 cup Cocoa Powder, plus more for dusting the pan
8 ounces Semisweet Chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup Boiling Water
2 1/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
20 tablespoons (2 1/2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups Light Brown Sugar, firmly packed
5 Eggs, lightly beaten, at room temperature
4 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 cups Sour Cream
2 cups Semisweet Chocolate Chips

For the Ganache:
8 ounces Semisweet Chocolate, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup Heavy Cream

Directions:
For the Cake:
Make sure you have all the ingredients at room temperature before beginning.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease your Bundt pan with Crisco and then dust the pan with cocoa powder. Tap out the excess powder and discard.

In a small mixing bowl combine the cocoa powder and the chocolate. Add the boiling water and whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Set aside.

In another medium sized mixing bowl sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixture fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, which will take 30-45 seconds. Reduce the speed to low, add the brown sugar and beat until the mixture is well blended.

Increase the speed to medium and continue beating the mixture until it is light and fluffy, which will take about 5 minutes. Make sure to stop the mixer and occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl. Once the mixture is fluffy, add the eggs a little at a time, beating until they are incorporated before adding more. Again, stop the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Once all the eggs have been added, beat in the vanilla until incorporated.

Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the sour cream and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat just until blended and no lumps of flour remain. Do not over mix! Slowly pour in the chocolate-cocoa mixture and beat until no white streaks are visible, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan, spreading the batter so the sides are about 1 inch higher than the center. Bake 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with only a few moist crumbs on it. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow the cake to cool upright in the pan for 15 minutes. Inverts the pan onto the rack and lift the pan off the cake. Allow the cake to cool completely for at least 1 hour.

For the Ganache:
Make sure the chocolate is finely chopped before beginning to make your ganache! In a medium sized mixing bowl combine the chocolate and butter. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the heavy cream just to a boil. Do not boil the cream! Immediately pour the cream over the chocolate and butter and whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

Immediately pout the ganache over the top of the cake, allowing the ganache to drip down the sides of the cakes. Let the cake sit for at least 15 minutes to allow the ganache to set. (If you wish to top with extra chocolate chips, do so immediately after pouring on the ganache! You can also fill the center and the edges of the cake with fresh raspberries!)

Source: adapted slightly from Lick the Bowl Good.

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White Chocolate Truffle Cupcakes

What can I say about these cupcakes? THEY ARE AMAZING! Growing up I was never fan of white chocolate. It has a different taste over the traditional milk chocolate that kids are used to; however, the older I have gotten the more and more I enjoy white chocolate.

I made these cupcakes as a dessert for Jessica & Brian’s wedding shower and they were perfect. The truffle in the middle is smooth, and the frosting is the most delicious part! (I was literally licking the bowl when I was done frosting the cupcakes!) The cake portion of this cupcake is a heavy cake so if you are looking for a light and airy cupcake, this isn’t the one!

White Chocolate Truffle Cupcakes
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Ingredients:
For the Cupcakes:
1 3/4 cups Cake Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
2/3 cup Whole Milk
1/2 teaspoon Real Vanilla Extract
4 Egg Whites, at room temperature
6 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Sour Cream
12 Round White Chocolate Truffles, unwrapped

For the Frosting:
6 ounces White Chocolate, used for baking, finely chopped
8 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 cup Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
2 cups Powdered Sugar

Directions:
For the Cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, and prepare the cupcake tins by placing paper liners into the cupcake wells.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and the baking powder. In another small mixing combine the milk and the vanilla. In a large mixing bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the butter and sugar. Cream them together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, which will take about 5 minutes. Add in the sour cream and mix until smooth. With the mixer on medium speed, add the flour mixture and the milk mixture, alternating between the two and mix until smooth. Slowly mix in 1/3 of the egg whites. Using a large spatula, carefully fold in the remaining egg whites.

Using a scoop, divide the batter evenly among the liners. Bake 17-20 minutes or until a wooen pick inserted in the center comes out cleanly. Remove the pan from the oven and using a small paring knife, immediately cut a 1/2″ deep “X” into the top of each cupcake and press one truffle into each cupcake. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and finish cooling them for at least 30 minutes on a wire cooling rack.

For the Frosting:
Once the cupcakes are cooled you can begin to make the frosting. Place the white chocolate into a small microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 1-2 minutes or until the chocolate is melted, stirring every 30 seconds so the chocolate does not burn. Allow the chocolate to sit for 3-4 minutes to cool slightly.

In a bowl to a stand mixer, combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and the melted white chocolate. Using the paddle attachment, beat on medium speed until well mixed. Slowly add powdered sugar and mix well.

Once the cupcakes are cooled, place the frosting into a piping bag and pipe frosting evenly around the tops of the cupcakes. Garnish as you desire!

Yields: Exactly 12 cupcakes!

Source: adapted slightly from The Pampered Chef.

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

This past Sunday I was honored to co-hosted a Couple’s Bridal Shower for my dear friends Jessica and Brian.

Photo by Darryl Quinton Evans.

Photo by Darryl Quinton Evans.

After years of having a long distance over-seas relationship, next month they will finally get their chance to say “I Do” and become husband and wife!  I am so excited for the two of them to have their “Happily Every Ever” and start their lives together!

For a month I had been jotting down ideas for the menu.  My goal was to have a menu which was simple, yet delicious.  I also wanted to try and use bacon as much as possible.  Why?  Well both Jessica and Brian share a love of bacon!  Okay, okay, okay…. I am guilty of loving bacon just as much as they do!   After sifting through ideas, we settled on having gourmet sandwiches with sides such as Bacon & Cheddar Deviled Egg Salad, Garlic Humus, and Potato Salad; along with White Chocolate Truffle Cupcakes and a Chocolate Sour Cream Bunt Cake for dessert.  The more I thought about potato salad, the more I wondered how I could “spice up” traditional potato salad and use bacon.  Then I recalled a dinner Mark and I had with them a month ago, and I thought about this amazing loaded baked potato Jessica had eaten.  Suddenly it hit me!  Why not make a loaded baked potato but as a potato salad.

I cannot even come close to describing how amazing this potato salad was!  There was not a drop leftover at the end of the bridal shower, and I had dozens of request for the recipe   I cannot wait until I have an reason to make it, it is that delicious.  I suggest serving this potato salad warm or at room temperature; however, I am sure it would be just as good cold!

(Note: This recipe serves approximately 15-20 people, so just cut it in half if you need to serve fewer people. I also prefer to leave most of the skins on the potatoes as it gave a real “loaded baked potato” taste.)

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

Loaded Baked Potato Salad
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Ingredients:
4 pounds Russet Potatoes (peeled if preferred)
1 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1 cup Sour Cream
2 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup Freshly Chopped Chives
1 pound Thick Cut Bacon, cooked and crumbled
Salt
Black Pepper

Directions:
Cube the potatoes into 1/2″ cubes and place into a large pot. Cover the potatoes with water, and on the stove bring the pot to a boil. Boil the potatoes until they are fork tender, which will take approximately 15-20 minutes. (You need to keep an eye on the potatoes. If you cook them too long you will end up with more of a mashed potato consistency when you mix them.)

When the potatoes are ready, drain them in a colander and allow them to cool slightly, about 5-10 minutes. (Allow the potatoes to cool completely if you plan to serve the salad cold!)

Put the slightly cooled potatoes into a large mixing bowl. Add the mayonnaise, sour cream, cheddar cheese, chives and bacon to the top of the potatoes. With a spatula, gently fold the mixture until the potatoes are well coated. Add salt and pepper to taste.

You can save a small bit of the bacon, cheddar cheese, and chives to sprinkle on the top if you desire!

Inspired by: Jessica’s loaded baked potato at dinner!