I needed a cake for our annual church cake raffle. I knew that not just any old cake would do. I committed myself to the mission of seeking out and baking the most decadent, chocolaty, melt-in-your-mouth, sinfully blissful cake that ever existed. Enter the Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake from Williams- Sonoma. The result? Well, I don’t want to brag, but I know call this my $100 cake. Cha-ching!
This cake is not for the faint of heart. Ohh the chocolate! It requires a certain amount of dedication. It requires a large colossal bundt cake pan (15 cups!) *I don’t actually own a bundt pan that size, so I used the largest one I had a made a few cupcakes with the left over batter. We’ll talk about those cupcakes later.
For the cake:
- 1 cup cocoa powder, sifted, plus more for dusting pan
- 7 1/2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 20 Tbsp. (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
- 5 eggs, lightly beaten
- 4 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups sour cream
- 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
For the ganache:
- 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
Start with all of your ingredients at room temperature. Don’t skip this step, it really does matter. Nerd alert! Want some science to back that up? Cold ingredients like eggs, butter and milk don’t completely incorporate together the way that room temperature ingredients do. You need your ingredients to fully incorporate and bond together to form an emulsion…because that’s how air gets trapped making your baked goods light and airy instead of dense and clumpy. Nobody likes dense and clumpy. Set those ingredients out 30 minutes to 1 hour ahead of time and make yourself a cup of coffee. Patience is a virtue, so is light and airy chocolate cake.
Pre-heat an oven to 325 degrees F. Grease your bundt cake pan and dust with cocoa powder; tap out the excess.
To make the cake:
Over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt, repeating until well blended. Set aside.
In a bowl, combine the 1 cup of cocoa powder and the finely chopped chocolate. Carefully pour in the boiling water and whisk until the chocolates combine into a smooth, velvety river of chocolate heaven.
Using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the butter for a good 30 to 45 seconds. Reduce the speed to low and add the brown sugar, beating until well blended. Now it’s time to add air because air = light and fluffy cake! Beat at a medium speed for about 5 minutes, occasionally stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add eggs, one at a time until blended. You want everything to really have a change to incorporate before adding more, so beat and scrape and beat and add and beat some more. Add the vanilla extract and beat for 1 more minute.
Time to fold in the dry flour mixture that’s been patiently waiting on your waxed paper. To prevent a heavy, dense cake, you will reduce your mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture 1/3 at a time and alternating with the addition of the sour cream. This sounds more complicated than it actually is. It looks like this, or something similar. Add 1/3 flour, beat just until blended, add 1/2 sour cream, beat just until blended, add 1/3 flour, beat just until blended, add the rest of the sour cream, beat just until blended, add the last of the flour mixture and beat just until blended. Scrape sides of bowl as needed.
Pour in the chocolate-cocoa mixture and beat until full incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Fold in the chocolate chips by hand using a rubber spatula.
That sounds eerily like a step-aerobic sequence…add, beat, add, beat, scrape, add, beat…and then reward yourself with chocolate.
Your batter is ready! Grab your greased and cocoa-ed bundt cake pan and start pouring. Using your rubber spatula, spread your batter until the sides are about 1 inch higher than the center of the cake. Do not overfill your cake pan. If you have left over batter, I suggest making cupcakes. Ohhh, the delicious cupcakes.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean, about 1 hour. Transfer to a wire rack and let the cake cool upright in the pan for 10- 15 minutes. Invert the pan onto a cooling rack and lift off the pan. Let the cake cool completely for at least 1 hour.
To make the ganache:
Combine the chocolate and butter in a medium size glass (or other heat proof) bowl. Set aside but keep handy- you’ll be adding hot cream in just a minute! In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream just to a boil, being careful to not scorch it. Pour the hot cream into the chocolate and butter and whisk until melted.
Slide a waxed paper lined baking sheet under your wire cooling rack (to catch the drips). Pour the warm glaze over the top of the cake, watching with pride as it drips down the sides and middle of the cake. Let the cake cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes and swear vengeance on anybody who sticks their finger in the ganache to taste it.
*That’s where the cupcakes come back into play! They are small, they cool faster, they are single servings, they are your golden ticket to tasting the heaven on Earth you’ve just created without having to cut into the masterpiece that is now cooling on the wire rack. Do it. You’ve earned it.
Option: You could be a real show-off and coat with more chocolate chips or chocolate sprinkles or you could wait until it’s cool and dust with powdered sugar.