Double Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

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Happy new year! I hope 2012 is starting out well for everyone. I had a fun time at my friend’s party and the champagne cupcakes were a huge hit. I think next time I may try them with the Pop Rocks on top. Fun, huh?

Because the cupcakes only required 1/2 cup of sour cream, I had some leftover. So the other night when I was awake at 3 in the morning thanks to the crazy man setting cars on fire in my neighborhood, I googled sour cream bundt cake recipes. Side note: I’m happy and relieved that the LAPD now has a “person of interest” in custody and I hope when he goes to jail he’s subjected to random middle of the night blazing siren and hovering helicopter sounds like those of us in Hollywood have had to deal with.

Double Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

Anyway, the cake is a bit time consuming and you’ll end up with a sink full of dishes, but it’s definitely worth the time and effort. It’s moist and chocolatey without being too sweet. My coworkers loved it, even calling it amazing and delicious, so you can bet this recipe is a keeper!

1 cup cocoa
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used chocolate chips)
3/4 cup boiling water
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
10 tablespoons butter (1 1/4 sticks)
2 cups brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
5 eggs
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray. Mix the cocoa and chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Pour boiling water over the chocolates and stir to melt. Let the mixture stand to cool (about 2 to 3 minutes).

Meanwhile, combine the flour, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Cream the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla until creamy in a large bowl. Add the eggs to the butter mixture and blend well. Fold the sour cream into the cooled chocolate mixture until incorporated.

Add the flour mixture and the sour cream chocolate mixture to the butter mixture and blend well. Add the chocolate chips to the batter and stir to incorporate. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cake slightly before removing from the pan. Sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar and serve.

Recipe from Daisy (yeah, the “dollop of Daisy” people).

Champagne Cupcakes with Champagne Frosting

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For the past several years on New Year’s Eve, my friend and her husband have hosted a small party at their house. It’s a pretty chill night filled lots of socializing, eating, drinking, Wii, and board games. (Writing that made me feel old, jeez.) And each year, I of course bring dessert.

Champagne Cupcakes with Champagne Frosting

Since I’ve been sick this week, I almost took the easy route and made S’mores Pies. Then I realized that was stupid and decided on champagne cupcakes. Fortunately for me, I only looked at a couple of recipes before deciding on this one. The original recipe called for a pastry cream filling, but since I’m not a fan of pastry cream and I was feeling lazy, I decided to leave it out.

Well, the pastry cream wasn’t missed at all. The cupcakes are moist and the champagne flavor comes through in both the cake and the frosting. I would definitely make these again for a celebratory night! Plus, I love any excuse to use my contraband dragees and glitter. (We can’t buy them in California.)

Note: I know absolutely nothing about champagne (except that I like it), so I asked a couple buying champagne at the store if they would help me. This guy directed me to a $5.99 bottle of Barefoot Bubbly Moscato that said “Deliciously Sweet” on it and told me it would be great for baking; his husband made it clear it was not suitable for drinking. Point taken, and it worked great in both the cupcakes and frosting.

Photos of the process.

Cake Ingredients
1/2 cup butter softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup champagne

Cake Preparation
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup champagne and 1/2 cup sour cream (mixture will fizz and bubble a little). Add flour and champagne mixture alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Batter will be thick.

Fill cupcake papers with 1/4 cup level measures of batter. Bake for 17-22 minutes. Let cool. Yields 18 cupcakes.

Frosting Ingredients
1 cup plus 1 tbsp. champagne
1 cup butter, softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

Frosting Preparation
Place 1 cup of champagne in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium-high heat until reduced to 2 tablespoons. Transfer to a small bowl or condiment cup and allow to cool.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream softened butter and powdered sugar together. Once the frosting is thick and fluffy, pour in the reduced 2 tbsp. champagne plus 1 tbsp. champagne from the bottle and mix well.

Frost and decorate.

Recipe from Sprinkle Bakes.

Chocolate Chip Marble Bundt Cake

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Chocolate Chip Marble Bundt CakeTomorrow is National Bundt Day, and Food Librarian and the food blogging community are baking more than their fair share of bundts. In fact, this is Food Librarian’s third year of I Like Big Bundts, a time when she bakes a bundt a day for 30 days. That’s a lot of bundts!

Now that I have one or two or three or possibly more bundt pans, I decided I have no excuse for not participating, at least on National Bundt Day. Plus, my coworkers will expect something in the office tomorrow since I took today as a vacation day. I know, they’re demanding. I decided to make something with chocolate chips, and my google search happened to pull up this bundt on my friend Jami’s blog, Night Baking.

There are a bunch of steps to this bundt–it’s definitely not one of those recipes where you throw everything in one bowl then into the pan, but the end result is a moist, not overly sweet cake. My marbling skills are apparently lacking, so the inside of my cake looks a little sad; somehow I don’t think my coworkers will mind once they take a bite.

Happy National Bundt Day!

2 1/2 cups (17.5 ounces) sugar, divided
1/2 cup (1.5 ounces) cocoa powder
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup (4 ounces) hot water
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, divided
2 2/3 cups (11 3/8 ounces) flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, at room temperature
4 eggs
1 cup (8 ounces) milk
1 cup (6 ounces) chocolate chips

Make the chocolate syrup first: in a small saucepan, whisk together 1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) sugar, cocoa powder, corn syrup, and water. Bring just to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and whisk in 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray or grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Use the stand mixer to cream the butter with the remaining 2 cups (14 ounces) sugar until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time until thoroughly incorporated. Scrape down the bowl, then beat in the remaining 2 teaspoons vanilla.

Reduce the mixer speed to low. Beat in a third of the flour mixture just until the flour begins to disappear into the batter. Beat in half the milk. Beat in another third of the flour, then the rest of the milk, and then the rest of the flour; mix until smooth. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.

Scoop out a third of the batter into a medium bowl. Whisk in the reserved chocolate syrup and set aside. Spoon another third of the batter into the bundt pan and smooth it with a spatula. Spoon the chocolate batter evenly over it. Pour the remaining vanilla batter over the top. Lightly swirl the batter with a wooden skewer or butter knife to achieve a marbled effect. Making a continuous figure eight motion around the pan works well.

Bake until the cake springs back lightly when touched, about 60-70 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Invert the cooled cake onto a cake plate and dust with powdered sugar if desired.

Recipe from Buttercake Bakery via Night Baking.

Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake

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Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake I wanted to like this cake. In fact, I wanted to love this cake. I thought this would be the kind of cake I hoped my coworkers would devour because I would want to eat too much of it. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), that did not happen.

While the flavor was nice, the cake was a bit dry. It screamed for a glass of milk or something to go along with it. Of course, I should note that the original recipe called for strawberries and their juices to be served with it, so maybe had I done that, I wouldn’t think the recipe needed some kind of moisture. Has anyone else made this? What did you think?

Cake Ingredients
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 teaspoon bourbon (I used vanilla)
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks), room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup buttermilk

Glaze Ingredients
2/3 cup powdered sugar
4 teaspoons (or more) whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cake Preparation
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 325°F. Butter and flour standard Bundt pan, then spray pan with nonstick spray. Pour bourbon into small bowl. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into bourbon; stir to blend well (reserve scraped vanilla bean for another use).

Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs and egg yolk 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Beat in bourbon-vanilla mixture. Add flour mixture in 2 additions alternately with buttermilk in 1 addition, beating just until blended after each addition. Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top evenly (batter will come only halfway up sides of pan).

Bake cake until tester inserted near center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool in pan on rack 15 minutes. Invert cake onto rack and cool completely.

Glaze Preparation
Whisk powdered sugar, 4 teaspoons milk, and vanilla in small bowl to blend, adding more milk by 1/4 teaspoonfuls if glaze is too thick to drizzle.

Place sheet of foil on work surface. Place cake (still on rack) atop foil. Using spoon, drizzle glaze over cake in zigzag pattern. Let cake stand at room temperature until glaze sets, about 15 minutes. DO AHEAD Cake can be made up to 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and let stand at room temperature.

Recipe from Bon Appetit.

Orange Sour Cream Loaf Cake

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Orange Sour Cream Loaf CakeI had good intentions. I really did. I was all set to make low(er)-sugar, low(er)-fat chocolate chip cookies from a cookbook called Eat What You Love that my best friend got me hooked on. Then I took a walk and saw the jacarandas in full bloom and cleaned out my fridge and found oranges waiting patiently to be eaten, and thought all signs point to spring (or spring baking). And once I discovered a full tub of sour cream (obviously purchased with a now-forgotten-recipe in mind, as I hate sour cream), I knew I had to make some sort of sour cream orange…thing. I googled “sour cream loaf cake” and when this gorgeous photo greeted me, I was smitten.

The original recipe called for making the batter in a food processor, but I decided early on I was doubling it and had visions of the doubled batter not fitting in the Cuisinart and ending up all over my kitchen so I opted to use my stand mixer which worked out just fine. I should also point out, this is one of those dump everything in and mix cakes, which is super nice because that way you don’t end up washing ten bowls. The recipe is similar to Ina’s Lemon Cake and Lemon Yogurt Cake because there’s a syrup that is poured and and a glaze to finish it off. And like those cakes, this one is moist and light, and the orange flavor becomes more evident after a few bites. This is one cake I will definitely be making again.

Photos of the process.

Cake Ingredients
1 cup full fat sour cream (I used light)
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
zest of 3 oranges
1 tsp real vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
½ cup extra light olive oil
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ cups all purpose flour

Cake Preparation
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a loaf pan. Cut a piece of parchment paper to size and place it in the bottom of the pan.

In a food processor, process sour cream, granulated sugar, eggs, orange zest, vanilla extract, salt, olive oil, and baking powder together. Add the flour and pulse until combined, being careful not to over mix. (I used a stand mixer and it worked just fine.)

Pour the cake batter into the loaf pan and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Wait for 10 minutes and carefully remove to a cooling rack.

Syrup Ingredients
1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

Syrup Preparation
While the cake is cooking, add the orange juice and granulated sugar to a small sauce pan. Cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is melted and the liquid is mainly clear. About 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Place the cooling rack on top of a piece of wax paper. Spoon the mixture over the cake. Allow the cake to finish cooling.

Glaze Ingredients
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice

Glaze Preparation
Mix together powdered sugar and orange juice. Spoon glaze over the top and let the cake set up overnight before serving.

Place the cooling rack on top of a piece of wax paper. Spoon the mixture over the cake. Allow the cake to finish cooling.

Recipe adapted from The Cooking Photographer.

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