Listening to KEXP, pleasantly surprised to hear Catherine Wheel’s “Texture” – it has been an eternity. Brings back awful memories of high school Japanese-language camp, though. Could anything be more nerdy and geeky than attending Japanese-language camp during the summer? Really? Oddly enough, it also makes me think about matcha because I participated in the tea ceremony culture course during my time at Japanese language camp the first summer (yes, I went to this camp twice in case there was any doubt about my dork cred – second-year culture course was katazome, a kind of fabric dyeing).
My manager at work celebrated his last day at the company the other day, which coincided with my last big bake of 2012. It did not seem like it would be a big challenge to bake another little something to be especially for our team to bid him farewell, good luck and bon voyage. But what I ended up with was a slightly overbaked (and therefore dry) chocolate bundt cake and no idea how to frost it (ended up making a very thick ganache from chocolate, corn syrup and cream). I topped it with Smil candies (like Rolo – caramel-filled chocolates).
The result was ugly. Really. It was like the questionable “cake” offered in the French classic Le Père Noël est une ordure. I don’t eat the stuff I bake, so I cannot really comment on whether it tastes that way.
Just in case you want to try the cake out…
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons cocoa
3/4 cup boiling water
85 grams bittersweet chocolate
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup butter
1 2/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat oven to 175C. Grease and flour a bundt cake pan.
Mix boiling water and cocoa. Chop the bittersweet chocolate and mix into the water/cocoa mixture until the chocolate is melted. Mix in the sour cream.
Cream butter and sugar. Mix in the eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla. Alternately mix the dry ingredients and the cocoa mixture.
Put the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake 50 to 60 minutes. Do not overbake (as I did). Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
One problem, perhaps, in my case, is that I did not have any sour cream on hand, so I decided to substitute. In place of one cup of sour cream, I mixed six ounces of cream cheese in a blender with three tablespoons of milk.