Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Quadruple Chocolate Bundt Cake

Warning this post is only minimally about the delicious bundt cake above...

Sometimes you just have to look up to enjoy pure beauty.

Or look at things from a different perspective.

This post is a little about life and a lot more personal...Last week was Northern California among the Redwoods and with delicious wine, this week it's Alexandria and the last full week of March will be Dallas...for me that is.  For my husband, last weekend was Austin, TX, this "long" weekend Florida, next week New York. We will meet somewhere in the middle though with the 8 nights/days we are in the same city.  I wouldn't normally chat about Charles and our relationship that much here in my little baking space, but this month I thought I would give him a shout's a pretty significant month for us anyways, not than anyone reading this really cares.  As the story goes...10 years ago on February 28th we had our first date while watching the Oscars and a month later (March 28th) the "titles" were official.  Granted we had a break/brief hiatus in there, but we just won't count that alright?  

I was really thinking about what makes a relationship great after my conversation with coworkers last week in Cali.  We were each talking about our relationships...more from a female perspective than a male one.  About how every relationship is different, that some guys are good at the whole romancing/flowers/etc., but sometimes, it turns out that's just a facade.  Don't get me wrong some guys are great with that.  One of my coworker's boyfriend is the king of sending flowers, and we are all jealous of her for it, but she totally deserves them too because she's awesome.  Another coworker constantly sends pictures of flowers to his girlfriend, because he is always traveling and lets be real, hotels have gorgeous flower arrangements.  

While thinking about relationships though I realized, that I used to want that.  I always thought I wanted the "fairy-tale" story, the guy who would send flowers for no reason, surprise you with crazy things, come up with fun scavenger hunts and adventures.  But what I have realized is that I got truly lucky, because what I really needed was someone who makes me laugh all the time about silly things; who excepts me and my crazy irrational side; who doesn't care if I bake like crazy and fill all of our flat surfaces with cupcakes; who gives the BEST hugs; who knows when to straight talk me and when to listen; who will get me to dance even if I really, really don't want to; who is my best friend; and who is a food snob about as much as I can be...sometimes, but knows when I just want a pint of Ben & Jerry's.  I found the version of prince charming that I needed and got lucky.  I mean everyones perfect someone is wouldn't be any fun if it was the same.

Okay enough about that...let's talk about this quadruple chocolate bundt cake for a minute.  This actually turned out way better than I thought it in originally I wasn't going to take the time to blog about it.  It was super moist and the different types of chocolate added layers of flavor.  My favorite parts were the chocolate chips in the cake that added great texture and the white chocolate ganache that added wonderful creaminess and helped it not be too rich.  This is definitely a bundt cake I will be making again sometime!  Plus you can totally make it fancy if you wanted to serve it at a dinner party, by serving it with extra ganache of each type on the plate.  Enjoy!

Triple-Chocolate Bundt Cake: (Recipe adapted from Southern Living)
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 cups butter, softened at room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 teaspoons instant espresso
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, chopped

Chocolate Ganache:
4 ounces semisweet
1/2 cup heavy cream

White Chocolate Ganache:
4 ounces good white chocolate (I used Ghirardelli)
1/2 cup heavy cream

1. Prepare Cake: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Whisk together flour and next 3 ingredients.  Beat 1 1/2 cups butter in a medium bowl at medium-high speed with an electric mixer until smooth.  Gradually add granulated sugar, beating until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until yolk disappears. Combine 1 1/4 cups buttermilk and next 2 ingredients.  Add flour mixture to egg mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Beat at low speed after each addition, or using a whisk at this point.  Fold in chopped semisweet chocolate chips.  Pour batter into a well-greased (with shortening) and floured 12-cup bundt pan.  Sharply tap pan on counter to remove air bubbles.

2. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 20 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on rack.  While the cake is cooling prepare the ganaches.

3.  The process is the same for both, just use separate bowls and start by making the white chocolate ganache, it takes longer to thicken.  Bring cream just to a boil over medium-high heat. Pour over chocolate. Let stand for 10 minutes (don't stir - doing so will cool the ganache too quickly, making it grainy).

4.  Stir with a whisk until smooth and shiny to break up any pieces and emulsify cream and chocolate.

5.  Chocolate will often settle on the bottom or sides of the bowl.  Scrape dish with a rubber spatula to incorporate all of it.  Let cool until mostly thickened then drizzle over the cooled cake starting with the semi-sweet.  Serve with any extra ganache and Enjoy!

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