Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Chocolate Almond Cake with Pecans

I was excited to see this cake on Annie's blog. I've never made a bundt cake of any kind and they always come out looking so nice. I've used my bundt pan many times before when making monkey bread, but never any cake.

It was fairly simple to make, and I had most all of the ingredients at home. The almond extract really adds a nice flavor to the cake. It's the cake's secret ingredient!

Chocolate Almond Cake
Recipe: Annie's Eats

For the cake:
2¼ cups flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
1½ cups sour cream
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly

For the ganache:
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
¾ cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. light corn syrup

To make the cake, preheat the oven to 325˚ F. Grease and flour a 10-cup Bundt pan. I had a 9.75 cup pan so that's what I used and it worked just fine.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; whisk to blend. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 4-5 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix in the eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla and almond extracts.
With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and beating each addition just until incorporated. Mix in the melted chocolate just until combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading the batter evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes. Let cool in the pan 10 minutes. Invert onto a cooling rack and gently remove the cake from the pan.
Like I said before, I've never made a bundt cake so I'm not sure this is supposed to happen. When I inverted my cake onto the cooling rack, I noticed that it had a lot of, what seemed to be, extra at the bottom. "Feet" as you will. I've never known bundt cakes to be raised up that high. I've always thought they should be more flat at the bottom. Do you think I did something wrong?

To remedy this problem, I simply just cut off the excess.

To make the ganache, place the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate let stand 1-2 minutes. Whisk in small circular motions until the mixture is well blended and the ganache is smooth. Stir in the corn syrup. Drizzle the ganache over the cooled cake and garnish with sliced almonds before the glaze sets.

Don't forget to add your corn syrup or you'll wonder why the ganache is more like a frosting and not very drizzle-y. Not that I'd know from experience or anything...

Because of my error, I decided I'd just spread the ganache around, like a frosting and add the pecans all around. I loved the idea in my head, but I'm not sure how I feel about it once it was said and done. I just hope it tastes ok. We tasted the cut off part and that seemed dry. However, that was after it was sitting out while I made breakfast and such, so that could largely be the problem.

I took this cake to my Grandparent-in-Laws house for dinner. I also brought some vanilla ice cream to go with it.

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