What inspired this chocolate whimsy? A recent trip to a kitchen supply store. There, all kinds of culinary gadgets begged to be rescued from their retail store oblivion. And among them was a castle-shaped Bundt pan. Here’s the recipe, which you can use for any 10-cup capacity Bundt pan:
Warning! This cake batter contains lots of cocoa powder and sour cream. It’s decadent, delicious, and de-lovely.
I’ll give you the exact measurements in a copy-and-paste format in a moment. For now, just bear with me as I walk you through the entire cake-making procedure.
No such sifter for you? Put the ingredients in a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl.
Sift twice. When you are finished, you should have a mountain of fine, fluffy, powder. The powder will resemble a construction site, minus a tanned, shirtless, and definitely muscular construction worker named Brick.
Keep alternating the flour and sour cream, always beating each addition until it is thoroughly incorporated.
With your tongue.
Note: If you don’t wish to use my particular brand of baking spray, use whatever your conscience allows. But I can not guarantee that your cake won’t stick to the pan.
No picture of this next step, but it is important in order to remove air bubbles: Bang the pan firmly against your counter a few times.
I’ll admit that I neglected the bang-the-pan step. And as a result, my cake had quite a few tiny air bubbles. I hid them with confectioners’ sugar.
Cool for exactly 10 minutes, not more, and not less.
And invert the two.
Et viola — chocolate castle cake! As you can see, my work released from the pan with all of its fine details intact. I did not have to call Brick the Construction Worker to make repairs. And that’s too bad.
Let the cake cool completely before decorating. For Christmas, you might like to paint, with green icing, a wreath on the front door. You could even design some garlands ’round the turrets.
Before heading off to bed, I slid the cake onto a pedestal stand. Then I wrapped it in plastic, and popped it in the fridge.
Do you know this dreadful gang?
They bring Rover, their ill-tempered dog, anywhere and everywhere.
If Little People ring your doorbell, don’t let them in. They are the worst house guests you’ll ever encounter.
By “vandalized,” I mean they left my castle in ruins. If only the property had had a moat. A moat filled with crocodiles.
Here’s the copy and paste:
Chocolate Castle Cake
As made by Kevin Lee Jacobs (www.kevinleejacobs.com)
Ingredients for one 10-cup capacity Bundt pan
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sour cream
Optional: Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position; preheat oven to 325°F.
In a large bowl, or on a sheet of parchment or wax paper, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift at least two times, to insure the ingredients are well blended.
In a standing mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until pale and creamy — about 30 seconds. Gradually add the sugar, and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy — about 4 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating each addition until incorporated. Beat in the vanilla extract.
With the mixer running at low speed, add the flour mixture in increments, alternating with the sour cream, and finishing with the flour. Beat until just blended — do not over beat.
Thoroughly spray the interior of the cake pan with a high-quality baking spray (baking sprays contain flour). Scoop the batter into the pan. Then spread the batter so the sides are about 1 inch higher than the center. Bang the pan firmly against on a hard surface to reduce air bubbles.
Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean — about 1 hour.
Decorate with colored icings, candies, or whatever suits the occasion. Or, do what I do, and simply dust the whole structure with confectioners’ sugar. The sugar will bring out the architectural details of the cake.
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