Today came with a rush of beautiful, white lights. Over the course of two conversations, the lights take form — as they’re wont to do — and I’m enveloped by the energy, the pure creativity emanating from two women who are seriously on the verge. Something is brewing, plans are taking shape, and one of my dearest friends told me that she has found her vision. When she said this, it put me to thinking of Lily Briscoe in Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, and I couldn’t help but marvel over the allusion, of an artist finding her place, her subject, her passion, and meanwhile I’m there to simply revel in it.
All lines draw back to two words whose meaning will reveal itself over the course of the coming months: food collaborative.
For now, I invite you to feast on a devilish chocolate bundt cake, drowning in a river of chocolate that evokes Vesuvius.
INGREDIENTS: Adapted from Joy the Baker: 101 Simple and Comforting Recipes, with modifications
For the Cake:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 1/4 cups hot brewed coffee
1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups low-fat sour cream
1 cup plus 2 tbsp safflower oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Glaze:
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/3 cup sour cream, at room temperature
4 tbsp brewed coffee, cooled
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan and set aside.
To make the cake: in a small bowl, whisk together the coffee and cocoa powder until smooth and no lumps remain. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and sugar. Set aside. The original recipe called for baking soda, however, I nixed it because I often find that cakes have a “fudgy” flavor without it. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs until smooth, and beat in the sour cream and oil, carefully whisking until all ingredients are incorporated and the batter is smooth.
Add the egg mixture all at once to the flour mixture and whisk until all ingredients have been incorporated and no flour bits remain. Then you can whisk in the coffee mixture until the batter is loose and smooth.
Pour batter into a prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
Let the cake cool completely in the pan (20 minutes) and then invert onto a cooling rack. The cake must be COMPLETELY COOL (be patient, my friends) before you add the icing. Otherwise, you’ll just get melted chocolate. Not a crime, I assure you, but you won’t achieve the desired glaze effect.
To make the icing: Chop the chocolate into small pieces, put them in a heatproof bowl (or a double boiler), along with the butter, and set the bowl over a pot of barely simmering water. Be sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the boiling water. Remove the bowl from the heat when all of the chocolate bits have melted.
Allow the mixture to cool slightly. Add the sour cream and whisk to combine. Lastly, add the coffee and whisk to create a glossy glaze.
Pour the glaze over the Bundt cake, covering it completely. Leave at room temperature until ready to serve.