Watching your loved one in pain is one of the most helpless feelings in the world. The good news is that Jeff’s neck surgery was a success and he is on the road to recovery. It’s an uphill battle from this point forward. But the week has been absolutely exhausting. I can’t even express how touched I am by all of the support I have received both here and in emails. You all are amazing. This ordeal has been a reminder of how fragile we are and how lucky I am to have such an amazing husband.
I made these mini chocolate Chambord bundt cakes last week before everything got crazy. As usual, I made the recipe several times but this time it took me a bit longer to reach a point where I was completely happy with the results.
On my first attempt I made a dark chocolate port wine sauce instead of using Chambord Liqueur. The sauce was amazing and the cake was delicious but they did not go together at all. I will share the port wine chocolate sauce soon. I think it would taste amazing with vanilla ice cream. Chambord is a black raspberry liqueur and has a more delicate flavor that pairs nicely with the cake without overwhelming it.
I also reworked the cake recipe. It was delicious the first time but very light and spongy. While I love a light cake, it didn’t do a good job conforming to the bundt molds. The pretty lines weren’t as defined as I would have liked them to be. To fix this, I added melted dark chocolate to create more of a brownie consistency. There will still be a few air bubbles here and there but this version is more compact without being overly dense.
- 3½ ounces cake flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 ounce unsweetened cocoa powder (I recommend Valrhona)
- ½ cup half and half (or ¼ cup heavy cream + ¼ cup whole milk)
- 1 tablespoon Chambord Liqueur
- ½ tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted (see note)
- 3 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
- 7 ounces granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons Chambord Liqueur
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place an oven rack in the middle position. Lightly grease a mini bundt pan (I prefer using baking spray with powder).
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Sift in the cocoa powder and whisk until the dry ingredients are evenly combined. In a separate small bowl, combine the half and half, Chambord and vanilla extract.
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on low speed for 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, allowing each egg to incorporate before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the melted chocolate. With the mixer still on low speed, swiftly alternate between adding the dry and liquid ingredients over the course of a minute. Scrape down the sides well, making sure to reach the bottom of the bowl. Turn the mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds.
- Distribute the batter evenly between the mini bundt molds.
- Bake until the a toothpick comes out of the center of one of the cakes, approximately 22 minutes. Allow the cakes to cool for ten minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack. If the cake has risen above the top of the pan, use the underside of a baking sheet to gently press the cake into the molds before turning them out onto the racks. This will create a more dense cake.
- Heat a medium saucepan with approximately 2-3 inches of water over high heat. Place a metal bowl on top of the saucepan and add the bittersweet chocolate, heavy cream and Chambord.
- As the water boils and turns to steam, gently stir the ingredients together as they melt. If it looks like the sauce is getting too hot, remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the sauce to continue melting over the residual steam.
- Serve over the chocolate cakes.