Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake with Ganache

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The boys are back in town … or, in our case, the girls.

For six years, my husband has been a dorm parent in a boys’ dorm at the private high school where he teaches and we live. We were in one dorm for a year; and then, when we moved into our last apartment, another dorm for five. I LOVED those boys – and still do, of course. We knew at the end of last year with us moving it was likely my husband would be assigned to a different dorm. And he was. A girls’ dorm.

Most of my part in dorm parenting has been baking for the boys. It brings me a lot of joy, and I think it helps them feel a little more like school is home. I was a little hesitant about the girls’ dorm, wondering if they would eat like the boys do. I have been assured from every side that yes, they do.

So now I have 40 high-school daughters. And they wiped this platter clean the other night. Mr. V said one even said she doesn’t usually love chocolate, but she really liked this cake!

We’re living in a house now, so we’re not in the dorm with the kids, which is kind of weird after six years of being in one. But we’re still on campus and eating in the dining hall and trying to love these kids like our own. So I’ll still be baking up a storm!

Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake with Ganache

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 12-18 servings

Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake with Ganache

Slightly adapted from Barbara Bakes. I love bundt cakes because they are so easy to serve and don't require as much frosting (I am not huge on frosting), but you could also bake this as a 9x13 or a layer cake, adjusting the time.

Ingredients

  • 1 c. (2 sticks) butter
  • 5 T cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Ganache
  • 3/4 c. chocolate chips
  • 1 T honey or corn syrup
  • 3 T heavy cream

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a bundt pan with cooking spray with flour and set aside.

In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together butter (cut into slices), cocoa powder, salt, and water. Cook until the butter is melted, stirring, and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and baking soda. Add half of the butter mixture and stir until well blended. Add the remaining butter mixture and stir until uniform. Stir in sour cream and vanilla until uniform.

Pour the mixture into the prepared bundt pan. Bake 35-40 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack or platter to cool completely.

Ganache

Put chocolate chips into a microwave-safe measuring cup. Add honey or corn syrup and heavy cream on top. Microwave 30 second on high power, then stir together until the chocolate is smooth. If it will not all melt, give it another 15 seconds or so. (Do NOT add more heavy cream once the chocolate is hot; it will make it seize up.) Drizzle or spoon over top of the cake and let set.

http://www.jessieweaver.net/2017/08/chocolate-sour-cream-bundt-cake-with-ganache/

Do you have a favorite dessert to serve to a crowd?

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Cookie Butter Puppy Chow {Secret Recipe Club}

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Cookie Butter Snack Mix

Puppy chow? Muddy buddies? You know what I’m talking about, right? We always called it puppy chow when I was a kid. But please don’t feed this to your dog. Too much chocolate!

My assigned blogger for this month’s Secret Recipe Club called it Muddy Buddies. But I felt like I needed to stick to my roots.

My blogger this month was Nicole, who blogs at I Am a Honey Bee. She is a lifestyle blogger who shares lots of recipes, for delicious things I want to make like Homemade Cheez-Its, Coca-Cola Carnitas, and Crockpot Cool Ranch Chicken. She is married and has a young daughter named Autumn, and they recently moved to Florida. I looooove all her Mexican-inspired recipes, and I will definitely be trying out some this summer (when I have to cook. About three weeks, people!).

For now, though, I decided to make this snack mix with half a jar of cookie butter I’ve had sitting around awhile. What’s up with that? I think I had hid it from myself because I kept eating apples with about half a cup of cookie butter for dipping … So I unearthed it from the cupboard and used the recipe to make this delicious snack! (Cookie butter is also called Biscoff, from the kind of cookies used to make it.)

Cookie butter puppy chow

Confession: I went to a discount store to shop, because it was near where I was the other day. And they didn’t have any kind of Chex, so I used plain Cheerios. I think the Chex shape soaks up the coating a little better, but any unsweetened cereal should work if you’re in a pinch!

Cookie Butter Puppy Chow

Ingredients

  • 8 to 9 c. plain Cheerios or Chex cereal
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1 c. cookie butter
  • 3/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

Instructions

Place cereal in a large bowl and set aside.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt together butter, cookie butter, chocolate chips, and vanilla until smooth. Pour over cereal and toss until all is coated.

Let cereal cool for 10 minutes, then add powdered sugar to the bowl and toss well.

http://www.jessieweaver.net/2016/05/cookie-butter-snack-mix/

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Low-Sugar Peanut Butter Cookies {Secret Recipe Club}

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

peanutbuttercookies

Do you ever eat cookies for breakfast? We sure do. One of my kids’ favorite breakfasts is Giant Breakfast Cookies. (They also love having Popsicles for breakfast.) I am all about making their food fun so that they are more likely to eat healthier things. And since these cookies are probably way healthier than any muffin I make, I say go forth and make cookies for breakfast!

I chose the Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies from Tasty Cheapskate‘s site for Secret Recipe Club this month. Blogger Jean shares her simple, wholesome, and cheap recipes there, with the cost of ingredients included!

I also eyed the Irish Soda Bread (which I love, but the one I made most recently flopped in a big way) and Lemon Garlic Hummus; but in the end I was searching while I had sick kids at home and couldn’t go to the store, so I had everything on hand for the peanut butter cookies. Plus, cookies.

That said – for some wacky reason I didn’t have any whole wheat flour, which I ALWAYS have. So I did use white flour in mine, but I mixed in some oat flour to give it a little more healthfulness. I would definitely use white whole wheat flour if I had it on hand.

Low-Sugar Peanut Butter Cookies

Low-Sugar Peanut Butter Cookies

Adapted from The Tasty Cheapskate.

Ingredients

  • 2 T butter
  • 1 c. natural peanut butter (see notes)
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 2 T white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/4 c. flour, preferably whole wheat (or a combo of all-purpose and oat flour)
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 c. chocolate chips

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a saucepan over low heat, melt together the butter, peanut butter, and sugars. Move mixture to a large bowl.

Your mixture should only be warm, not hot; if it's too warm, wait for a bit to make sure the eggs don't cook in it. Once it's just slightly warm, add eggs, milk, and vanilla.

Sift dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and baking powder) into the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat. Form dough into golf-ball sized balls and place on sheet, then press down slightly. (You can criss-cross with a fork for a traditional peanut butter cookie look, if you like. I didn't.) Bake for 7-8 minutes. They won't look done, but take them out anyway. Let cool on baking sheet 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Best served warm!

Notes

For these to be truly low in sugar, use a natural peanut butter that is just peanuts or peanuts and salt. Even "natural" peanut butters usually have sugar and oils in them. I like Smuckers brand.

http://www.jessieweaver.net/2016/02/low-sugar-peanut-butter-cookies-secret-recipe-club/

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Chocolate Date Candy {Secret Recipe Club}

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Date-Nuts Balls

It’s Fall! Maybe for real this time! Yes, in this part of Tennessee it’s rarely fall before at mid-October. But every year we somehow forget about how that happens and moan and groan about it through September.

This year I was determined not to be upset about the summer weather. And that worked … until we hit October 1st. And darn it, I wanted some fall then. So now it’s finally cooling off and we will enjoy our three weeks of fall before mild winter hits. 😉

Please forgive my Fall over-styling, then, but I was a little excited.

These little date candies come to you via the Secret Recipe Club from Melissa, author of Smells Like Brownies. Strangely enough, Melissa is probably the only SRC member I’ve met in person; she was one of my sister’s friend in middle school. We also went to the same high school; she would have been a freshman when I was a senior. SO WEIRD!

So now Melissa is, like me, a stay-at-home mommy who passionately loves to bake. She is also very health-conscious and a pescatarian. I will say that after #Choctoberfest I really just wanted to make a steak for SRC! But since Melissa doesn’t go that route, instead I made this yummy date candy balls that are a lot more healthful than, say, Millionaire Shortbread Bars.

Date-Nut Balls

I thought the coffee powder might be a little overwhelming for the rest of the flavors, but I liked the balance between it and the cocoa. I was sure my kids would take one taste and refuse to eat them because NUTS and COFFEE, but they gobbled them right up. Score for Mommy!!! A healthy snack that gets them good fat from nuts and vitamins from the dates.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Date Candy

Yield: 18-20 balls

Adapted from Smells Like Brownies.

Ingredients

  • 1 c. pitted dates
  • 3/4 c. chopped nuts (I used almonds and pecans)
  • 1/4 c. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee or espresso (optional)
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 T mini chocolate chips (optional)
  • unsweetened shredded coconut, for rolling (optional)

Instructions

Toast chopped nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until they smell nutty. Put nuts and dates in a food processor and run until they are well chopped and combined.

Add cocoa, coffee, salt, vanilla, and chocolate chips to the mixture and pulse until combined.

Use a small cookie scoop (about 2 teaspoons) to measure some of the mixture into your hand, then roll into a ball. It should press together pretty easily; if not, you can add a teaspoon of water or honey to the mixture and pulse again. If desired, roll balls in shredded coconut. Place on a plate and refrigerate for a little it before serving. Store covered in fridge.

http://www.jessieweaver.net/2015/10/chocolate-date-candy-secret-recipe-club/

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Chocolate Peppermint Crinkle Cookies PLUS a Giveaway for #Choctoberfest

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

Choctoberfest-2015-1

Guess what today is? It’s October 5 … and that marks the beginning of #Choctoberfest! I have never participated in something like this before, but I thought it would push me to share a few recipes. It has been super fun to prepare for, and I am excited to peruse all the CHOCOLATE. I will probably gain 10 pounds just looking at my computer screen.

#Choctoberfest is a virtual event put together by The PinterTest Kitchen. Bloggers from around the world will be posting their favorite chocolate recipes, and you’ll get a chance to win some awesome prizes. What’s not to love?

Here’s what this event is all about!

#Choctoberfest would not be possible without our sponsors, starting with our 2015 Gold Sponsor, Imperial Sugar. Imperial Sugar has been a trusted name in family kitchens since 1843. Their sugar products and sweeteners are made from non-GMO cane sugar and ensure consistently delicious results. We’ll be using Imperial Sugar whenever we use sugar in our recipes this week, and can’t wait to share the sweetness with you!

You can find Imperial Sugar on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more. Make sure you visit the recipes section of their website for some sweet inspiration, and you can also find coupons on their website if you want to try out Imperial Sugar yourself.

Imperial Sugar and our other sponsors have banded together to contribute some awesome prizes for our #Choctoberfest giveaway! Entering is simple – just click below to follow us on Pinterest. Here’s what you could win:

We also have a nonprofit sponsor this year – Rescue Chocolate! They make vegan chocolate treats and donate 100% of their proceeds to animal shelters.

Enter now to win the #Choctoberfest prize. Hurry, because we’re picking the winner on October 12 at 8:00 AM, so if you don’t sign up before then, you’ll miss your chance!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A huge thank you to all of the other blogs participating in #Choctoberfest 2015. Check out their blogs throughout the week for chocolate recipes you won’t be able to resist: The PinterTest Kitchen2 Cookin’ MamasA Day in the Life on the FarmAloha FlavorAmy’s Cooking AdventuresAngels HomesteadBalancing MotherhoodBless this MessBusy-at-HomeChocolate SlopesCoconut & LimeColie’s KitchenCookaholic WifeCooking In StilettosCooking With LibbyCookistryCopyKat RecipesCravings of a LunaticCrumbs in my MustachioCulinary CoutureCupcakes Take The CakeDeliciously SavvyEat It & Say YumFairyburgerFamished Fish, Finicky SharkFarm Fresh FeastsFood Hunter’s Guide to CuisineFull Belly SistersGet Off The Couch and CookGrumpy’s HoneybunchHey What’s for Dinner Mom?Honey and BirchI Can Cook ThatJane’s Adventures in DinnerJessie WeaverLife on Food Life, Love, and Good FoodMajorly DeliciousMoore or Less Cooking Food BlogMother Would KnowOr Whatever You DoPoet in the PantryRecipes Food and CookingRhubarb and HoneySassy Southern YankeeSavory TartSeduction in The KitchenSerena LissySumptuous SpoonfulsTake Two TapasThat Skinny Chick Can BakeThatsSoYummyThe Chonchudo FilesThe Crumby CupcakeThe Dinner-MomThe Saucy SouthernerThe Spiced LifeThe Spiffy CookieThe Two Bite ClubThe Weekday GourmetVintage KittyWendy PolisiWhat A Girl EatsWhitBit’s Indian KitchenWit Wisdom & FoodZesty South Indian Kitchen

Are you a blogger who is interested in joining us during out next community event?

Sign up here now!

We’ll make sure you get an email about our next blogger event.

Now, onto this first yummylicious chocolate recipe. {BTW, I received a case of Imperial Sugar to bake with for #Choctoberfest. How fun is that? Much more fun than my husband thought it was to lug 40 pounds of sugar from our mail room down to our apartment.}

Chocolate Peppermint Crinkle Cookies

These cookies are looking ahead to the holidays. I love to try out new cookie recipes around Christmas, and crinkle cookies have become some of my favorites. I will whip out the from-a-box-mix red velvet crinkles when I need something simple, but these chocolate-peppermint ones are great for a special dinner or cookie swap. Yes, they are slightly more time-intensive, but well worth the effort. When I made this batch, I played around with it a little. I got the highest compliment from my husband’s department chair, who said she was going to put these in her Christmas baking repertoire!

I made them a little more “Jessie” just by switching out corn syrup for honey and canola oil for coconut oil. Not that it makes them healthy – but I just prefer to use those more natural ingredients when possible. Plus they are what I always have on hand. You can substitute equal amounts of those original ingredients if you want.

Imperial Sugar #Choctoberfest

As I baked, I loved wondering if my grandmothers or great-grandmothers used Imperial Sugar, too, since it’s been around so long. My research says probably not, because they were in Ohio and not the Southeast … but who knows? Given that I also took my (wonderful, wonderful) measuring cups from my Grandma’s kitchen, I felt very connected to her as I was cookie-making!

Chocolate Peppermint Crinkle Cookies

Enjoy! Let me know if you make these.

Chocolate Peppermint Crinkle Cookies

Yield: about 3 dozen

Chocolate Peppermint Crinkle Cookies

These little tastes of Christmas are adapted from Bakers Royale.

Ingredients

  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
  • 2 1/2 c. Imperial granulated sugar
  • 1/4 c. coconut oil
  • 3 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 T honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp. of peppermint extract or 8-10 drops of peppermint essential oil
  • 1 c. powdered sugar and 1/4 cup granulated Imperial sugar, for rolling

Instructions

Melt butter in the microwave and set aside to cool. Melt chocolate for 1 minute in microwave, then an additional 30 seconds, stirring each time. It should be able to be stirred smooth, but if not, another 30 seconds should do it.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

With an electric mixer, beat together sugar, oil, butter, and honey until smooth. Beat in eggs, egg yolk, vanilla, and peppermint extract or oil. On low speed, add the melted chocolate and mix until combined. Add flour mixture and mix on low until incorporated.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325 or 350 (see baking note below). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Form the dough into golf-ball sized balls. Roll each ball in granulated sugar, then the powdered sugar. Place balls on cookie sheet and press down slightly just so they don't roll around on the sheet.

Baking: I baked these two ways - for 12 minutes at 325, which gave an almost fudge-like cookie (but it has to cool entirely on the cookie sheet, because they will just melt over a cooling rack) and then at 350 for 15 minutes, which gives you a firmer, crispier cookie. Cookies will deflate when you remove them from the oven, giving them the crinkle texture.

http://www.jessieweaver.net/2015/10/chocolate-peppermint-crinkle-cookies-plus-a-giveaway-for-choctoberfest/

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread {Secret Recipe Club}

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Libbie has been asking for banana bread lately, and since I had a bunch of very brown ones on the counter, my choice for Secret Recipe Club this month was a no-brainer. Well, sorta.

My assigned blog was It’s Yummi, written by Becca, a trained chef who shares her classic, nutritious dishes with some treats thrown in. I eyed the Bacon Cheddar Cornbread (sadly I had no creamed corn – but how genius is that to keep it moist?), and I’ve actually bought the ingredients to make her Morning Glory Muffins, but in the end I settled on Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread.

I adore peanut butter and bananas together, and I think chocolate balances them out well. And apparently so does Joshua. I almost didn’t get to take pictures of this bread, because while it was cooling, he pulled a stool up to the oven and my husband found him scraping off chocolate chips with his palm and saying, “Mmmm! MMMM!”

But we mostly rescued the bread, Joshua got a bath, and all was right with the world. Two-year-olds.

I loved Becca‘s banana bread recipe. It’s super moist, the peanut butter added a nice touch, and it baked up high and beautiful. It’s one I will definitely go back to. Or maybe try her banana bread with chocolate chips and chocolate ganache. Because HOLY MOLY. YUM.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 1 loaf

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Peanut butter adds complexity to banana bread and chocolate chips make it irresistible. Recipe source: It's Yummi.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 ripe bananas
  • 1/3 c. melted unsalted butter
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1/3 c. creamy peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. chocolate chips

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8x4-inch loaf pan.

Mash bananas in a large mixing bowl, then stir in melted butter until well-incorporated. Stir in peanut butter.

Add sugar, egg, and vanilla and mix well.

Sprinkle baking soda and salt over the top and stir. Then stir in flour, just until it is all incorporated - don't overmix.

Spoon batter into the loaf pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top and press them into the batter gently.

Bake 60-70 minutes until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool, then slice and enjoy.

http://www.jessieweaver.net/2015/07/peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-banana-bread-secret-recipe-club/