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?

You might also like:

Apple Cider Braided Bread

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

These mini-braided breads make perfect gifts or a lovely addition to brunch.

Braided Apple Cider Bread

I know it’s late in the season for an apple cider recipe, but my ALDI is still carrying it. I am not a big fan of apple juice, but I love apple cider and cider-flavored goods. I combined a few recipes to come up with this beautiful bread that makes a fantastic gift.


I doubled this recipe and had little loaves to give out to my daughter’s supplemental class teachers last week. Homemade bread doesn’t take that much effort, but seems extra special when it is such an anomaly in our culture.

IMG_0286

Enjoy!

Apple Cider Braided Bread

Yield: Two small or one large loaf

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. warm water
  • 2 1/4 tsp. bread machine or instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 T. honey
  • 1/2 c. apple cider
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. turbinado or white sugar
  • 3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced finely (optional)
  • for baking
  • milk
  • turbinado sugar

Instructions

In the bowl for your mixer, stir together warm water, yeast, and honey. Let sit for 10 minutes to proof and become bubbly.

Add apple cider, salt, and sugar and stir.

With mixer on knead setting and using a dough hook, gradually add flour about 1/2-cup at a time. When all is incorporated, also add apple pieces if using. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic; it may still be somewhat sticky, which is fine.

Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover with a towel, and let rise for an hour in a warm place.

(You can also make dough in your bread machine on a dough setting.)

After this first rise, divide dough in half. Separate the half into three balls, then roll each ball out into a "snake" about 14 inches long. The strands will shrink; that is fine. Press the strands together at one end, then braid just as if you were braiding hair. Press together and fold under on the other end, then transfer braid to a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Repeat process with second half of dough.

Cover with towels again and let rise for a half-hour.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Remove towels. Brush loaves with milk and then sprinkle with turbanado (raw) sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the loaves sound hollow when tapped.

Notes

You can also make this as one larger loaf. Adjust cooking time as necessary.

http://www.jessieweaver.net/2015/12/apple-cider-braided-bread/

Millionaire Bars (with a Little Cheat) #Choctoberfest

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

Millionaire Bars

Shortbread that’s crumbly and caramel that oozes … chocolate and crunch and when I eat it makes me snoozes …

OK, nice try.


But these are a few of my favorite things.

I am a big-time caramel lover. Toffee. Butterscotch. Basically any form of caramelized sugar will do. (I almost forgot this peanut butter pie where the filling is peanut butter caramel. OOOOOOH so good.)

I am a big fan of buttery shortbread, too, so when I first saw these bars in the Baked cookbook, they really spoke to me. I have made them exactly as written in Baked once. But after I realized I was basically making dulce de leche for the filling … well, this time I fully intended to buy dulce de leche in a jar.

But then we were away for some of fall break, and yesterday I was at home with three kids and realized I would have to take all of them to the grocery store if I wanted that to happen. My kids are 6, 4, and 2, and I won’t say taking them all somewhere is a nightmare … but anywhere three kids can ask me to buy stuff for them constantly while I try to focus on shopping tends to be a disaster.

But I did have a really old bag of Kraft Caramel Bits in the cupboard. So voila – totally cheater caramel filling! Use whatever caramel or dulce de leche you love for the filling; I won’t tell anyone. It all tastes good.

Millionaire Shortbread

This post is my third in a series for #Choctoberfest with Imperial Sugar. Imperial Sugar provided me with a case of sugar to bake with, but I have received no other compensation for this series.

Millionaire Bars

Yield: about 20 bars

Millionaire Bars

This is very lightly adapted from the Baked: New Frontiers in Baking cookbook.

Ingredients

    Shortbread
  • 1/2 c. Imperial Sugar granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 c. unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Caramel
  • one 10 oz. bag Kraft caramel bits, or dulce de leche or other caramel sauce
  • 2 T water or cream
  • Chocolate Layer
  • 6 oz. dark chocolate - I used a 3.5 oz bar very dark (85%) Lindt Excellence chocolate and 2.5 oz. semisweet chocolate
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 c. butter, cut into cubes

Instructions

Shortbread

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 9x13 pan (you can use your butter wrappers).

Cream together sugar and softened butter. Add 2 cups flour and beat until well incorporated. Add egg yolk and beat until just combined. With a wooden spoon, add additional 1/2 cup flour and mix well. Press into the baking dish and then prick all over with a fork.

Bake 20-25 minutes, until brown around the edges. Let cool completely in pan.

Caramel

Place caramels and water or cream in a large measuring cup. Melt in the microwave for 2 minutes, then stir rapidly until uniform. Pour over cooled shortbread, spreading with a spatula. Refrigerate until cooled and hardened. (With these caramels, it doesn't take long - about half an hour. Homemade dulce de leche or caramel sauce may take 2 hours to set up and cool.)

Chocolate Layer

Add chocolate, honey, and butter to a microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl, and microwave on high 1 minute. Stir, and cook an additional 30 seconds. Whisk together with a fork until completely melted and smooth. Pour over caramel layer and spread with a thin spatula.

Refrigerate dish at least 1 hour, until the chocolate sets.

To Serve

VERY important: Remove the dish from the fridge half an hour before you want to cut the bars. This will make sure the chocolate doesn't crack and the shortbread is soft enough to come out of the pan.

Use a sharp, non-serrated knife to cut into small squares. Serve. Store extras in fridge for up to 4 days, covered.

http://www.jessieweaver.net/2015/10/millionaire-bars-with-a-little-cheat-choctoberfest/

Don’t forget to enter the $350 Chocolate giveaway!!

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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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Asian-Inspired Lemon Chicken {Secret Recipe Club}

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

Asian-Inspired Lemon Chicken

It’s another beautiful month of the Secret Recipe Club, y’all! You know what? I have been participating in the club for over four years now, with only a couple months off here and there. And it’s truly still enjoyable for me. I love getting to peruse new-to-me foodie blogs.

I think people probably get confused when they’re assigned my blog, since I’m not a *real* food blog. But I am glad they allow me to participate, and it makes sure I cook something new at least once a month!


This month I was assigned to A Spoonful of Thyme. Kathy has been blogging since 2009 about good food, memories, her children, and more. I really enjoyed perusing her gigantic recipe index, and finally got so overwhelmed that I let my husband pick the recipe for this month. He really liked the look of the Southwestern Stuffed Peppers, but determined that our kids wouldn’t touch them, sadly. (Stinkers.) So instead he decided on Lemon Chicken, Asian-Style.

Asian-Inspired Lemon Chicken

I would never order this in a Chinese restaurant, even though I’ve seen it on the menu, because it doesn’t seem authentically Chinese to me. I didn’t see much fried when I was in China in 2002. But maybe I’m wrong? Either way, whatever the inspiration is, the sauce is nice and tangy and I enjoyed this dish!

I modified to shallow-fry the chicken, although I think deep-frying like Kathy did gives it a better crust. I just don’t have a lot of deep frying skills and I try not to use the typical frying oils (like vegetable or canola). I shallow-fried the chicken in a combo of palm shortening and grapeseed oil, but you can do what you want!

We all thoroughly enjoyed this chicken and sauce over jasmine rice and accompanied by roasted broccoli, which I jazzed up by drizzling the florets with sesame oil as well as olive, adding to the Asian flair. Sesame seeds sprinkled on it all would be good, too!

Asian-Inspired Lemon Chicken

Asian-Inspired Lemon Chicken

Yield: about 6 servings

Asian-Inspired Lemon Chicken

Adapted from A Spoonful of Thyme

Ingredients

  • 2-3 lbs. thin chicken cutlets
  • oil for frying
  • for the batter
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1/4 c. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 egg yolk
  • about 1 1/3 c. club soda
  • for the sauce
  • 1/2 c. lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 c. chicken broth or stock
  • 1 tsp. finely minced ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 to 4 T honey (start with 2)
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch stirred into 2 T cold water

Instructions

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. It is ready to go when you put the end of a wooden spoon in it and bubbles form around the spoon. (Or 375-400 degrees.)

Whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, and pepper. In a measuring cup, beat egg, then stir in club soda. Add enough club soda mixture that the batter is a little more runny than pancake batter. For me this took about 1 1/3 cups.

Dip chicken cutlets in the batter, letting extra drip off. Deep-fry, or shallow-fry about 5 minutes on each side, until browned and cooked through. Place a cooling rack on a jelly-roll pan, and put cooked cutlets on the rack in a 300F oven to warm while you finish cooking the chicken and sauce.

For the sauce, bring all ingredients except cornstarch to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce by half (to about 1 cup of liquid). Add cornstarch slurry to boiling liquid and cook a few more minutes, until thickened.

To serve, drizzle sauce over chicken pieces. Sprinkle with chopped scallions if desired.

http://www.jessieweaver.net/2015/08/asian-inspired-lemon-chicken-secret-recipe-club/

Giant Brown Butter Granola Breakfast Cookies

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

Don’t you love happy accidents in the kitchen?

I put two sticks of butter in a saucepan the other night to melt for Heavenly Homemaker’s Giant Breakfast Cookies. Then I got involved in putting a child to bed and when I came back, the top of the butter was slightly crystallized. And it smelled PHENOMENAL.


I’ve seen recipes made with brown butter, of course, but I never “got it” until the fragrance of that butter was wafting through my galley kitchen. I knew it was going to make the cookies awesome.

So I started assembling just to discover that not only did I have some very brown butter, I also had no oats. None. Nada.

Not one to be discouraged, I came up with this crazy concoction of granola, more flour, and oat bran to replace the oats. It worked. I love the extra pizzazz the granola adds to these, but you can replace it with old-fashioned oats if you’d like.

Giant Brown Butter Granola Breakfast Cookies

Yield: about 21 cookies

Browning the butter is worth the time for a wonderful, developed flavor in these cookies. The whole wheat flour, oat bran, and oats will hold you over until lunchtime, and kids love having a cookie for breakfast!

Ingredients

  • 1 c. butter
  • 3/4 c. honey
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 c. buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 c. whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 c. granola (Any kind; I make Crystal's Lazy Granola with raisins.)
  • 1/4 c. oat bran (optional)
  • 6 oz. chocolate chips (about 1 cup)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Over low heat, melt butter in a saucepan until it is caramel color and smells nutty. This may take 15 minutes+.

In a large bowl, stir together butter, honey, buttermilk, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, vanilla, and buttermilk until well-combined. Add slightly beaten eggs.

Add flour, granola, and oat bran to mixture; stir well. Fold in chocolate chips.

Use an ice cream scoop or large cookie scoop to form cookies; place on greased baking sheets or ones lined with silpats or parchment paper.

Bake about 18 minutes. Let cool on trays 3-4 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool.

http://www.jessieweaver.net/2012/06/giant-brown-butter-granola-breakfast-cookies/

Should we take a vote on whether these qualify as breakfast food or not?

 Added to Sweet Tooth Friday at Alli-n-Son