Friends, take note: If your birthday falls during Top Chef season, do what you can to push the festivities to the Thursday-Saturday window. 'Cuz there's something about Bravo that makes me get a little antsy in the kitchen, and you might just end up with a devil's food cake dressed in chocolate ganache and studded with chocolate shards.
Then again, I do watch Bravo constantly, but there's no way a cake inspired by the Millionaire Matchmaker is going to look this classy.
Mini Too Much Chocolate Cake
Slightly modified from Allrecipes.com
1/4 (18.25 ounce) package devil's food cake mix
1/4 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons + 1 tsp warm water
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs and water. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour batter into a small round pan
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cake thoroughly in pan at least an hour and a half before inverting onto a plate.
- Ganache: That luxuriant name says it all. Ganache is chocolate and cream melted into a fudgy drape for all manner of baked treats. It's both easy and elegant, and tastes as great as it sounds.
- Since sour cream is not a popular ingredient in the Clothed Cook's household, I used the rest up with this ganache recipe, modified with a little more chocolate and a little sugar to cut the tartness of the cream. A ganache with heavy cream is probably even better. According to the 2,765 positive reviews on Allrecipes, this cake also tastes great naked.
- Chocolate shards are a really easy and cool-looking garnish for cakes, brownies, and cupcakes. Directions are here.
- Tips for melting chocolate: You can use the microwave, but I find it's easier to set up a mock double boiler, since the chocolate is less likely to burn and you can keep it hot for a long time if you're not perfectly poised to use the chocolate the second it's melted. Make sure the bowl is totally dry or the chocolate will seize.