~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Nordic Ware Christmas Tree Bundt Pan...Sour Cream Orange Chocolate Cake

Nordic Ware Christmas Tree Bundt Pan...Sour Cream Orange-Chocolate Cake
Some time ago, I received some sample products from Nordic Ware. As most of you know, Nordic Ware is the company behind the well-known bundt pan. One of the products Nordic Ware sent me was this really cute Christmas Tree Bundt Pan. I looked hard to find a recipe for a bundt cake that wasn't so calorie-laden...I don't know if I really succeeded, but I absolutely loved the pan:). For the cake, I used a recipe from the Williams-Sonoma Kitchen with a few changes... as well as omitting the glaze. The cake was a bit dense, not too sweet( without the glaze), and not as moist as I expected. In fairness to the recipe, I think the cake could have been more moist if I would have added the glaze the recipe called for. But I just didn't want to add the extra sugar. Or could it have been the fact that I didn't melt the chocolate.... and just tossed the chocolate chips into the batter? In any case, I still liked the cake as it had a nice chocolate flavor... and I loved the hint of orange. All in all, it is the type of cake that would go especially well with a cup of coffee or tea. I much prefer the cake with a little less sugar. However, I am posting the glaze for those of you who want to add it.... at the bottom of the post. Feel free to serve the cake with some ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate ganache, or even a fruit sauce. Also, you can see the original recipe HERE. If you're really brave:), you can try this decadent Anniversary Bundt Pan Sour Cream Chocolate Cake...but you will need a bigger pan for that.
The Nordic Ware pan performed well above my expectations....the cake released without a single problem.* Just came right out. The cake can easily be decorated with icing, sprinkles, or candies. But a light dusting of "snow" accentuates the trees ever so nicely. I absolutely loved how each cake slice outlines the shape of a tree. I didn't realize that at first, but when I cut through the cake, I was pleasantly surprised. Really, really cute! I am excited to try out a few other recipes using this pan. By the way, did you know that November 15th is National Bundt Day? I wish they would make it a holiday:). Hope you enjoy....
*You can see some how-to videos at Nordic-Ware...prepping, baking, decorating, etc.

You will need: adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2-1 tsp orange oil, to taste
1 TBS grated orange zest
1 1/2 cups sour cream
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly

Confectioners' sugar for dusting
Whipped cream/Ice Cream, Fruit Sauce, etc. for serving

1. It is important to have all the ingredients at room temperature before you start.

2. Place a rack in the center of oven. Preheat to 325°F.

3. Grease and flour a 10-cup Bundt® pan and set aside. Melt chocolate and set aside.

4. Measure flour and place in a large bowl. Sift cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt on top of the flour. Using a large whisk, mix the dry ingredients until fully combined. about a minute or so:making sure flour and cocoa is completely mixed. OR sift all dry ingredients twice, using a sifter. Set aside.

5. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy about 30 to 45 seconds.

6. Reduce the speed and gradually add the granulated sugar. Beat until blended. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. From time to time, scrape the bowl.

7. Add the eggs one at a time, until the mixture is thick and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes From time to time, scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the vanilla, orange oil, and orange zest.

8. Fold in the flour mixture in three additions and alternate with the sour cream until just blended. Begin and end with flour.

9. Gently fold in the melted chocolate( I didn't melt my chocolate, but just added it as chocolate chips).
10. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 50-60 minutes. Don't overcook, or it will be dry. Check at the 50 minute mark. Cool the cake upright in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.*
11. Let the cake cool to room temperature before dusting with confectioners' sugar. Top slices with a dollop of whipped cream, a scoop of ice cream, a drizzle of creme anglaise, or fruit sauce.
* you can add a glaze on the warm cake by placing 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup water in a sauce pan. Heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and then add 2 TBS chocolate liqueur. Brush warm cake with the glaze.


Mihaela said...

Soooo cute and festive! Now I'm thinking to get some shape pans too :)

megi said...

I love orange and chocolate, they go so well together and the cake looks very yummy and festive.

Ellie said...

Mihaela and Megi, Thank you... I really like the pan as it is indeed very cute:) Thanks for stopping by.~Ellie

Anonymous said...

I have this pan too, and I love it, but the very tips of the little trees do get a little dry. I filled a cake pan half full of hot water and then put the tree pan in it in the oven. It needed to cook approximately 5 or so minutes more, but the treetops weren't as dry.

Ellie said...

Anon, You know, I didn't have the problem with the tree tops getting dry at all...Though just I love the tip you shared about placing the pan in hot water...

I am wondering, though, if you place the pan in the top third rack of the oven, if that will make a difference. Just a though...maybe you tried that already:)

Thank you so much for stopping by and for your feedback. I appreciate it.