Are you familiar with that commercial that says “life comes at you fast?” I was admiring the tux we rented for my husband to wear to a black tie event celebrating a designer show home which was featuring my faux finishing work. I had inlaid gold leaf inside of a stone texture in a ceiling and did a paint technique head to toe in a huge dining room. It was a love it or hate paint treatment.
The newspaper loved it because they chose it as the feature, but the owner hated it because we had to redo it later. But, still it was my moment. Several designers and faux artists decorated various parts of this sprawling Tudor mansion, but the buzz was all about my ceiling which took 4 days and 4 people. The walls, trim doors and windows took another 4 days. As a featured contributor, I got to attend a black tie country club event and feel good about something I had put my hands to. Except I was nearly robbed of my joy.
Something may happen tomorrow and you may want the today you’re complaining about back.
The night before my event, my husband was minding his own business standing on the sidewalk of the convention center, and was hit by a car that ran a red light, crashed into another car and jumped the sidewalk. He was thrown 8 feet, and still managed to walk out of the emergency room that night.
This could never have been predicted and it was certainly a miracle for us that he survived and had no broken bones. I didn’t quite grasp the severity of what had happened, and when he insisted on putting that tuxedo on and still attending the event 24 hours later, I agreed. I still marvel that he is just that kind of guy. He believes strongly in doing the right thing for its own reward.
When Crises Hits, Bring Dinner
A few weeks ago my neighbor’s husband broke his leg and wasn’t so lucky. Two surgeries and a steel rod later, he now has a frankenleg. He was playing soccer and a foot went smashing into his shin, resulting in a break that looked like he was attacked with an ax. Not a pretty site. They have three children, a lawn, and a dog, homework and soccer. Thinking back to the state of our mind in our own crises, I offered to help by delivering dinner. This is one of the best things you can do to bring some comfort to a bad situation.
My time ran short, and I had two hours to roast this chicken, make these dijon roasted potatoes, this asparagus, a salad and a dessert. As if this wasn’t enough to rush around and do, I wanted to make a chocolate cake.
Chocolate cake is the go to comfort dessert.
The easiest cake to make in a pinch is a bundt cake and I remembered seeing a sour cream chocolate bundt cake over at Barbara Bakes and how much she loved it . She featured it as a half-cake recipe on her blog, but a full-size cake is featured over at Shutterbean.
I used my full size bundt pan, but reserved some batter for a few individual bundt cakes just so we could have a sample. It’s hard to make a chocolate cake and not have a bite.
This cake takes no time at all to throw in the oven and is served with a ganache topping which takes five minutes to make.
The best news about this cake is you don’t need a mixer. You can truly mix it in a mixing bowl in a few minutes and stick it in the oven. A few days later I received a beautiful handwritten thank you, penned by their seven year old, thanking me for the feast. My chicken didn’t turn out exactly as planned, but all is forgiven when you show up with chocolate cake.
- Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake
- CAKE RECIPE
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for preparing pan
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder, plus more for preparing pan
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1¾ cups sugar
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- GANACHE GLAZE
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons corn syrup
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Pre-heat oven to 350.
- Heat together butter, cocoa powder, salt and water over medium heat. Cook until melted. Remove set aside to cool.
- Sift together flour, baking soda, sugar in bowl or mixer and whisk together.
- Put the flour, sugar, and baking soda in a large bowl and whisk to blend. Add half of the melted-butter mixture and whisk until completely blended. Add the remaining butter mixture and whisk. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking each to blend completely before adding the next. Whisk in the sour cream and vanilla until smooth.
- Pour mixture into pan and bake for 40-45 minutes.
- Let cool completely before glazing.
- Ganache Glaze
- Place chocolate in small mixing bowl.
- Heat cream and sugar until sugar is dissolved and cream is transparent.
- Pour over chocolate. Allow to sit for five minutes.
- Stir continuously in the middle until mixed. Add in corn syrup and stir until incorporated.
- If this thickens you can stir it up before serving. Or, you can serve it warm right over the cakes prior to serving.
More Chocolate Cakes: