RECIPE: Tarragon Chocolate Bundt with Double Drizzle

Tarragon Chocolate Bundt Cake with Double Drizzle 
adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

nonstick cooking spray 
1 tablespoon cocoa powder 
some breadcrumbs 

cake batter: 
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped roughly 
pinch of salt 
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder 
1 cup of boiling water 
1/4 cup tarragon leaves, roughly torn up
1 cup sour cream at room temperature 
one and three-quarter cups all-purpose flour 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1 teaspoon salt 
3/4 cup of butter, softened 
1 cup regular granulated sugar 
1 cup light brown sugar 
1 tablespoon vanilla extract 
five eggs at room temperature 

1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves

1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk 
1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips 
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla 

Spray bunt cake pan liberally with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder in the pan, and shake until the pan is coated with cocoa powder. Next, sprinkle breadcrumbs into the pan, and shake the pan again so the inside of the pan is coated with breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs are a good trick to make sure that you're pan is releasing the cake. I have had trouble with bundt cakes coming out of my lame pan before- this is an easy trick, and it does not affect the flavor or texture of the cake. Set the pan aside. 

Preheat oven to 350°, and make sure you have a rack in the middle of the lower part of the oven. In a medium bowl mix dry ingredients, which would be your flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk them slightly, and set aside. 

In another bowl, stir together the cocoa powder, chopped chocolate, pinch of salt and espresso powder. Make sure the bowl is heatproof. In a small sauce pan, heat the cup of water with the quarter cup of chopped tarragon leaves. Bring water to a boil, then cover the pan and turn off the heat. Let the tarragon steep in the hot water for at least 15 minutes. For stronger tarragon flavor, let sit for 30 minutes. When ready, pull out the tarragon leaves and squeeze any liquid from the leaves into the hot water. Discard the leaves, and if the water has cooled too much gently heat until it's hot again. Pour hot tarragon infused water into your chocolate mixture. Stir until the chopped chocolate has melted and everything is creamy and smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Once cooled whisk in sour cream into the chocolate mixture. Set aside.

Now we get things really rock'n. 
In a mixing bowl, beat the butter with both sugars and vanilla until light and creamy. Reduce the speed and add eggs one at a time, until each is well combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl as you add each egg. The batter will become really fluffy. Now reduce the speed to really low, and add 1/3 of your flour mixture. Beat slowly until just combined and add half of the melted chocolate mixture. Beat until just combined. Continue interchanging dry flour ingredients and wet chocolate ingredients, ending on the flour. Stop sometimes as you go, to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Be careful not to over work the batter. 

Pour that decadent batter gently and evenly into your waiting bundt pan. No licking of things until that baby is in the oven. Once it is safely in there, battle over bowl licking with your kid (I did).

Let it bake for about 50-60 min. A toothpick test should have crumbs on it, not wet batter. Once done, let sit on wire rack for 10-15 minutes, and then turn over and invert cake to a cooling rack to cool completely. You may need to run a dull butter knife around the sides to make sure it will come out. Make sure the cake is thoroughly cooled (about 3 hours) before drizzling.

Make the drizzles:

In a small saucepan, gently heat the condensed milk for the tarragon drizzle over medium heat. Add the vanilla and chopped tarragon, and mix. Let cool slightly until it thickens back up to a nice drizzle consistency. Drizzle the top of the cake using a teaspoon and a back and forth motion of your wrist.

In the same pan (a little tarragon in the second drizzle is not a big deal, but if you are a neater baker, get a clean sauce pan) heat the second batch of condensed milk. Add the chocolate chips and vanilla, and stir until all melted and smooth. Let cool again until the glaze thicken up to the right consistency for drizzling. Drizzle over the cake and your first drizzle work, but let some of the lighter colored drizzle peek through in places. The affect of the dark to the light white with green flecks is pretty and dramatic...and well, yummy.



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