We got our first snow yesterday. With temperatures plunging into the minus, this time of the year has to be my favorite. It’s also officially the season for Christmas and the coming of Sinterklaas. I live in Holland, and I am told almost only in Holland, Sinterklaas is celebrated. And every 5 December, Sint Nicolaas, arrives at the front door, of every home to deliver the goodies! I love this tradition. All the waiting for him to arrive and my seven year old’s delighted face when someone knocks on the door. The dash to the front door and, lo and behold, there are bags full of presents lying at the front door.
But does anyone give anything back to dear Sint Nicolaas I wondered? So I decided to bake him a cake in return for all those lovely gifts.
Chocolate Cake with Cranberries
For the cake
230 gms butter
1/3 cup dutch cocoa powder
1 cup strong coffee
2 cups all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream
Heat the oven to 175 degrees Celcius (350 degrees Fahrenheit). Butter and flour your cake tin. I’ve used a bundt form but you can use any form you have at home. A round cake tin will perhaps look better with the cranberries on top, but hey it’s totally up to you! Combine the butter, cocoa and coffee in a saucepan on medium heat. Stir well and when all is combined and melted, set aside to cool. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, sugar and baking soda. Pour the butter mixture onto the flour mixture and combine well.
Add the eggs one at a time, whisking until well combined. Add the sour cream and whisk until smooth.
Pour the batter into your prepared cake tin and bake until a toothpick or knife comes out clean. I baked mine for 53 minutes to perfection. You could bake between 50 to 60 minutes. Let the cake cool for about 20 minutes before you invert onto a rack. Let the cake cool completely before you glaze.
for the glaze
80 gms dark chocolate (broken into pieces)
1/3 cup heavy cream
Heat the cream in a saucepan till its very hot but not boiling. Don’t forget to stir constantly. Turn off the burner and drop your pieces of chocolate. Let it stand for a minute. Stir or whisk till smooth. If the glaze is a tad thin, let cool till it thickens on its own. Pour over cake.
handful of cranberries or as many as your heart desires!
3 tbsps of sugar
Cook the cranberries with the sugar in a saucepan on medium heat for about 3 minutes. The idea is not for them to fall apart. Drain water and let cool before dropping on your cake. Strew them all on to the still somewhat warm chocolate sauce you just poured on your cake! Sprinkle with powdered sugar just before bringing your show stopper out.