chocolate bundt cake + cats of the sea

Monday, May 2, 2011
It was our anniversary over the weekend.

First year. Not such a big one, but my mother did thank the husband for staying married to me for a year. He laughed. My mother, the jokester.

We thought about going for a fancy pants dinner to our favourite Italian restaurant, but then I thought well, I have to work the next day, it'll no fun if I have a food/wine hangover.

What can you do on beautifully, sunny Sunday afternoon in Vancouver ?

Why go to the Aquarium silly.

After a lovely brunch, looking over our beautiful English bay, 2 mimosas down, I was ready to see some fish.

the view. sigh, I love this place.

There's alot more than large salmons and sea stars at the aquarium. My attraction was definitely the otters. Ever since I was a young girl, I've loved them. Little furry swimmers with their little black noses and constant grooming. They're the cats of the sea! I kept proclaiming that to the husband as the day went on.

There were also the beluga whales,

And the white sided dolphins, the harbour porpoises,

A giant sea turtle,

Harbour seals and a crocodile.

Jellyfish creep me out.

We saw this lion showing his colours on our way home.

It was a great anniversary, can't wait for the next one.

Oh and I made a cake. It was amazing. Rich, deep with chocolate AND it helped get rid of all our Easter  chocolate. Double win.

Chocolate Bundt Cake
[ from Joy the Baker ]

1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon brewed coffee
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
1 1/4 cups plus one tablespoon buttermilk
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
1/4 cup brewed coffee, cooled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and position rack in center of oven.

Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan, set aside.

Combine hot coffee and cocoa powder in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Remove from heat and let come to room temperature.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, combine the sugar, salt, baking soda, eggs and egg yolk on low speed until smooth and mixed well, about a minute. Add the buttermilk, oil and vanilla and mix on low again for another minute. Add flour and mix on medium for 2 minutes. Add cocoa mixture and mix on medium for 3 minutes. Batter will be very shiny, smooth and loose. Pour into prepared bundt pan and bake for about an hour or until tester comes out clean.

Let cool completely in pan before inverting onto a baking rack.

To make glaze, put chocolate in a heatproof bowl and over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate until pieces have been melted and mixture is smooth.

Melt butter in a seperate bowl usuing the microwave (or in a seperate pan). Whisk melted butter and melted chocolate together until thoroughly incorporated. Sift in half the powdered sugar, add the sour cream and whisk to combine. Add the remaining powdered sugar and whisk until mixture thick and glossy. Finally, add the coffee and whisk to create a smooth glaze.

Pour glaze over cooled cake, leave at room temperature until ready to eat. Store any leftover glaze in the fridge and heat slightly before using.