A few weeks ago I hopped in a car and drove 2 hours north to a small town called Solvang where I checked into a cozy little hotel and put on a robe (my favorite part) and was then scurried off to dinner (not in the robe, I put on real clothes) on a vineyard. Not the usual Monday around these parts but I reveled in being outdoors, tasting wine and food for a few hours straight.
This was all in honor of ALDI grocery stores coming to Southern California. I’m visiting my first ALDI store in a few weeks and can’t wait to show you more. I’m excited about the extensive organic products they have, especially organic butter and organic dairy (my two most expensive splurges in any given week).
In the meantime, here’s a little bit about my experience at the dinner and how it inspired this recipe for a Chocolate Bundt Cake with Almond-y Cream Cheese Frosting.
We arrived and I was immediately handed a glass of wine. There was a short tour of the vineyard.
Shortly after we sat, we started nibbling on fruit and cheese (my favorite:
Specially Selected Pepperoni Marinara Hand-Crafted Cheese —tasted like pizza!). And then there was more wine, cauliflower steak, meat-y steak, and naturally my favorite course was dessert. All of it was prepared by Bon Appétit’s Chef Mary Nolan using ALDI ingredients.
The dessert was a piece of sky-high chocolate cake with almond cream cheese filling.
After we ate some more, I walked around the vineyard and stared at the sun going down—so beautiful! And I kept thinking about that slice of cake.
Let me tell you about this cake: it’s simple (nearly a one bowl chocolate cake) that doesn’t require a mixer or anything fancy. It’s super moist and chocolate-y and the cream cheese, almond-y frosting is marzipan-y without going overboard. It’s best made for dinner or brunch and served and divided amongst all your favorite people. Serve it with coffee or glasses of cold milk.
- Carlini Canola Oil Cooking Spray
- 2 1/2 ounces Baker’s Corner Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 1/2 cup Friendly Farms Buttermilk, shaken
- 1/3 cup Carlini Olive Oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup SimplyNature All Purpose Organic Flour
- 1/2 cup Baker's Corner Granulated Sugar
- 1/4 cup Baker’s Corner Baking Cocoa
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Baker’s Corner Baking Soda
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Iodized Table Salt
Almond Cream Cheese Glaze:
- 1/4 cup Countryside Creamery Creamy Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
- 3 ounces Happy Farms Soft Spread Cream Cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup Baker’s Corner Powdered Sugar, sifted
- Pinch of salt
- 3 to 4 tablespoons Friendly Farms Buttermilk, or milk!
- 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 2 to 3 almonds, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 6-cup bundt pan with cooking spray and set aside. In a small bowl, add the chocolate chips and microwave until melted, about 1 minute. Alternatively you could melt it over a double-boiler. Set aside.
- Measure out the warm water, buttermilk and olive oil in a measuring cup. Whisk in the egg and reserved melted chocolate.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, espresso powder and salt. Pour in the warm water mixture and mix until combined. The batter will be thin. Pour into the prepared bundt pan and transfer to the oven to bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, add the butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, salt, buttermilk and almond extract. Beat with a hand-mixer until smooth. The texture should be pourable yet thick. If it’s too thick, feel free to add an additional tablespoon or two of buttermilk or milk.
- Cool the cake in the pan for about 15 minutes. Run a sharp knife along the outside and invert onto a cooling rack. When the cake has completely cooled, pour the glaze all the way around and smooth it out with an offset spatula or butter knife. Sprinkle with a few crushed almonds.
(This post is sponsored by ALDI. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that keep A Cozy Kitchen cozy.)