Perfect Chocolate Bundt
Makes 16 servings
If you think “perfect” is a bit much, I should note that I originally called this cake “Pluperfect Chocolate Bundt.” I am just that certain of its total awesomeness (so much so that I am slipping into skateboarder hyperbole as I write). I should back up and explain my goals in developing my chocolate Bundt: 1) an intense chocolate flavor; 2) a moist and tender crumb; and 3) still quick, easy and one-bowl. Done, done and done. Enjoy.
Tip: Use full-fat (not reduced-fat) sour cream. Reduced-fat sour cream will alter the taste and texture of the cake.
Variation:Mexican Chocolate Bundt
Add 1 1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon and 1⁄4 tsp cayenne pepper with the brown sugar. Omit the glaze and dust the cooled cake with 2 tbsp confectioners’ (icing) sugar.
10-inch Bundt pan, sprayed with nonstick baking spray with flour
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3⁄4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
(not Dutch process)
1 tsp instant espresso powder
3⁄4 cup boiling water
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream
3⁄4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tbsp vanilla extract
13⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
Chocolate Ganache Glaze
1. In a large bowl, combine chocolate chips, cocoa powder and espresso powder. Add boiling water and whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Let cool for 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
3. Add brown sugar, baking soda, salt, eggs, sour cream, butter and vanilla to cocoa mixture. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat for 2 minutes, until blended and fluffy. Add flour and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with a spatula. Beat on high speed for 1 minute.
4. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.
5. Bake in preheated oven for about 60 minutes or until a piece of uncooked spaghetti inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert cake onto rack to cool completely. Spoon glaze over top of cooled cake, letting it drizzle down the sides.
Store the glazed cake at room temperature in a cake keeper, or loosely wrapped in foil or plastic wrap, for up to 3 days. Alternatively, wrap the cooled, unglazed cake in plastic wrap, then foil, completely enclosing cake, and freeze for up to 6 months. Let cake thaw at room temperature for 4 to 6 hours before glazing and serving.
Makes 16 servings
I have a minor obsession with orange marmalade. I’ll spread it on just about any baked good, stir it into finishing sauces for chicken and fish, and warm it up to drizzle over pancakes and waffles. But this easy layer cake is my favorite way to enjoy it. The marmalade keeps the cake layers incredibly moist, and the orange cream cheese frosting is, well, the icing on the cake. This cake makes a perfect ending to a holiday meal — and it will remind you why, in days past, good little children often found oranges hidden in the toes of their Christmas stockings
Tip: When assembling the cake, if you’ve trimmed the layers (see page 25), place the bottom one cut side up and the top one cut side down.
Preheat oven to 350°F
Two 9-inch round metal baking pans, sprayed with nonstick baking spray with flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1⁄2 tsp ground nutmeg
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, melted and
1⁄2 cup buttermilk
13⁄4 cups orange marmalade, at room
temperature, stirred to loosen
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
1 cup golden raisins, roughly chopped
Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
(variation, page 264)
1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
2. Add eggs, oil, butter and buttermilk to flour mixture. Using an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat for 1 minute, until blended. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with a spatula. Beat on high speed for 1 minute. Gently stir in marmalade, pecans and raisins.
3. Spread batter evenly in prepared pans, dividing equally.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 38 to 43 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge of pans, then invert cakes onto rack to cool completely.
5. Place one cake layer, flat side up, on a cake plate or platter. Spread 3⁄4 cup of the frosting evenly over bottom layer. Top with the second cake layer, flat side down. Spread the remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
Store the frosted cake in the refrigerator in a cake keeper, or loosely wrapped in foil or waxed paper, for up to 3 days. Alternatively, wrap the cooled, unfrosted cake layers individually in plastic wrap, then foil, and freeze for up to 6 months. Let cake layers thaw at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours before frosting and serving.