K. I made my first bundt cake for a friends birthday last night. An amazing recipe made with plenty of cocoa, butter and chocolate stout (yes.) I was so excited. I was doing a great job. Just floating around the kitchen really and thinking to myself...wow, I've really got this baking thing down.
The recipe cautioned against over-baking the cake. So, I was on guard. Checking it with a knife every 4-5 minutes towards the end. I thought the knife came out clean that last time. I pulled out the cake, let it cool for 7 minutes, and turned it out of the pan. The top came out nicely, and then there was an audible "gush" sound as mounds of batter came pouring out all over the place. All over me, the counters, the floor, the puppy (who was under my feet.) Not quite cooked, perhaps???!!! YA THINK?????????
I made it again. I did it in that peaceful Zen way. The one in which lips are tight, teeth are clamped, not one word is uttered and measuring cups are set down just a little too loudly. This is the Zen way for tired mothers and (evidently) amateur bakers. It's hella peaceful.
Anyway, the (2nd) cake did turn out. Pretty well, at least. I did not frost it correctly...looking again at the recipe it showed only the top of the cake was to be frosted. And that explains why I ran out of frosting half-way through. See, the cake just could not turn out perfectly correct. That would be asking waaaayyy too much. Luckily it was dim in the room and the cake was covered with flowers and no one could see the lapses of frosting.
I was really done with the cake and wanted nothing more to do with it. I looked at it across the room with slight irritation all evening. I think I shook my head at it and glared. Just a little.
I heard it was crazy delicious.
Chocloate Bundt Cake (taken directly from Heidi Swanson's Cookbooks 101.)
2 cups / 475 ml chocolate porter or stout beer
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
3/4 cup / 75g natural cocoa powder (non-dutched)
1 cup / 5 oz / 140 g whole wheat flour
1 cup / 4.5 oz / 125 g all-purpose flour
1 cup / 4.25 oz / 120 g muscovado or dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups / 355 ml plain whole yogurt
3/4 cup / 180 ml pure maple syrup
Chocolate Buttermilk Icing:
3/4 cup / 2.75 oz / 75 g powdered sugar
1/4 cup / 25g natural cocoa powder (non-dutched)
2 tablespoons buttermilk
flaky sea salt, to serve
Preheat oven to 350F / 180C, with a rack in the center.
Butter and flour (generously) a 11 or 12-cup capacity bundt pan (or equivalent). As I mention up above, you can bake this in other cake pans, just be mindful to avoid filling the pan(s) more than 2/3 - 3/4 full. Adjust the baking time as well - baking until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, and the center tests clean when you insert a knife.
In a saucepan simmer the beer down to 1 cup / 240 ml. Remove from heat, add the butter and stir until melted. Stir in the cocoa powder, mixing until smooth, then set aside to cool, stirring occasionally to let off heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, yogurt, and maple syrup. Whisk well, until nicely blended and uniform in appearance. Gradually add the (cooled) stout mixture, stirring all the while. Stir until well blended. Add the flour mixture, folding until just blended, using as few strokes as possible.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 35 - 45 minutes if using the bundt pan, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. You really don't want to over bake this cake - err on the slightly moist side if anything. Remove from the oven, and turn out onto a cooling rack after seven minutes.
In the meantime, make the icing by whisking together the powdered sugar, cocoa, and buttermilk. Really go at it for at least a minute. The icing should end up smooth and creamy looking, adjust with a touch of powdered sugar or a few extra drops of buttermilk if you want to tweak the consistency at all. When the cake is completely cool, run the icing around the top with an offset spatula and let it set.
Serve sprinkled with a bit of flaky sea salt. But don't sprinkle with flakes of salt until ready to serve, or you'll end up with little divots (see photos :)...
Makes one chocolate bundt cake.
Prep time: 25 min - Cook time: 45 min