i remember my first bake implement purchase. like all first-things, it was special. it was at a time i knew little of baking or baking implements. when i could not tell what a springform or pushpan meant, when i could not be bothered about bake pan dimensions. and so i happened to pick a bundt pan. it looked fancy, i had no idea what would follow. i remember bringing it home and now that i had one, being motivated to bake. i picked a simple vanilla and chocolate marble cake recipe. i did not line the tin almost assuming my cake to slide off its nonstick slick surface when finished. i remember struggling to get the hot cake off in one piece, which to no surprise came off in pieces of assorted shape and size, with the bottom, burnt and stuck to the pan. i remember thinking what an oddly shaped cake the pan made, not knowing it was an upside down pan. and the rest is history.
so treasured as it were, the bundt pan found its place at the back of my store cupboard not wanting to make an appearance for long. until many years today when i felt nostalgic wanting to bake a bundt cake, this time for real, with having gained the necessary expertise a home baker ought to. and so, it happened. i chose a chocolate fudge bundt cake recipe from king arthur flour. the cake baked beautifully and came out marvelously in one piece. if it helps to know, i prepared the pan with a coating of vegetable oil followed by a dusting of cocoa powder.
coming to the cake now, this seemingly simple recipe makes for a surprisingly sophisticated cake with its dome shape and a ganache for its crown. i did not make the ganache though, i thought the cake was good even without it. this cake is incredibly moist and fudgey from the yogurt and tastes even better on the second day, that’s if it lasts that long. it keeps well too in an airtight container. it has just the right amount of chocolate to it though i now think that the ganache may have just accentuated the flavor a bit more.
i’m looking forward to putting my bundt pan on centre stage now on. it made for a good purchase after all.
- 1 cup brewed coffee
- 1 cup / 225g unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, dutch-processed cocoa preferred
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt (regular or Greek), full-fat preferred
- preheat the oven to 350°F / 180degC
- to make the cake: place the coffee, butter, and cocoa in a small saucepan or microwave-safe bowl. heat, stirring, until the butter melts. remove from the heat, and whisk until smooth. let the mixture cool for 10 minutes.
- while the chocolate is cooling, put the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flour into a mixing bowl, whisking to combine.
- pour the cooled chocolate mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients, and mix until thoroughly combined. scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, and mix again to incorporate any residue.
- in a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, eggs, and sour cream or yogurt. mix into the chocolate batter, stirring until thoroughly combined.
- thoroughly grease a 10- to 12-cup bundt pan, preferably non-stick. pour the batter into the prepared pan. bake the cake for 50 to 55 minutes, until a long toothpick or skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Note: a pan with a dark interior will bake the cake more quickly; start checking at about 40 minutes.
- remove the cake from the oven, wait 5 minutes, and turn the pan over onto a cooling rack. after 5 more minutes, lift the pan off the cake. let the cake cool completely before icing.
- to make the icing: combine the chocolate and cream in a microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over medium heat. heat until the cream starts to bubble around the edges.
- remove from the heat, and stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. spoon the icing over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides.
- store any leftover cake at room temperature, well wrapped, for several days. freeze for longer storage.