chocolate fudge bundt cake

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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.

ingredients

  • 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

instructions

  1. preheat the oven to 350°F / 180degC
  2. 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.
  3. while the chocolate is cooling, put the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flour into a mixing bowl, whisking to combine.
  4. 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.
  5. in a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, eggs, and sour cream or yogurt. mix into the chocolate batter, stirring until thoroughly combined.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. store any leftover cake at room temperature, well wrapped, for several days. freeze for longer storage.

chocolate pound cake

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after having baked several versions of a simple pound cake, i craved for something more. and what better than chocolate? i’d been on the lookout for a good chocolate pound recipe for long, but most of them came with either buttermilk or sour cream, which for me are sure recipe turnoffs. ya, i know you could make your own buttermilk but somehow that hasn’t gone down quite well with me. and then sour cream. that’s not easy to come by either. i wanted something that could be whipped up with simple ingredients from my pantry, as always.

your hand and your mouth agreed many years ago that, as far as chocolate is concerned, there is no need to involve your brain. ― Dave Barry

this recipe from cook’s country makes the perfect chocolate pound cake. with no buttermilk, and no sour cream, hallelujah anyone?! it is now my go-to recipe for a chocolate pound cake that’s moist and decadent, with a tender crumb. try it, you’ll see!

adapted from Tracey’s culinary adventures


ingredients
1 cup or 150g all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder (i used Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa)
60g milk chocolate, finely chopped (i used Nestle’s smooth milk chocolate)
1/3 cup boiling water
1 cup or 225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup castor sugar
1/4 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 large eggs, at room temperature

instructions
Preheat oven to 325 F with a rack in the lower third. Spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray with flour or line with parchment paper.
Whisk the flour and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the cocoa powder and chocolate to a heatproof bowl, then pour the boiling water over them and stir until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is well combined and smooth. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a stand mixer, combine the butter, cooled chocolate mixture, both sugars, and the vanilla. Beat on medium to medium-high speed until very fluffy, about 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until completely incorporated. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, mixing just until combined. The batter might look curdled at this point, but that’s ok.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, smoothing the top into an even layer (the batter will almost completely fill the pan). Gently tap the pan on your work surface a few times to get rid of any air bubbles. Bake for 65-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool for 10 minutes, then turn it out of the pan and allow to cool completely.


i did not make the chocolate glaze as called for in the recipe. i thought it was great by itself. but if you must, a simple chocolate ganache would do. makes for a great trifle base too!

some shots from my Instagram account!

update april 9, 2016 :

i happened to bake this with carrefour’s 100% cacao and the result was a rich dark chocolate flavour. Hershey’s has taken a backseat for now.

      

simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication

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so goes the saying by the legendary Leonardo da Vinci. and a humble pound cake is just as much a reflection of the same. i believe there is goodness in the simplest of ingredients in transforming themselves into something exquisite. equal parts flour, sugar, butter and eggs is all you need to make a simple pound cake.

there’s something magical about the process of making a cake from scratch, a process that transforms a few simple ingredients; butter, sugar, flour and eggs – into culinary artistry –Tish Boyle

my first ever attempt at baking a pound cake was this marble cake by Rachel Allen. and at a time when i couldn’t tell unsalted from salted butter. or couldn’t be bothered with what creaming or folding the batter really meant. or that baking was as much a science as art. i remember having baked this in a bundt tin, my only bakeware at that point in time. i remember not having dusted my tin with flour and not having known that in the first place! and well, the rest is history… i then slowly but surely graduated to baking this Nutella swirl pound cake in a loaf tin. and then this in a springform tin. yes, i had begun to invest in bakeware by then.

much later when i was into my prime, i came across this plainly perfect pound cake by Tish Boyle. and one fine day when my colleague at work brought me a box of strawberries, i knew the time had come to bake this. so here goes, the perfectly plain or plainly perfect pound cake, as you like it.

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ingredients
200g plain flour
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
225g unsalted butter (softened at room temperature)
250g castor sugar
4 large eggs (at room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla extract
80ml heavy cream

instructions
preheat your oven to 170C.
sift flour with baking powder and salt and set aside. cream butter in a mixer at medium high speed until creamy (about 2 mins). add sugar gradually and continue beating for 4 mins until light and fluffy.
reduce the mixing speed of the mixer to low and add eggs one at a time mixing until well mixedthe vanilla extract. add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating it with cream (added in 2 additions). pour into a parchment lined 9″x 5″ pound cake tin and bake for 60-70 mins or until the cake turns brown and a testing skewer comes out clean.


there was another version of this pound cake that i happened to bake a year ago when i realised i had run out of cream. it was this condensed milk pound cake.


the plainly perfect pound cake is great by itself, but if you must, you could have the following accompaniments;

  • whipped cream and berries
  • berry coulis / compote
  • yoghurt / honey / custard / caramel
  • Nutella / chocolate fudge
  • also works as a great cake base for a trifle