Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Baby Got Bundt

Every Christmas Eve, my husband and I go out to dinner together then drive around to look at Christmas lights. This year my poor husband didn't get home from work until 9:30 pm, so I went out with my parents, my sister, and my nephew to a yummy Italian place. After a lovely dinner, we drove around to look at Christmas lights then came back to my house for a homemade dessert and our annual ornament exchange.

After a big carb-filled Italian dinner, the last thing I wanted was something cloyingly sweet or super heavy. But everyone told me they wanted something chocolaty for Christmas Eve dessert. My solution? A simple but delicious chocolate Bundt cake.

I got the recipe (below) from The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book and didn't make any changes. It turned out to be a very moist, chocolaty cake that was plain, simple, and delicious.


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
1 teaspoon instant espresso or instant coffee
3/4 cup boiling water
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks and softened
2 cups packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Prepare a prepare a 12-cup Bundt pan per the note below. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and baking soda together and set aside.
  2. In another medium bowl, combine the cocoa, chocolate, and instant espresso. Pour the boiling water over the top, cover, and let sit until the chocolate is melted, about 5 minutes. Whisk the mixture smooth and set aside to cool. When cool, whisk in the sour cream and vanilla.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, until combined, about 1 minute. (The batter may look curdled.)
  4. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in one third of the flour mixture, followed by half of the chocolate mixture. Repeat with half of the remaining flour mixture and all of the remaining chocolate mixture. Beat in the remaining flour mixture until just incorporated.
  5. Scrape the batter into the prepared Bundt pan and smooth the top. Wipe any drops of batter off the sides of the pan and tap the pan gently on the counter to settle the batter. Bake the cake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 50 to 60 minutes, rotating the pan halfway though baking.
  6. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then flip it out onto a wire rack. Let the cake cool completely, about 2 hours, before serving.
A note about preparing a Bundt pan:
To ensure that your cake comes out of the Bundt pan neatly, follow this awesome trick:
  • Mix together 1 Tablespoon melted unsalted butter with 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder (or flour if you are making a non-chocolate Bundt cake) to make a paste.
  • Use a pastry brush to thoroughly coat the entire Bundt pan--don't forget to do all the sides, the nooks and crannies, and the center tube
Other notes and variations:
  • Trust your electric mixer and really give it time to do its job. Don't rush the mixing process in step 3.
  • Don't leave the coffee out of this cake. The only way I like coffee is in a mug with no cream or sugar; I am not a fan of coffee-flavored stuff. However, in this recipe the coffee enhances the richness of the chocolate and doesn't leave behind a strong coffee flavor.
  • Serve the cake with whipped cream, if you like that sort of thing.
  • You could probably play around with some of the flavors in this. You could add orange, almond, or other types of extract.
  • If you want to get fancy, you could probably frost or glaze this cake, but that takes away from its simplicity.


phairhead said...

poor mr. king working like a slave before xmas : (

cake looks so pretty!

Anonymous said...

Hubby must have been thrilled to have this treat waiting for him at home!

the ATK Family Cookbook is a fave - I'll bet the baking book is just as good.

Lydia said...

I'll have to check out the family cookbook. I love the atk people!