Bake: Use up the extra chocolate with a Bundt cake

The best thing is the bundt mixture cooks more evenly than with normal cakes

When it is cooled fully it is ready to cover with chocolate ganache. Photograph: Harry Weir

When it is cooled fully it is ready to cover with chocolate ganache. Photograph: Harry Weir

 

Recently, I broke my rule of keeping things simple in my home kitchen. Normally I try not to accumulate too much kitchen stuff – unnecessary bakeware and gadgets that get forgotten at the back of the press. However, on this occasion I was beguiled by an array of lovely kitchenware in the aisles of my local discount supermarket. Either the display was particularly appealing or I was in need of some retail therapy because I left with a complete set of sparkling copper saucepans and a Bundt cake tin. To justify this impulse buy, I’ve been making Bundt cakes. I am happy to say I don’t regret my purchase now.

Bundt cakes have a beautiful simplicity. When you turn them out they form attractive moulded patterns. The best thing is the mixture cooks more evenly than with normal cakes, so less worries about sunken centres (which is what puts most people off baking cakes). The downside is the tricky challenge of keeping the surface pattern intact as you ease the finished cake from the tin. There are a few handy tips to assist with this task. First, always buy a non-stick Bundt tin. To start, avoid very intricate patterns with too many nooks and crannies which make the cake more likely to get stuck. Don’t buy a second hand tin no matter how much the vintage appeal as it might have suffered a few too many scratches. Prepare the tin well by greasing it very well (I use baking spray oil and I coat it liberally, but unscented oil is also good). Dusting the pan with flour (or sugar) after greasing is another worthwhile insurance policy. I often decide to make a chocolate cake when I have extra chocolate in the house, so once the Easter bunny has visited, this might be the weekend to try this quick and easy cake mixture, even if you don’t have a Bundt tin.

Chocolate Bundt cake

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 300g butter
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 180g dark chocolate, min 50% cocoa solids, chopped
  • 150ml freshly brewed strong hot coffee
  • 275g plain flour
  • 15g baking powder
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • unscented oil to grease tin (or grease spray)

Chocolate Topping

  • 50ml cream
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 30g white chocolate, melted  

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees fan. Grease a 22cm Bundt tin very well with grease spray (or unscented oil) and dust with flour or sugar. 

2. Combine butter, sugar, chocolate and hot coffee in a medium saucepan. Melt together over a low heat, stirring regularly. Once melted, remove from the heat and leave to sit for 15 mins to cool down slightly.

3. Sieve together the plain flour, baking powder and cocoa powder into a large mixing bowl. 

4. Using a hand whisk, gradually mix the wet ingredients into the sieved ingredients (whisk until all the flour is fully incorporated and no pockets of flour are left).  

5. Mix in the eggs. 

6. Pour the mixture into the well greased and floured Bundt cake tin until it is two-thirds filled. Bake for 30 mins in the preheated oven at 190°C fan, then reduce the oven temperature to 160°C fan and continue to bake for another 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes so the sides naturally pull away from the tin. 

7. To release the cake, place a wire rack over the top of the Bundt tin before inverting it so the edges of the cake fall away from the moulded inside. Use a thin plastic knife to ease out the cake if necessary. 

8. When it is cooled fully it is ready to cover with chocolate ganache, so heat the cream until piping hot and pour it over the dark chocolate pieces, stir until smooth and glossy. Refrigerate the chocolate ganache briefly before pouring it over the cake. Lastly, drizzle with melted white chocolate.

Variation: If you don’t own a Bundt tin, you can make this cake in a 20cm high sided round cake tin lined with parchment paper. Or use a 22cm springform tin, which is wider – the cake will be slightly flatter but just as delicious!

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