Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lord of the Chocolate Cake II: The Twin Bundts

Hello, readers. Why still no pictures, you ask? Oh lemme tell you, you would not want to see the last two bundt cakes I made. I PAM'd the hell out of them, dusted with cocoa powder and still they stuck in the pans -- WTF!! They were almost Cake Wrecks material, and I couldn't bear to share that with you. It's possible the addition of the chopped chocolate to the batter is a terrible idea, and the cakes were back to being on the wet side. It may even be advisable to lower the oven temp. and bake longer than suggested. So without further ado, here's the latest recipe-in-the-works attempt at the GREATEST CHOCOLATE CAKE IN THE WORLD, using Fine Cooking's Chocolate Stout Cake as the basis.

The Great Chocolate Stout Cake Experiment v1.0
1-1/4 cups stout
1/3 cup mild molasses and dark corn syrup
7-1/2 oz. (1-2/3 cups) all-purpose flour
2-1/4 oz. (3/4 cup) unsweetened natural cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed); more for the pan
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
10 oz. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar (or white sugar)
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup sour cream
6 oz. semisweet chocolate, very finely chopped (pulsed in a food processor works well)

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350ºF. Spray PAM or other no-stick baking spray in a large nonstick bundt pan and lightly coat with sifted cocoa powder. Tap out the excess cocoa.

In a microwave, bring the stout and molasses to a simmer (note: I don't really see the need for this step, but did it anyway). Dissolve the baking soda in the mixture and let cool while preparing the cake batter.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. With a stand or hand mixer, cream the butter in a large bowl on medium speed until smooth, then add the brown sugar and beat on until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stop to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the eggs one at a time, stopping to scrape the bowl after each addition. With the mixer on low speed, alternate adding the flour and stout mixtures, beginning and ending with the flour. Stop the mixer at least one last time to scrape the bowl and then beat at medium speed until the batter is smooth, about 20 seconds. Fold in the sour cream and finely chopped chocolate.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly with a rubber spatula and wiggling the pan to level the batter. Bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out nearly clean, 50-60 minutes. Set the pan on a rack to cool for 20 minutes. Say a prayer to the cake gods and invert the cake onto the rack and remove the pan. Without crying, remove the stuck parts out of the pan and press back onto the cake as decoratively as you can. Let cool until just barely warm, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap if not serving right away; if serving, sift powdered sugar over the top if the cake is pretty; if it's a wreck (and it probably is), opt to drizzle a lot of ganache over the whole thing.


  1. Well, it certainly sounds good:) I had good luck "flouring" a pan w/cornstarch. I wiped a thin layer of shortening in the Bundt pan and then tapped corn starch around in it. For a chocolate cake, try adding a couple of tablespoons of cocoa powder to the corn starch. It might not be completely perfect, but it worked way better for me than flour/cocoa powder. I also love Wilton's Cake Release. The kind you squirt in and smear around with a brush. That stuff is magic!

  2. So I don't know you really, but just saw this and I have the same problem if I don't remove the cake from the pan pretty quickly. Let it cool on a wire rack not in the pan.

  3. Someday I'll have to post the final version of this cake!! It has buttermilk powder in it and um... anyway, the "baker's grease" tip from onlinepastrychef was the best thing ever. It solved my sticking problem and my new rule is to use it for baking in nonstick pans. It works great for electric waffle irons, too.