BUNDT LOVE: This easy-peasy chocolate cake is from Lucinda Scala Quinn’s book “Mad Hungry: Feeding Men & Boys” (Artisan, $18.95 soft-bound).
Quinn is the executive food director at Martha Stewart Living, and her recipes make scrumptious dishes. She writes that her friend Dolly gave her the recipe, and it is her go-to chocolate Bundt cake.
My Bundt Pan is beat up.
This one is fancy and shiny-new. Nice handles. I redeemed Blue Stamps to get mine. May be time for a new one.
Or, how about a dense chocolate cake with ground nuts and raisins soaked in Scotch?
DENSE AND SPIKED WITH SCOTCH: One of my favorite chocolate cakes is from a Simone Beck cookbook published in 1972. I’ve changed it over the years to suit my taste, but the heart of the confection has stayed true to the original.
Valentine’s Day calls for chocolate cake, right?
Dolly’s Chocolate Bundt Cake
Yield: 14 servings
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus butter for greasing pan
11/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose ? our
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup chopped semisweet chocolate
Optional: 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup finely chopped unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup (5 1/3 tablespoons) unsalted butter
2/3 cup heavy cream
Optional: 2 tablespoons rum or brandy
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter 12-cup Bundt pan.
2. For cake: In large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and vanilla. Scrape down sides of bowl. In separate bowl, whisk together ?our, cocoa, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Toss in chopped chocolate and walnuts (if using).
3. Into butter mixture, alternately add ?our mixture and buttermilk in 3 additions (ending with the ?our). Mix just until everything is blended together; don’t overmix. Spoon batter evenly into Bundt pan and smooth top of batter. Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan 8 minutes. Turn out onto cake plate to cool completely.
4. For glaze: Place heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Add glaze ingredients; stir to melt and combine. Drizzle over the top of the cooled cake and let the glaze set, 15 to 20 minutes, before serving.
Nutrition information (per serving): 672 calories, 65 percent of calories from fat, 48 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 56mg cholesterol, 51 g carbohydrates, 8 g protein, 744 mg sodium, 1.2 g fiber
Source: “Mad Hungry” by Lucinda Scala Quinn (Artisan Books, $18.95, softcover).
Scotch Whiskey Chocolate Cake
Yield: 12 servings
Butter and all-purpose flour for cake pan
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup Scotch whiskey
7 ounces German sweet chocolate, cut in small pieces, see cook’s notes
3 tablespoons water, see cook’s notes
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into 8 pieces
3 eggs, separated
2/3 cup granulated sugar
41/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, see cook’s notes
2/3 cup slivered blanched almonds, ground in food processor
Pinch of salt
6 ounces German sweet chocolate cut in small pieces
6 tablespoons powdered sugar
6 tablespoons butter
Cook’s notes: It takes only moderate heat to liquify chocolate. For foolproof results, melt chocolate over barely simmering water in a double boiler. Unless melted together, chocolate and water don’t mix; even a small drop of water can cause chocolate to “seize,” turning it into a tightened mass. For a lighter cake, use cake flour rather than all-purpose.
1. Butter bottom of an 8-inch round cake pan. Line with a round of waxed paper. Butter and flour paper and sides of pan, tapping upside down to remove excess flour. Adjust oven rack to middle position; preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In small bowl, combine raisins and scotch; set aside.
3. Place the 7 ounces chocolate in the top of a double boiler with the water and stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the butter pieces one at a time, incorporating each piece before adding the next.
4. In large bowl with electric mixer, beat yolks with the granulated sugar until thick and pale yellow. Combine with the chocolate mixture. In separate bowl, combine flour and ground almonds and add to batter. Stir in the raisins and scotch.
5. In electric mixer, beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff but not dry. Stir a third of the whites into the chocolate batter to lighten mixture, then fold all the chocolate batter into the whites. Pour into prepared pan and bake in a 375-degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes. When baked, the outside should be firm, but the center should remain moist. Remove from oven to wire cake rack and let cool in pan for 10 minutes; invert onto cake rack and remove pan. Let cool for several hours or overnight.
6. For icing: In double boiler, over simmering water, melt the 6 ounces chocolate. Stir in powdered sugar and 6 tablespoons butter a little at a time until well-blended. Place cake on serving plate or platter and spread icing on top and sides. I think the easiest way to do this is to pour most of the icing in the middle of the top of the cake, then use a frosting spatula, pushing in a spiral to let some of the icing flow down the sides. Use the spatula to smooth the spills over the sides to smoothly cover the sides. Allow frosted cake to set at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.
Nutrition information (per serving): 340 calories, 45 percent of calories from fat, 17g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 48 mg cholesterol, 40 g carbohydrates, 4 g protein, 355 mg sodium, 1.1 g fiber
I like to serve it over raspberry coulis, a sauce made with strained pureed raspberries and a little sugar.