Showing posts with label #Bundtamonth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #Bundtamonth. Show all posts

Friday, September 6, 2013

Triple Chocolate Mini Bundts #Bundtamonth

Deep chocolate mini Bundt cakes covered in semi-sweet and white chocolate then sprinkled with silver dragees are pretty, but not too pretty to eat!

How does one celebrate the one-year birthday of the Bundt-a-Month challenge?  Well, by baking more Bundts, of course.  My daughter and I were discussing this month’s “fancy” theme for this first anniversary, and she suggested that I didn’t need a fancy Bundt at all, just stick a flowering plant in it!
  After all, that was good enough for an engagement celebration on My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Anybody else LOVE that movie?  I could watch it over and over.  Just as funny each time.

While I acknowledged the truth in that, I wanted to make something pretty, something special.  So it had to be chocolate.  Dark chocolate.  And white chocolate.  And with silver balls.  Because those have always said PARTY to me, even if they do want to break your teeth.  They are like sprinkles for grownups.

When it came time for decorating, I couldn’t decide on a pattern so I just went a little crazy, drizzling on both chocolates and having a wild time.  I don't know when to stop, but more is more, right?  No two little Bundts are alike, but they sure looked pretty all together.  Like I imagine a dessert table set out with all the BundtaMonth Bundts would look, if we could ever get them all in one place.  Maybe for the second anniversary?   Make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom to see what my fellow bloggers have baked for you, along with our hosts, Anuradha from Baker Street and Lora from Cake Duchess.

The batter for these little cakes is slightly adapted from Molly Wizenburg’s recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes in her fabulous book, A Homemade Life.

For the cakes:
2 oz or 55g dark chocolate
1/2 cup or 120ml hot brewed coffee
1 cup or 225g sugar
3/4 cup flour plus 1 tablespoon for preparing pan
1/2 cup or about 40g unsweetened cocoa powder, plus 1 tablespoon for preparing pan
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup or 60ml canola oil
1/2 cup or 125g well stirred plain yogurt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

For decoration:
8 oz or 230g semi-sweet chocolate
4 oz or 115g white chocolate
1 tablespoon (or more!) dragees or little silver balls

Preheat oven to 325°F or °C.  Prepare your mini Bundt pan by spraying it liberally with non-stick spray or generously buttering it.  Put one tablespoon each of flour and cocoa powder in a sieve or sifter and sprinkle all over the pan, tipping it this way and that to make sure that all the insides of the little cups are covered.  Bang the pan gently on the cabinet and dump the excess out into your sink.  Set aside.

Chop the chocolate for the cake into small pieces and put it into the measuring cup with hot coffee.  Stir occasionally until the chocolate is completely melted.

Into a medium bowl, sift the cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Whisk in the sugar and flour.   Set aside.

For the best batter, electric beaters or a stand mixer with the K-beater in place is essential here.  In a large bowl, beat your egg on medium for a minute or two or until it becomes pale yellow.  Add in the oil, yogurt and vanilla, once again, beating well.

Gradually pour in the melted chocolate/coffee mixture and beat to thoroughly combine.

Add the dry ingredients all at once.  Beat on low speed until the batter is just combined.

Scrape down the sides and bottom to make sure all the flour is incorporated.

Divide your batter between the cups of your prepared mini Bundt pan, but don’t fill them more than two-thirds full.  If you have a little batter left over, it’s better to make a couple of extra cupcakes instead.  Your tasters will be happy.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Meanwhile, let your helper clean out the yogurt pot before recycling.

Cool your mini Bundts in the pan for about 10 minutes, then place a wire rack on top of the pan and carefully invert the pan and rack so that the little cakes can fall out.  If any don’t fall out, loosen them gently with a knife or toothpick and remove them one by one.

Allow the little cakes to cool completely before topping with melted chocolate.

For the decoration, break up your dark and white chocolate into smaller blocks (or chop if you need to) and put each kind in a separate microwave-proof bowl.  Zap them one at a time on high for 10-15 seconds, then stir and repeat until both of the chocolates are pourable.

You can drizzle these over the mini Bundts with a small spoon but I prefer to put the melted chocolate into cake decorating bags with small tips (Wilton no. 3, 4 or 5) for better control.

Have fun drizzling on the dark chocolate, followed by swirls of the white chocolate.  Sprinkle a few silver dragees in the middle to complete the festive party look.


Check out everyone else’s Bundt cakes if you are looking for fancy inspiration:

Since these are fancy little triple chocolate Bundt cakes, I am also submitting them to this month's We Should Cocoa anniversary challenge to create a show stopper, hosted by Choclette of Chocolate Log Blog. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Bellini Bundt Cake with Champagne Glaze for #BundtaMonth

On Tuesday morning, I woke up early to the terrible news that my grandmother had died.  If you’ve been reading along for a while, you’ve heard about Gram – here and here.  She was a spunky character with a wicked sense of humor and a warm heart.  She did not suffer fools lightly and she didn’t know how to say no to her grandchildren.  When we were little, she sewed our Easter dresses, threatening to put bricks on our heads to stop us growing between the time of first measurements and the finished outfits.  For Christmas she made the only fruitcake I would ever eat.  It was moist and full of pecans.  She fried her legendary chicken well into her eighties, despite assuring us all that she would quit when she reached that milestone because, and I’ll be honest, we begged.  It seems like just a few years ago, my cousin Simone and I coerced her into one more frying session, just so we could take notes and watch every step.  I don’t know about Simone, but I still cannot match that chicken.

It seems so normal today with our ubiquitous music from every device but Gram was the first person I remember ever listening to music on the radio as she worked in the kitchen.  I can’t hear the classic that starts, “Good morning, star shine” and continues something like “Dooby ooby walla, dooby abba dabba.  Early morning singing song,” without hearing her voice, singing along, stirring a roux or probably with chicken sizzling in the huge Magnalite roaster she used for frying.  Lid on, just barely cracked.  It occurs to me writing this that Gram, being born in 1913, was just a few years older than I am now, and listening to pop songs from the musical Hair.   No wonder she never seemed old to me, despite having natural white hair since she was in her thirties.  Even my other grandmother called her “the fun one” with just a little envy.

I went to visit her just a few weeks ago in the nursing home we had to call a rehab center because she refused to live in a nursing home.  She had fallen and broken her femur, endured surgery to repair the damage and was doing 100 minutes of physiotherapy a day, preparing to go home.  I walked in the second morning and she was in the physio room.  The therapist told her to show me what she could do and I’ll be doggone if my 99 1/2 year old grandmother didn’t bend right over and touch the ground!  My aunt was already busy organizing her 100th birthday party in December and, last I had heard, Gram was going to be released this Friday.  Then suddenly, she was gone.

In between looking for last minute seats on airplanes, I baked this cake the day I left Dubai for her funeral.  And since it calls for Champagne, we lifted a glass to Gram.  She was never a drinker but I think she would have appreciated the gesture.

We didn’t get to celebrate your 100th birthday, Gram, but I can assure you that we will celebrate your life, your love of family and the joy of good food cooked in a happy kitchen, leaning always on your good example.

For the cake
1 cup or 225g unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
2 cups or 450g sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
3 cups or 375g flour plus more for pan
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine salt
2 yellow peaches about 200g after peeling and pitting
2 white peaches –about 200g after peeling and pitting
1/2 cup or 125g peach yogurt
1/2 cup or 120ml Champagne or Prosecco or other dry sparkling wine

For the glaze
1/2 cup or 70g powdered sugar
2-3 teaspoons Champagne

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your Bundt pan by buttering it liberally and then shaking a couple of tablespoons of flour in it to coat.  Set aside.

Peel your peaches and dice two.  Puree the other two with a hand blender.  I chose to use white peaches for the puree since traditional bellinis were made with white peaches but, really, you can use all yellow, if that’s what you have.

Sift your flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of your mixer, cream the butter and sugar until yellow and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at time, beating well in between.

Add half of the flour and mix again.

Now add half of the yogurt and half of the peach puree.   Mix again.

Add the rest of the flour and mix and then the rest of the yogurt and peach puree.  And, you guessed it, mix.

Fold in the diced peaches.

Finally, fold in the Champagne.

Pour the batter in your prepared pan and bake for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Meanwhile, mix the Champagne one teaspoon at a time into the powdered sugar, until it is of good drizzling consistency.  I ended up using three teaspoons.

When the Bundt is baked, let it cool for 15 or 20 minutes and then turn it out onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Once the cake is cool, drizzle with the glaze.  I like to use a decorating bag with a tiny icing tip for prettier lines.

Serve with the rest of the bottle of the Champagne.


Craving more Bundt cakes with peaches?  Have a look at all of the other wonderful peachy Bundts the Bundt-a-month group has baked for you today.


Balsamic Peach Bundt Cake by Kate from Food Babbles

Bellini Bundt Cake with Champagne Glaze by Stacy from Food Lust People Love

Brown Sugar Peach Bundt Cake by Veronica from My Catholic Kitchen

Caramelized Peaches and Cinnamon Bundt Cake by Anuradha from Baker Street

Cream Cheese and Peach Bundt Cake by Kathya from Basic N Delicious

Frangipane Peach Bundt by Sandra from The Sweet Sensations

Momotaro Peach Boy Cake by Kim from Ninja Baking

Peaches and Cream Bundt Cake by Heather from Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks

Peach Bundt with Raspberry Jam Swirl by Holly from A Baker's House

Peachy Buttermilk Bundt by Anita from Hungry Couple

Peach Cinnamon Swirl Bundt Cake by Lora from Cake Duchess

Peach Spice Bundt Cake by Renee from Magnolia Days

Peach Streusel Bundt Cake by Anne from From My Sweetheart

Vinho Verde Pound Cake with Peaches & Blueberries by Laura from The Spiced Life

Even more Bundt fun!  Follow Bundt-a-Month on Facebook where we feature all our gorgeous Bundt cakes. Or head over to our Pinterest board for inspiration and choose from hundreds of Bundt cake recipes.

Join us in the month of August by adding your peachy Bundt to the linky tool below.

London-Unattached Favourite Blogs

This is my August blog post choice for Fab First Fridays, hosted by Fiona of London-Unattached, where we share our favorite post from the previous month.  Head on over and share yours! 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Double Glazed Caramel Mocha Bundt #Bundtamonth

Double Glazed Caramel Mocha Bundt is made with cocoa and coffee for a rich mocha cake covered first with caramel glaze and then drizzled with coffee glaze.

Let me start by employing a Texas phrase:  It wasn’t my first rodeo.  My father had lived in Indonesia and Brunei so I was familiar with the five pillars of Islam.  While staying with him, I often woke up to the call to prayer, sat patiently several times a day as sitcoms were interrupted by the televised version of the call to the faithful and dodged mosque traffic and haphazard parking on Friday afternoons.  The Muslims I met were gentle people, slow to anger, quick to commiserate and ever kind. 

But when we arrived in Abu Dhabi in 1987, I hadn’t actually lived through the holy month of fasting, the concentrated, collective weeks of introspection and prayer that are Ramadan.  And I must confess that I didn’t get it even then.  As expats, we went about our daily lives, working only in the morning from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. as businesses were closed in the afternoon.  The only Muslim in my little office was the big boss who actually lived in Oman and just came to visit occasionally.  I’d rush home to prepare the cooler with drinks and barbecue essentials and we would sail off in our small Prindle catamaran to a secluded, deserted island to feast where we would not offend anyone, or be seen flouting the law.  It was against the law to eat, drink or smoke in public, or even to appear to be eating.  I was careful not to chew gum, even in my car, lest the religious police pull me over.

While I always dressed modestly, during Ramadan I was even more careful to make sure knees and shoulders were covered.  After all, as a temporary resident of the UAE, my husband’s work permit and my work permit depended on conforming.  And it was a matter of respect. 

By our second year in Abu Dhabi, I had changed jobs and was in charge of public relations at the InterContinental Hotel.  Of course, tourists don’t stop arriving just because it’s Ramadan.  In fact, special Ramadan rates increased occupancy.  The fasting month is fixed as the ninth month in a lunar calendar so it moves back about 10 days every year in our calendar.  That year it was in April, right around the Easter holidays.  And since it’s still quite cold in the United Kingdom and most of Europe in April, they came in droves and checked into our hotel looking for fun in the sun, food and drink.  Yes, I’m talking alcohol and lavish buffets.

So how do you give people a normal holiday when all the restaurants and bars have to be closed from sunrise to sunset?  You get creative. 

Restaurants were partitioned so that inside sections could be curtained off from the public eye.  A suite on an upper floor was turned into coffee and tea room, including soft drinks and water, free to hotel guests.  And, of course, room service was busier than ever.  

But the biggest change for me was quietly observing the behavior of my Muslim co-workers.  Many, especially the gardeners and maintenance guys, worked their same long hours, despite not drinking or eating (and probably suffering for lack of nicotine!) all day.  I was impressed by their ability, for the most part, to remain cheerful and dedicated to the welfare of our guests.  Hey, I get crabby when I’m hungry and thirsty.  Crabbiness didn’t seem to be an issue here.  I am not saying that fasting was easy for them.  I am just saying that perhaps the burden is eased when you are doing it for a reason you believe in.  I cannot presume to guess. 

Over the past 25 years, I have been invited many times to take part in the sunset meal, called iftar in Arabic speaking countries and buka puasa in Malaysia, to break the daily fast during Ramadan.   It is always an honor. 

Today I’ve got a Bundt cake for you, a pretty dessert for the end of any special meal. You might have guessed from the title that the BundtaMonth theme from our lovely hosts, Anuradha from Baker Street and Lora from Cake Duchess is caramel. You would be right. Be sure to scroll down and see all the other lovely Bundts we’ve baked for you this month. 

And I’d like to say a special thank you to my fellow UAE blogger, +Sally Prosser of My Custard Pie, whose recent Ramadan post started my reminiscing.

Update:  I have received a lot of comments about Ramadan and living in a Muslim country and I am grateful for every one of you who have taken the time to share your thoughts and questions.  I invite you to read a blog post by a fellow blogger who lives in the Boston area but grew up overseas. As a child of Christian missionaries, raised in predominately Muslim Pakistan, she tries to bridge the gap of understanding.  Please read her post here. 

For the cake:
3/4 cup or 170g unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pan
3/4 cup or 170g sugar
1/2 cup or 100g dark brown sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 3/4 cups or 220g flour, plus more for the pan
1/4 cup or 20g special dark unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup or 120ml whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the caramel glaze:
1/4 cup or about 60g unsalted butter
1/2 cup or 100g light brown sugar, tightly packed
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/3 cup or 80ml heavy cream
1 cup or 125g confectioners’ sugar, sifted

For the coffee glaze:
1 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
1/2 cup or about 60g powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons cream

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.  Prepare your Bundt pan by rubbing the inside with butter or using a nonstick spray and then coating with a couple of tablespoons flour.  

Combine the flour, cocoa, instant coffee, baking powder and salt in a bowl.  In a measuring cup, add the vanilla to your measured milk.  Set both aside. 
Cream the butter and sugars together in a large mixing bowl.

Beat in the eggs, one at time, scraping down the sides of the bowl in between.

This one's egg number 3. 

Once the eggs are fully incorporated, add half of the dry ingredients mixture and beat to mix.

Add half of the milk and beat again until mixed.  Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.

Repeat the last two steps, using the last half of the dry ingredients and the milk.   Your batter is done! Spoon it into the prepared pan.

Bake for 45-55 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Remove your Bundt cake from the oven and allow to cool until the cake is pulling away from the sides of the pan a little.  Invert the cake on a wire rack and cool completely before starting to make the glazes.

Once your cake is cool, make the caramel glaze.  First measure and sift your 1 cup or 125g powdered sugar into a heatproof bowl.  

Cut the butter into a couple of pieces and place in a saucepan with the brown sugar, cream and salt.  After everything melts together, bring to a full, rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.   Boil for a quick minute then remove from the heat.

Pour this into your heatproof bowl with the powdered sugar and stir quickly with a wooden spoon.

Pour the glaze over your cooled cake.   Mine was a little too thick (I suspect I boiled it too long and have adjusted the boiling time here accordingly) so I ended up spreading it around further with a warm knife after pouring.  Do what you need to and make it look pretty.  Allow to set as you make the coffee glaze.

I smoothed it out even more after this. 

Put the powdered sugar for your coffee glaze and the instant coffee granules into a small mixing bowl.  Add two tablespoons of cream and stir vigorously.  I actually used a small, sturdy whisk.

Once thoroughly mixed, lift the whisk out of the glaze to see if it will drizzle successfully.  If it is too stiff, add more cream a teaspoon at a time, until it reaches drizzling consistency.  Depending on your instant coffee brand, the granules may take a while to completely dissolve.  Just keep stirring occasionally until they have.

Drizzle the coffee glaze on your cake with a small spoon or use an icing decorator bag and tip (or even a Ziploc bag with a small piece of the corner cut off.)  Allow the glaze to set.


Check out all the other lovely caramel Bundts: