After my bundt fail last month, there was no way I would miss out again. I caved and bought a bottle of Pam Baking spray, even though I hate the stuff. Between the propellants and additives, it’s enough to make me sick. But it works, and beautifully, too. The cake practically jumped out of the pan as I was gently turning it over onto the cooling rack. It couldn’t wait to break free of its confines and be the star of the show. And it looked gorgeous! Pam, you win. I guess you can be my friend after all.
This cake really is a star. Maybe a bit of a diva, with her deep, intense flavors, but never too much to handle. To really go over the top–be divalicious!–you have to add the boozy ganache drizzle. Mmmm… bourbon in the cake, bourbon in the ganache: life is good! I’d like to say that the bourbon was my spice of choice for this month’s task of making a spicy bundt cake (ha!), but it’s really the cinnamon I was after. Cinnamon is a winning flavor enhancer for chocolate, kicked up just a notch with that pinch of cayenne. And the aroma is better than Prozac. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. But it will surely enrich a ho-hum day when it fills your house with that lovely cinnamony smell while baking. I need this bottled in a perfume spray–forget flowery scents!
This is a *very* rich cake. If you want to tone it down a bit, you’re free to skip the ganache and just sprinkle on some powdered sugar. Divas can be a bit much, I know. If you’d like to keep the ganache but need to mellow her out a bit, the ganache’s sweetness will be dictated by the chocolate you use for it. So if you’re looking for something sweeter, use semi-sweet or milk chocolate. I like my divas strong and bitter… because that just seems appropriate.
- 5 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
- 2 Tablespoons instant espresso powder
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 cup bourbon (I used Maker's Mark)
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (16 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups vanilla sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips
- 6 ounces heavy cream
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon bourbon
- In a large heatproof bowl, microwave the unsweetened chocolate at 50% power in 1 minute intervals, stirring in between, until completely melted. Set aside to cool.
- In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, combine the espresso powder and cocoa powder. Add to it the boiling water and stir until dissolved.
- Add the bourbon, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and salt, stirring until well blended. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease and flour (or spray baking spray) evenly a 10-cup bundt pan and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on low/medium-low speed until light and fluffy. DO NOT RUSH THIS STEP.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, waiting until the first is fully incorporated before adding the next.
- Add the vanilla extract and baking soda, beating until incorporated.
- While the mixer is on low/medium-low speed, pour the melted chocolate into the bowl. Scrape the sides as needed to mix fully.
- Continue mixing, pouring in ⅓ of the espresso/cocoa powder/bourbon liquid. Mix until incorporated.
- Add 1 cup of flour and mix until incorporated. Stop and scrape sides of the bowl as needed.
- Pour in ½ the remaining liquid, mixing until incorporated. Repeat with the remaining 1 cup of flour, and then the last of the liquid.
- Remove bowl from mixer and stir in the chocolate chips.
- Pour into prepared bundt pan and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly touched. (If you're concerned about overflowing, you can put a parchment-lined baking sheet on the rack below the bundt pan.)
- Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes.
- Run a butter knife around the edges of the pan and then invert onto the wire rack. If the cake does not release easily, let it cool for another 5-10 minutes before trying again.
- Heat cream in a medium saucepan over medium to medium-high heat until it just starts getting bubbly.
- Place chocolate in a medium mixing bowl and pour the cream over it. Let sit for 5 minutes.
- Stir until smooth, then add the bourbon and stir until incorporated.
- Place a parchment-lined baking sheet under the cake, still on the wire rack, and drizzle the ganache over the cake as desired.
- Let sit for at least a half hour to firm up the ganache.
What is #BundtaMonth? An of Baker Street and Lora of Cake Duchess pick an ingredient or theme and we have to make a bundt cake recipe that utilizes it. Every month will be different. This time they had us select our favorite spice and make something with that. The sky was the limit!
Here are the other lovely bundts this month:Apple Bundt Cake with an Attitude by Deb | Knitstamatic Blueberry Cinnamon Bundt Cake by Anuradha | Baker Street Cardamom Bundt Cake with Rosewater Glaze by Paula | Vintage Kitchen Cinnamon Crown Bundt Cake by Renee | Magnolia Days Ginger Pear Bundt Cake by Holly | A Baker’s House Gingerbread Apple Cake by Lora | Cake Duchess Gram’s Fig Spice Bundt Cake with Buttermilk Glaze by Stacy | Food Lust People Love Italian Anise Bundt Cake by Karen | In The Kitchen with KP Maple Pecan Bundt with Maple Glaze by Jennie | The Messy Baker Blog Mexican Chocolate Bundt Cake by Alice Choi | Hip Foodie Mom Moroccan Inspired Olive Oil Bundt Cake with Ras El Hanout by Laura | The Spiced Life Nutmeg Bundt Cake by Dorothy | Shockingly Delicious Peach and Roasted Cinnamon Bundt Cake with Cinnamon Sugar by Kim | Cravings Of A Lunatic Spiced Dark Chocolate with Cinnamon Glaze by Kate | Food Babbles Spicy Chocolate Bourbon Bundt Cake by Carrie | Poet In The Pantry
Want to join in? Here’s how you can be a part of the #BundtaMonth party:
– Bake your Bundt for November following the theme – Spice.
– Post it before November 30, 2012.
– Use the #BundtaMonth hashtag in your title. (For ex: title should read: #BundtaMonth: Chocolate Cinnamon Bundt)
– Add your entry to the Linky tool below
– Link back to both Lora‘s and Anuradha‘s announcement posts
Can’t wait to see your spicy bundts! If you do participate, please let me know so I can check it out!