If you have never heard of Dorie Greenspan before, go and google her now and buy a couple of her books whilst you are there! She is amazing. I really really do love her books, her recipes, and she has recently launched her iPad app called “Baking with Dorie”! What I find most amazing about her is her ability to connect with you – not only through her wonderful stories before each recipe that makes you feel like you know her, but her ability to bring you into her kitchen! Her app seems a little steep for $15 considering there are only a handful of recipes which are already in her “Baking: From My Home to Yours” – but what her app does that others don’t have is a really detailed explanation of what she does each step of the way as she bakes, and importantly WHY. You really do need to visually see the texture of the mixture and the sound of the processor to really get it. She lets you into some of her secrets that most chefs and bakers don’t share! So even if you learn just one thing, for $15 it is definitely a worth while investment!
I love how Dorie seems so kind and warm and so honest – exactly what you would imagine someone who can do some pastry and baking magic should be like!
I had bought these mini bundt cake tins from a shop in Melbourne a few months back! They are the Nordic Ware bundt tins which unlike a lot of other ones, are nice and heavy and thick and are a metal grey colour rather than the dark grey of most tins. It’s almost a silver colour. They are meant to be one of the best tins available to make your bundt cakes.
Okay, so this recipe is adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Mini Milk Chocolate Bundt Cakes – because in my haste, I didn’t realise I didn’t have much Milk Chocolate, and the bar I had, which I had made up the remaining with some dark chocolate (70%), seized whilst I was trying to melt it in the microwave. I was obviously too impatient and microwaved it for too long. It turned into this messy chunk of grainy chocolate. Horrible. I did prefer dark chocolate anyway, and with the batter all ready for the melted chocolate, I could not give up now. I have a good stash of dark chocolate in my pantry at ALL TIMES (one never knows when you need to make a chocolate cake or chocolate chip cookies! Apparently I am always prepared for emergencies – I like to think I have a mini grocery shop at my finger tips!!!), so I just finished up the bar that I had already opened to top up the failed milk chocolate mixture. And you know what? The taste was amazing. I don’t think I could have had it any other way (I did add in a little caster sugar to the melted chocolate to taste as the original recipe had milk chocolate which is sweeter than dark chocolate).
The best thing was that because the chocolate flavour was so lovely, deep and rich, I could get away without the glaze or any icing sugar (I had run out of icing sugar and was too lazy to make the glaze!), and you wouldn’t have missed it! Plus I was afraid the glaze would take the limelight away from the lovely indents of the patterns of the bundt cake!
The end result was a dark chocolate, velvet, smooth and extremely tiny crumbed type of cake, that was moist and with each mouthful you took, you got closer to chocolate haven! (imagine if there was the chocolate glaze on it!!!).
Ingredients (adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Mini Milk Chocolate Bundt Cake – this recipe only made 4 mini cakes for me, although the recipe said 6! My mini tins had a capacity of 250ml).
3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk
150g dark chocolate (70%), melted and cooled – then I added a couple of teaspoons of caster sugar
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 teaspoons light corn syrup (I googled and a substitute can be golden syrup)
1 tablespoon chopped toasted pecans (optional)
Center a rack in the oven; preheat oven to 350°; generously butter a 6-mold mini Bundt pan. (be generous – especially if you are using a tin with all the intricate patterns on it)
Make the swirl: toss the nuts, cocoa, and sugar together in a bowl; set aside.
Make the cake: in a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together; set aside.
Working with a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes (always scrape down sides of bowl as needed when mixing).
Add in the egg; beat 1 minute; then beat in the vanilla (don’t be concerned if the mixture looks curdled as it will smooth out soon).
Decrease mixer speed to low; add in half the flour mixture, mixing only until incorporated.
Add in the milk, and when it is blended into the batter, add the remaining flour mixture, again mixing just to incorporate.
Add in the melted chocolate; mix to blend.
Fill each of the mini Bundt molds with a little batter, then divide the swirl mixture evenly among the molds; top off the Bundts with the remaining batter.
Bake 20-22 minutes or until test done (your knife comes out clean).
Transfer the pan to a rack; let rest for 5 minutes; then invert them onto the rack and let them cool to room temperature.
Make the glaze: melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water OR in a microwave oven (but be careful and do this in short bursts of 20s)
Stir in the corn syrup; using a small offset metal spatula or a table knife, spread the shiny glaze over the tops of the cooled Bundts, then scatter the nuts, if using, over the glaze.
Let the glaze set at room temperature; it will take about 15 minutes.