Tuesday, February 2, 2010

{TWD} Milk Chocolate Mini-ish Bundt-ish Cake


You've probably heard the saying that "close only counts in horseshoes." No matter how much wisdom might be contained in those words we can add something else to the list: Dorie Greenspan's Milk Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes. I stayed close on this week's Tuesday's With Dorie assignment: close to a bundt, close to the specific mini-size, and close to the ingredients, and ended up with a cake that definitely counted as a winner!

n.o.e.'s notes:

- You can find the recipe for these mini-cakes by clicking over to Kristin's post on her blog I’m Right About Everything (can you think of a better name for a blog?) or you can find it on pages 188-189 of Dorie Greenspan's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours.

- The recipe is written to be baked in a specialized mini-bundt pan, which resembles a large muffin pan, but with six little bundt-shaped indentations for 1 cup of batter each. I own my fair share of specialty pans, and have doubled or tripled my collection of baking pans since joining Tuesdays With Dorie back in 2008. But alas, that is one pan that I do not own, and I drew the line at purchasing it for this recipe. Instead, I used turned to some mini-angel food cake pans that I'd purchased on impulse and never used to date. My pans were larger than the mini bundts that Dorie contemplated but I decided the size and shape were close enough.

- I also drew the line at baking a partial recipe, since I was still busy fobbing off Cocoa-Nana Loaf onto unsuspecting relatives at the time I baked this next chocolate cake. As it turned out 1/3 recipe fit perfectly into one of my 1.5 cup mini-angel food cake pans.


- Early reports about this cake tended to contain the word "dry" which is never a good thing for a chocolate cake. To ensure that my cake was nice and moist, I replaced half the butter with oil and added generous dollop of full fat plain yogurt (1 T for my 1/3 recipe). Very close, wouldn't you say?

- The streusel-like swirl sounded delicious in this cake, and I thought adding cocoa nibs to the nut filling (pecan in my case) would taste even better. I also used dark cocoa powder to dust the nuts and nibs. Close, but just a bit crunchier, and chocolaty-er.

- One thing I've learned about putting a swirl layer in the middle of a cake is to stop the swirl before getting to the edges of the pan, if possible, which helps the cake to hold together when it is unmolded. The mini-ish pan that I was using had a removable bottom, which made it easy for the cake to release from the pan.

- I didn't want to make the (optional) glaze for such a small cake, and was going to dust the top with powdered sugar and heap it with whipped cream, but I found some random gananche in the fridge/freezer, which I warmed, thinned with cream, and dripped over the cake. Pretty close to the feel of the original glaze, in my opinion. I sprinkled some cocoa nibs over everything.

- The cake got even more compact and moist with a day or two in the fridge.


the verdict:

This was a lovely, dense, mild chocolate cake. I loved the crunch and the chocolate kick from the swirl of cocoa nibs and nuts. The ganache provided a nice interplay of dark chocolate to balance the milk chocolate in the cake and the unsweetened cocoa nibs. The next day the cake was like a mild chocolate pound cake with frosting. A glass of milk was the perfect complement to the flavors of the cake. My "close" cake counted as a winner here!

24 comments:

vibi said...

Lol I find it funny you try to finish your cocoa-nana bread on unsuspecting guests! LOL It is indeed a chocolatey month!

Love the size you went for, the mold you used was totaly apropriate! And it turned out looking really nice! ...and super moist looking!

mike said...

Angelic. :) True, my little cakes practically fell apart when handling them... keeping the swirl away from the edge is key (easier said than done)! It looks wonderful - and love the addition of cocoa nibs... need to pick some of those up!

Leslie said...

These look fabulous as mini angel food-ish cakes! I love having random ganache, such good feeling when it's late and I want to be done with it and go to bed. Cocoa nibs would be a perfect crunch and help elevate the chocolate quotient.

Blackberry Jam Cafe said...

I've had a chocolate bundt cake on my mind lately and this mini-ish version sounds just right. Thanks for sharing.
Susan

Marthe said...

Oh my gosh, it sounds like I missed out on something good this week.... I had a cake decorating workshop and took a cake home with me so I chose not to make this....
Your cake looks soo good!

Bellini Valli said...

You just can't lose with a delicous cake like this to offer.

Mary Ann said...

Your cake is the most delicious looking one I have seen! The ganache glaze is perfect and the nibs look so crunchy and yummy.
I love your "close" version.

dharmagirl said...

i really shouldn't have skipped the swirl...

your cake is darling.

margot said...

I love the mini angel food cake, it looks fantastic! I thought the mild chocolate flavor was very pleasant, cacao nibs sound like a great way to get a deeper flavor in some bites.

Kayte said...

LOL on the random ganache you found...you have the most magical refrigerator and freezer of anyone I know. Voila and it appears! The cake looks great, I love the shape and the little bits on top. It was a big hit here, definitely worth a repeat.

natalia said...

ciao ! I love your bundt-ish cake !We loved it too !

Clivia said...

The streusal's not supposed to go to the edge of the batter? My cakes always look like the top's been cracked off and replaced. Thank you for pointing out something so obvious that I've always missed.
Your photos make this cake look as delicate as it sounds!

Engineer Baker said...

Mini angel food cake pans? How do I not have those yet?!? I love the addition of cacao nibs in the swirl layer - sounds delicious!

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Beautiful mini! You are a wonder with your cake math.

Maria said...

I love that you added cocoa nibs. Very nice!

Tracey said...

Great pictures Nancy! I love your mini angel food cake pans. I really wish we all lived closer so we could share pans. Think about all the money and space we'd save! Glad you enjoyed this one and lucky you for having some extra ganache in the freezer since Dorie's glaze was a bit problematic - it all looks fantastic!

Carol Peterman said...

I think you are the winner on this one. Your steps to ensure moistness were a good move. I swirled cocoa nibs too. I have been slightly obsessed with them lately.

AmyRuth said...

Very elegant little cake. I need to get on the greek yogurt band wagon. checked it out recently at my nearby grocery organic department. I used buttermilk which I like. Maybe its similar? Back to your cake. I like the kind of "sprinkles" you use, Nancy. Nibs surely provided the kind of interest and depth of flavor you were looking for. Great idea, you are so smart. Dorie would be proud. Can you imagine all the little cookies she is baking these days. We should all go help her. What a gas that would be!!! Anyway, great post as usual!!
AmyRuth

TeaLady said...

i haven't seen the mini angel food cake pan, but it was perfect for this cake. Looks delicious.

Steph said...

Don't we all have pans we bought on impulse and never use..haha!

Thanks for the tips nancy.

Di said...

Your little cake looks terrific! I love the idea of adding the nibs. I liked the cake plain, but I'll have to try it with the swirl at some point.

Sarah said...

Beautiful little cake, Nancy! It looks wonderfully moist, which mine certainly was not... Your glaze is perfect, and I absolutely love the nibs on there. Just gorgeous!

Cathy said...

Love your mini-ish bundtish cake! I think yours is more bundtish than mine was. I probably would have bought new pans if I had the opportunity! I love the changes you made to the cake. I really enjoyed this one way more than I expected to.

The Queen of Quite a Lot said...

It looks delicious! Thanks so much for baking with me this week!