I am so in love with this heart bundt pan. As many of you have figured out by now, I love bundt cake. The richer the cake, the less in need of frosting, the more I love it. Sure there are some frostings I like–hello anything with cream cheese–but in general I prefer rich pound cakes that do not need the added sweetness and moisture. Which brings me back to this pan. I prefer bundt cakes, but most of them are lousy for birthdays. Where the heck are you gonna put the candles? Enter the Wilton Dimensions Cast-Aluminum Nonstick Queen-of-Hearts Pan, with its flat, plateaued top. The perfect spot for candles!
Sammy requested a mint chocolate cake for her birthday, so I turned to what is rapidly becoming one of my favorite cake books, Christy Matheson’s Cake Simple: Recipes for Bundt-Style Cakes from Classic Dark Chocolate to Luscious Lemon-Basil. This cake did not disappoint any more than the Milk Chocolate Bundt Cake did. As a matter of fact, John gave me what I have decided is one of the top 2 baking compliments I have ever received (the other being the time my mom told me I had surpassed her cheesecake): “Laura you have mastered the Chocolate Cake.”
By the way, if you are wondering at the inconsistency of singing the praises of cake that does not need frosting and then glazing it with ganache, I have a few responses. The first is that this cake truly would be delicious without the ganache. The second is that glazes make bundt cakes, especially birthday bundt cakes, look so much more gorgeous and festive. The third is that hello, it is birthday cake! Time to gild the lily, and I ADORE ganache, which is infinitely more complex, interesting and delicious than frosting. I am cool with whipped cream too.
- ¾ cup (75 g) natural cocoa powder
- 1 oz (28 g) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- ¾ cup boiling water
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (220 g) packed dark brown sugar
- 1¾ cup (210 g) AP flour
- 2 t baking soda
- 1 t baking powder
- ¾ t salt
- 1 cup buttermilk (I used full fat)
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 t vanilla
- several drops peppermint oil (or ¼ t extract)
- 6 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2-3 drops peppermint oil (or a dash of extract)
- pinch of salt
- To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Generously spray the inside of a 10 cup bundt pan with a grease/flour combo, such as Baker's Joy. Set aside.
- Pour the boiling water over the chopped (1 oz) chocolate. Let stand for 1 minute and then whisk smooth. Set aside.
- Whisk together the cocoa powder, sugars, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- Using a stand or handheld mixer, and using the whisk attachment, beat the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla and vegetable oil on low speed. Add the chocolate in a drizzle and then add the peppermint oil--you are aiming for about 1/32-1/16 of a teaspoon. Err on the side of less--as long as it smells minty, you're fine. Mix on low speed until completely blended.
- Leaving the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients. Once they are mostly incorporated, increase the speed to medium-low and mix for 3 minutes.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for about 45 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Let the cake cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 15 minutes, then turn the cake out onto parchment paper onto a cooling rack.
- Let the cake cool completely before glazing. While the cake is baking, prepare the glaze by bringing the cream nearly to a boil (but not quite) in a small saucepan and then pour it over the chopped chocolate. Let it stand for 1 minute, and then whisk it smooth, adding the salt and about 2 drops of peppermint oil (or a dash of extract). You can always add more if it does not taste minty enough. Let it cool completely to room temperature before glazing the cooled cake.