What would a progressive dinner be without dessert? Tom and Jane Mammoser along with Sal and I finished off the end of the evening with lots of desserts. Mini desserts of course. I made these and made up small dishes of ice cream in little ceramic cups purchased at World Market. Jane, however, was the dessert goddess with her retro Tunnel of Fudge Bundt Cake and heart shaped sugar cookies (they were exceptional).Jane saw the recipe in the Chicago Tribune dated February 1, 2012. The author gave a background on the popularity of the bundt cake from a new bundt cookbook by Christie Matheson “Cake Simple“. This is NOT your mother’s bundt cake, believe me. It’s something chocolate lovers dream about.
Jane’s advice to all was, “(I found the cacao nibs at the Vitamin Shoppe in Algonquin. Left out the fleur de sel in the ganache.) Don’t read the nutritional information.” Spoken like a true baker.
Tunnel of fudge bundt cake
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus melted butter for greasing the pan
3/4 cup cocoa powder, plus more for dusting the pan
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup boiling water
2 cups flour
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cacao nibs
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
5 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
Bittersweet chocolate ganache, see recipe below
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush the inside of a 12-cup Bundt pan with melted butter; dust lightly with cocoa powder. Tap out any excess.
2. Place the bittersweet chocolate in a small heat-proof bowl; pour the boiling water over the chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Let cool to room temperature.
3. Whisk together the 3/4 cup cocoa powder with the flour, confectioners’ sugar, salt and cacao nibs in a large bowl until thoroughly combined.
4. Beat the butter with the brown sugar and granulated sugar on medium speed in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time; beat in the vanilla. Add the cooled melted chocolate mixture; beat until just combined. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture; beat until just combined.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan; smooth the top. Bake until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 45 minutes. (Don’t use a cake tester for this cake — it won’t come out clean.) Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack, 1 hour 30 minutes. Do not try to take the cake out of the pan any earlier than this!
6. Invert the cake onto the rack; let it cool completely, 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours. Drizzle with the ganache; let set 5-10 minutes before serving. The cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.
Bittersweet chocolate ganache
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup whipping cream
Pinch fleur de sel
Put the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Heat the cream in a small nonreactive saucepan over medium-low heat to scalding (when little bubbles form around the edge of the cream but before it begins to boil). Pour the cream over the chocolate. Cover; allow to sit until the chocolate has melted, about 3 minutes. Add the fleur de sel; whisk until smooth and uniform.
Per serving: 566 calories, 33 g fat, 19 g saturated fat, 127 mg cholesterol, 72 g carbohydrates, 8 g protein, 212 mg sodium, 3 g fiber.