Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake

It’s a no brainer that whenever I go to friends’ parties (especially with kids!), I’m the designated dessert person. I don’t mind – I love baking and it’s a pretty good excuse to trial baking recipes. Mr J isn’t a huge cakes and sweets person, so I need other guinea pigs who will  I can share the cakes with (because you know what they say… minutes on the lips, forever on the hips).

Bundt-land is a strange place for me. I’ve always baked with the traditional round cake pans, but the sudden rise in popularity of these intricate, hole-y pans irked my curiousity. Recently inspired by baker extraordinaire Charlotte Ree and shot by the super talented Luisa Brimble, I bravely dipped my toe in bundt town and was surprised to see so many amazing recipes and beautiful cakes. So I bought my first bundt pan (Nordic Ware – recommendation from Charlotte Ree no less!) at Williams Sonoma in Bondi Junction one morning in December (ok, more like the weekend before Christmas. Yeah I know, BRAVE!), and followed their instructions to the T. Butter your pan like you’ve never butter before! Every nook and cranny of that pan must be oiled to perfection! GREASE ME UP WOMAN! *ahem* Oh and don’t forget to flour it too. And buttered and floured I did – the cake came out solid, nothing stuck to the pan, and I breathed a sigh of massive relief.

This cake is an uber rich, decadent, indulgent cake – more brownie, less sponge cake. The buttermilk helps keep it moist, and the chocolate and buttermilk glaze adds an extra layer of oomph. For my first bundt cake, this was a total winner for both adults and kids alike. We do like our big bundts and we cannot lie.

Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake
Recipe from here

For the cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweeted cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
375g soft unsalted butter
3 cups caster sugar
5 eggs
2 tsps vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tsp espresso powder
1 cup chocolate chip morsels

For the chocolate glaze:
1 cup of chocolate chip morsels
3 tbsps butter
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

For the buttermilk glaze:
1 cup powdered icing sugar
2 tbsp buttermilk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

For the cake:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 160C.
  2. Thoroughly butter and flour your bundt pan. I used a brush to evenly coat all the nooks and crannies with butter.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter until fluffy. Add the sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat in the vanilla, espresso powder and buttermilk.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt together. Add the flour mixture to the batter, one big spoonful at a time.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chip morsels.
  6. Transfer to your bundt pan, ensuring you tap the pan on the kitchen bench to remove any bubbles. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes. It’s ready when a knife or skewer comes out clean.
  7. Let the cake rest for approximately 20 minutes, or overnight, before removing from the pan.
  8. Glaze with both the chocolate and buttermilk glaze.

For the chocolate glaze:

  1. In a bowl, melt the chocolate chip morsels and butter together in a microwave for approximately 40 – 60 seconds.
  2. Mix the vanilla extract and set aside.

For the buttermilk glaze:

  1. Mix the icing sugar with the buttermilk, one tsp at a time.
  2. Add the vanilla extract and glaze on top of the cake.
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Cake Decorating at Sweet Sessions with Cakes by Cliff and Lime Tree Bower

I lost the motivation to bake.

There, I said it.

I haven’t really made any cakes or cupcakes in a while. Maybe it’s the lack of motivation, procrastination, moving to a smaller apartment (and hence a smaller kitchen), or all of the above. I felt uninspired, and no energy to exert any effort in baking.

Until last month, when Mr J gave me a birthday present in the form of a cake decorating class: Sweet Sessions with Cakes by Cliff and Lime Tree Bower. I knew I was going to enjoy the class, but I didn’t realise how much I was going to love it. Cliff and Helen were so knowledgeable in all things cake and florals – from the technical, to the artistic, to giving us creative freedom to just do whatever we wanted with the decoration. We covered the basics: how to make your own swiss meringue buttercream, the right temperature, the right tools to use, cutting, layering, and assembling. Wiring florals, choosing which ones are appropriate for cake decorating, taping, and then decorating. I had so much fun that it made me super excited to getting my hands dirty again with flour, butter, and buttercream! Thank you so much Cliff and Helen for your patience, generosity, and energy! Really enjoyed the class, and am looking forward to attending more!

 

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Donna Hay’s Banana Bread

There is something comforting when baking on a Sunday afternoon, while the sun is setting in the horizon, and after all your house chores have been done and dusted. It’s also usually on a Sunday when Mr J puts in a request for baked goods – banana bread, apple cinnamon muffins or simple scones. I would often share his cravings and would happily oblige, and half an hour later, voila. Freshly baked goodies out of the oven, in to our mouths, washed down by a nice cup of tea.

This is my go-to banana bread recipe, because it’s simple, easy to bake, and just utterly delicious. I also like the fact that it’s a fuss free recipe with maximum impact. No need for any fancy gadgets, or hard to get ingredients. Just straight forward ripe bananas, waiting to be turned into something magical.

What are your Sundays like?

 

Donna Hay’s Banana Bread
Recipe from here

3 – 4 large, very ripe bananas, mashed
125ml olive oil or vegetable oil
3 eggs
260g brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla extract
225g self raising flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 160 deg C. Prepare your loaf tin.
  2. In a bowl, combine the mashed bananas, oil, eggs, sugar and vanilla extract.
  3. Add the flour and cinnamon to the bowl. Mix together but do not over mix.
  4. Pour onto prepared tin and bake for 50 – 60 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean.
  5. Cool for a few minutes before slicing. Best served toasted with some luscious Pepe Saya butter.

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