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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Orange Syrup Cake

I love how we can find extreme beauty in the simplest of things. Peek outside your window, I bet you will find beauty in at least 10 things in the great outdoors. A flower bud, eagerly waiting the end of winter and the start of spring. The way the wind rustles up trees in the distance. The old, dry leaves making way for younger, green sprouts. The blue, blue sky.

A simple loaf cake, with the addition of the citrusy zing of oranges and balanced with a tangy sugary syrup is another one of my simple pleasures. This easy peasy orange syrup cake is perfect for afternoon tea with a cup of English Breakfast (or dessert, midnight snack, breakfast… ok anytime will do!).

Orange Syrup Cake
Recipe from Exclusively Food

Cake
185g butter, softened1 cup caster sugar
3 large eggs
The zest of 2 oranges
1 1/4 cup self raising flour
Juice of 1 orange

  1. Preheat oven to 170 deg C.
  2. Grease and line a loaf tin.
  3. Beat butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time.
  4. Add the zest (leave a little bit of zest for later), flour and juice.
  5. Pour into prepared tin. Bake for 50 – 55 minutes. Pierce through a skewer or knife, if skewer or knife comes out clean then the cake is ready.
  6. Once cooled, pierce tiny holes in the cake with a skewer.
  7. Top with orange syrup and orange zest.

Orange Syrup
1 cup icing sugar
1 1/2 tsp orange juice

  1. Mix both ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Pour on top of the cooled, orange cake.

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Calamansi Cake

Calamansi is a citrus fruit known throughout the Philippines. Funnily enough, I always have a hard time locating a grocer who sells calamansi here in Australia. To tackle this problem, most Filipinos living in Australia actually opt to have calamansi plants in their own backyard, to ensure they have enough supply throughout the year. I don’t have the luxury of a backyard, or a green thumb, or a nurturing nature to care for any living thing inside my house, so I’m stuck with relying on luck when I need calamansi.

Calamansi cake

Calamansi is used similary to how we use lemons: to make calamansi juice, as an accompaniment to side sauce, for marinades, extra flavour, and sometimes in my case, to eat on its own. Please don’t judge me.

I only ever get to eat calamansi when I’m down Blacktown way. The Filipino shops around Blacktown would occasionally have bags of calamansi, however it would cost an arm and a leg. I don’t understand why it could cost so much, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers right?

I got a bit OCD with the skewer, so I pierced the cake a million times. Oops.

Because of this dilemma, I was so grateful when one of my good friends, Jemma, dropped by one Saturday morning with a big box of calamansi extract. Her family from the Philippines imports them here in Australia, and has only started to become available at several Filipino stores. She wanted me to try them out too, but with all pre-packaged products, I was sceptical at first. After tasting it though, I found out it was truly calamansi extract in its truest form, with each sachet giving a tablespoonful burst of citrus juice. I decided to experiment with it and hence, calamansi cake.

San Isidro Calamansi Extract

Calamansi Cake

Recipe adapted from Exclusively Food

180g softened butter

3 eggs

1 cup caster sugar

6 sachets of the San Isidro Calamansi Extract

1 1/4 cups self raising flour

1.  Preheat the oven to 170 deg C. Line a baking tin with baking paper.

2. In a mixer, put butter, eggs and sugar together. Mix to combine.

3. Add the calamansi extract and the flour. Mix well to combine.

4. Pour the batter on to the prepared tin, and bake for approximately 50-55 minutes. Test if the cake is cooked by inserting a skewer or knife through the middle of the cake and it comes out clean. Set aside to cool.

5. Once cooled, pierce the cake using a fork or skewer. Pour the citrus icing on top, and serve.

Citrus Icing

1 cup icing sugar

6 sachets of the San Isidro Calamansi Extract

1. In a bowl, mix both sugar and extract together until well combined. Pour over the cooled cake.

Thanks to Geraldine for the flowers (my take away from her baby shower)
NB. Many thanks to Jemma Leus for the San Isidro Calamansi Extract samples. The calamansi extract is now available at Filipino stores around Sydney: Hurstville, Mascot, Blacktown, Rooty Hill, St. Mary, Chatswood, Fairfield, Granville, Mt Druitt, Dee Why, Ashfield. Each box contains 12 sachets of 10 mls extract per sachet.
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