Monday, March 30, 2009

Root Beer Bundt Cake

One of my favorite things about going to Baked is never knowing what cakes will be offered that day. There are usually three cakes available for purchasing by the slice, and the offerings change daily. I can go craving one cake, but if isn't available that day then I'm FORCED to try something new. Which, as a creature of habit is probably a good thing for me. :)

On one of our trips, M. tried the coca cola bundt cake. He was really taken with it, and asked me to research a recipe so we could make it at home. Well, that never happened. But when I saw the root beer bundt in the Baked cookbook, I decided it would be the perfect dessert for a dinner party we had this weekend. It could be made in advance, and ready to go at the conclusion of the meal. I learned the hard way recently that this is key, particularly these days with babies being a baking factor. I did debate swapping the root beer for coke (which I will do in the future) but we both decided we'd try the "authentic" version first.

The cake was easy to prepare, although it doesn't use a mixer. The wet ingredients (including the root beer) are heated on the stove, and then the dry ingredients are mixed in. The recipe cautions over-mixing. Accordingly, I was very careful not to over-mix. So careful that I actually undermixed and my cake was studded with pockets of flour. Oops. Next time I'll mix a little harder, and not worry so much about it. But the results were still delicious, if a little unusual to the eye. There was also a lot of frosting to this cake. I happen to LOVE frosting, but if you are not such a big fan then I would recommend cutting the glaze recipe in half. I also really liked how easy the glaze was to make - the recipe called for making it in the food processor. A bit unconventional, but oh so quick and easy to whip up!

Overall, the cake was well received by all and the leftovers are still sitting and taunting me as I write. Very very dangerous. :)

Root Beer Bundt Cake
for 1 (10-inch) Bundt cake
From Baked: New Frontiers In Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

for the cake:

2 cups root beer (do not use diet root beer)
1 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs

for the frosting:
2 ounces dark chocolate (60% cacao), melted and cooled slightly
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup root beer
2/3 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

For the cake:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Generously spray the inside of a 10-inch bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray; alternatively, butter it, dust with flour, and knock out the excess flour.

In a small saucepan, heat the root beer, cocoa powder, and butter over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add the sugars and whisk until dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until just beaten, then whisk them into the cooled cocoa mixture until combined. Gently fold the flour mixture into the cocoa mixture. The batter will be slightly lumpy–do not overbeat, as it could cause the cake to be tough.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a small sharp knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Gently loosen the sides of the cake from the pan and turn it out onto a platter.

For the frosting:

Put all the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until the frosting is shiny and smooth.

Use a spatula to spread the fudge frosting over the crown of the Bundt in a thick layer. Let the frosting set before serving, with the ice cream on the side.


Sarah said...

I long for a bakery like Baked near me, but alas, there is none. Your cake looks intense & delicious!

Paige said...

Yummy! This might be a silly question but does the cake taste very strongly of root beer? My husband isn't a big fan but I love it!

Helios said...

Sarah - A bakery like Baked has its drawbacks! Trust me. :)

Paige - I didn't find the root beer very pronounced at all. It tasted like a super rich chocolatey cake to me, and my husband agreed. You can always try the coke variation, if that's more to his liking.

Rootbeer Racinette said...

Yum! This sounds delicious. It's too bad it doesn't taste more of rootbeer, though, because then it would be like a rootbeer float when combined with ice cream!


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