Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Bake 52 Week 36 Tunnel of Fudge Cake

It is my week to host.  This recipe reminded me of the first time I had a Molten Cake.  It was years ago.  Jonathan and I were spluring on dinner and had gone out to Jasoh's.  Jonathan knew the owner through his dad.  This was just after they had opened and we decided to go all out and order dessert.  I don't remember what all was on the menu but one of the items was molten chocolate cake.  With the discription I couldn't resist.  Well, I have never had something that was as good as that cake.  This came close but not quite right.  The cake at Jasoh's had a center that was liquid, warm and tasted just like (or even better) than raw brownie mix (come on!  I'm not the only one that licks the bowl, am I?) and it had a delicate crust that was crisp but not dry.  The texture of it complimented wonderfully with the molten center. 

When I saw this recipe in the cookbook I knew I wanted to make it.  It didn't look like it was the same idea as the molten cake but I was intrigued by the tunnel of fudge since you didn't put in pudding or something.  It just comes out that way after baking...

If you've read the other postings on this blog you know I've been baking a bit this weekend.  Well last night I thought I'd make one last recipe before the weekend ended.  I'll post about it later.  But unfortunately I didn't think to check this recipe, which I had already planned to make first thing Monday morning, and make sure I didn't use up the ingredients I needed.  I used up all the bittersweet chocolate I had, so I used semi-sweet everywhere the recipe called for bittersweet. 

I also was a bit short of dutch processed chocolate but that's not because I made a different dish.  I just didn't realize I was running out...

The first step was to make a paste of butter and cocoa to "grease" the bundt pan. 

That was quick and easy.  I have a silicon brush that I use for things like this.  It worked but since it's designed to "soak" up grease I'm not sure it will ever be clean again...

Before I got too far into the recipe I checked to see what had to be prepped in terms of the ingredients.  There wasn't anything complex and the only time consuming thing was chopping the pecans.  So I got those ready first.

Did anyone else make a huge mess chopping their pecans?  I had nuts going everywhere.  A bunch ended up on the floor, so I was probably a little short...

The first step is to melt 2 oz of bittersweet chocolate with a half cup of boiling water. 

Next step is to measure out all the dry (flour, sugar, pecans, dutch processed cocoa, & salt) ingredients and mix them together.  The recipe says to use a medium size bowl.

This is the bowl I used (weighed everything, more accurate and faster).  I thought it would be plenty big but look at this!

It took a lot of slow, folding to get this all mixed up and not all over the counter. 

I didn't do too bad.  Next step is to cream the wet ingredients.  I decided to use my stand mixer.  I sure hoped it would be big enough to count as a large bowl.

The sugars (granulated & brown... the powdered sugar went with the dry ingredients), butter & vanilla all went into the mixer bowl.

I beat those ingredients for about 3 minutes until it was light and fluffy.

Next step, beat in each egg, one at a time.  The eggs were supposed to be at room temperature.  Mine had been sitting out for about an hour but they were still a bit cold...

Next I added in the melted bitter sweet chocolate

and mixed it until it was "incorporated"

Finally I added in the flour mix. 

I was supposed to add it while the mixer was on low.  But with the beater in the bowl I couldn't get the flour without spilling a ton.  So I just added some, mixed and added some more and mixed until it was all blended in. 

Now I was ready to load up the pan.

Looks pretty good, right?  But the recipe said I had to clean up any spills around the edges.  I didn't know if that was so it would come out easier or what but I'm ever obeidient...

After 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven it looked done...

At least it had pulled away from the edge like it was supposed to

But it wasn't "springy when pressed with a finger".  It was more brittle...  I figured good enough. 

After 10 minutes of sitting in the pan I put a wire rack on top and flipped it over.  At first I was worried it wasn't going to work.  I couldn't get ahold of the pan with pot holders on my hands.  I finally took them off and used my fingernails to get ahold of the edges, while not burning myself.  I wasn't sure that would work because I had very little leverage but

Success!!!  Or I thought so, but as I took the above picture I noticed something

Structural failure! 

I was most worried that all the good stuff would leak out.  But after a bit the flow stopped... mostly.

I let it sit for about an hour and a half before I got started on the glaze. 

It was made up of "bittersweet" chocolate (in my case semi-sweet), hot cream, corn syrup, vanilla and salt. 

I let the glaze cool for 25 minutes while the cake finished cooling off before I dumped it on. 

After I had dumped it on I realized I had a huge puddle of glaze in the center. 

So I scoped most of it out and let it drizzle down the outside. 

It was a little messy but after one swipe of the glaze I decided not to worry about it. 

The cake looked just like it was supposed to

I cut myself a piece

It was super yummy but if I made it again I'd leave out the pecans.  I think they detract from the yummy/smooth chocolate flavor.  I'm actually glad I used semi-sweet instead of bitter-sweet.  It was very flavorful and the right level of sweetness for me.  Not too rich and I think the bittersweet wouldn't be as smooth tasting.  Jonathan won't even taste it because of the nuts...  He's missing out!

The full recipe is below. 


For an accurate measurement of boiling water, bring a full kettle of water to a boil, then measure out the desired amount.  It’s no use to use a cake tester, toothpick, or skewer when testing this cake for doneness because the fudgy interior will look just like undercooked cake batter; when the cake is done, the sides will begin to pull away from the pan and the top will feel springy when pressed with a finger. 
½ cup boiling water (see note above)
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 cups (8 ounces) pecans or walnuts, chopped fine
2 cups (8 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
¾ cup (2 ¼ ounces) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 ½ sticks unsalted butter, cut into chunks and softened
1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
¾ cup packed (5 ¼ ounces) light brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
5 large eggs, room temperature
1 recipe Chocolate Glaze (see end of recipe)

1.      Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a 12-cup Bundt pan following the photo on page 259 (brush with a paste of 1 Tbsp melted butter and 1 Tbsp cocoa).
2.      Whisk the boiling water and chocolate together in a small bowl until melted and smooth; let the mixture cool slightly.  In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, nuts, confectioners’ sugar, cocoa, and salt together.
3.      In a large bowl, beat the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla together with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined, about 1 minute.  Beat in the chocolate mixture until combined, about 30 seconds.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly beat in the flour mixture until just incorporated, about 30 seconds.
4.      Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.  Wipe any drops of batter off the sides of the pan and gently tap the pan on the counter to settle the batter.  Bake the cake until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and the top feels springy when pressed with a finger, about 45 minutes.
5.      Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then flip it out onto a wire rake.  Let the cake cool completely, about 2 hours.  Drizzle the chocolate glaze over the top and sides of the cake.  Let the glaze set, about 25 minutes, before serving. 

Chocolate Glaze

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
1/3 cup heavy cream, hot
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch Salt

Whisk all of the glaze ingredients together in a medium bowl until smooth and let sit until thickened, about 25 minutes.  Pour the glaze over the top of the cake after it has cooked completely, letting the glaze drip down the sides.  Let the glaze set before serving, about 25 minutes. 


  1. This was such a great pick! Thanks for hosting this week, your cake looks perfect.

  2. Well, I am glad you only had a little structural problem other then mine which crumbled right in front of my eyes.