I'm not quite ready to declare my love for bundts in the same way Mary has, but I do think they're pretty awesome. If I'm honest, a big part of the reason I'm such a fan is that I stink at making layer cakes - their final appearance never lives up to the vision in my head (I've made my fair share of lopsided cakes whose frosting was anything but attractive). Bundts are just less stressful, and since I stress unnecessarily over pretty much everything, that's a very good thing. I'm also a giant fan of my mini bundt pan - it's the perfect size (6 cup) for halving almost any standard bundt recipe. Not only is a mini bundt cuter, but I find it easier to share since it's a very manageable amount of dessert.
I recently acquired a copy of Baked, and of course I was immediately drawn to this root beer bundt as I flipped through the pages of the book. I'm actually not a fan of root beer, but I hoped the flavor wouldn't be too strong, and that the root beer would instead enhance the chocolate flavor. That pretty much proved to be the case - the cake was super rich and chocolatey with maybe just a hint of root beer flavor. The flavor of my cake was probably even intensified a bit, since I made the cake one night, wrapped it in plastic and didn't get around to frosting it until 2 days later. Speaking of the frosting, here it is made in the food processor, and let me tell you - making frosting in the food processor is where it's at. If I didn't hate cleaning my food processor so much, I don't think I'd ever make frosting in my stand mixer again. It's so easy - throw in all the ingredients, pulse a few times, and voila - perfect frosting! This frosting was out of this world good, whatever you do, don't skip the frosting. The authors recommend serving a scoop of vanilla ice cream with your slice of root beer bundt, and I wholeheartedly agree - it'll cut the richness a tad, and turn your dessert into a fun root beer float!
Finally, in case you were curious about the fridge/freezer clean-out I mentioned yesterday, we successfully tackled that chore after dinner last night. 4+ bags of garbage later, here's where we stand:
Salvaged in the freezer were a carton of ice cream, an assortment of nuts, a bag of graham flour, one pork tenderloin and my little bags of lemon, lime and orange zest. Oh, and several miscellaneous ice packs, I have no idea when we acquired so many of those. The fridge now houses milk, heavy cream, eggs, butter, chicken, a bottle of tequila, a few sodas and Shane's protein fuel stuff (that's the technical term :) ) for his training - most of which was purchased after we got power back earlier this week. Every time I open the fridge or freezer it reminds me of the days right after we moved into our house, when there was maybe a box of leftover pizza in there and not much else :) It's definitely time to go shopping!
Root Beer Bundt Cake
from Baked by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
(This is the full recipe, but I halved it (as usual), which worked perfectly in my 6-cup pan. Also, the baking time for my mini was pretty close to the time listed in the recipe (not typical, usually it's shorter), so I suspect you may need to add a few minutes if you make a full size bundt.)
2 cups root beer (not diet)
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark)
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
2 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup root beer
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
Preheat oven to 325 F. Spray a 12-cup bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray with flour.
Set a small saucepan over medium heat and add the root beer, cocoa powder and butter. Heat until the butter is melted then add the sugars and whisk to incorporate and dissolve. Turn off the heat under the pan and set aside to cool.
Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl.
Beat the eggs in a small bowl with a fork then add them to the cooled cocoa mixture. Don't be worried if the batter is a bit lumpy, just don't overmix or the cake will be tough.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely then turn out.
To make the frosting: Add all of the ingredients to the bowl of your food processor. Pulse until the frosting is shiny and smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice.
Frost the top of the cooled bundt cake using an offset spatula. Let the frosting set before serving.