Sunday, 9 June 2013

Individual marble bundt cakes with ganache glaze

I watch an awful lot of cookery shows on television.  A frightening amount.  At risk of sounding grouchy and non-trendy (oh, the very thought!) I am getting increasingly fed up with British television’s (and my finger is pointing mostly at you, BBC) mania for blurry shots where perhaps just one item might be in focus, swooping shots that make you feel ill and focussing the camera on the presenter’s face so they can smile at us when we’d rather be watching what’s happening in the saucepan or bowl.   Don’t even get me started on the deafening background music, the fake little tableaux of ‘friends’ arriving for supper or travelling around town on a scooter.  It’s a cookery show – show us cooking!  Is it just me?  Am I the only one who longs for a return to the school ma’am-ish presentation of Delia Smith?  Am I so uncool and out of touch??? (NB.  I also have a spin-off rant about cookbooks with more photos of the cook/chef than the actual recipes.)

Anyway, what I’m building to is saying how much more ‘instructional’ I find North American cookery shows.  My current favourite is Anna Olson whose shows are perfect little master classes in baking.  No blurry shots, no flirting and coyness, no catering for gatherings.  Just common sense and good clear instructions.  Bravo!

It is from ‘Bake with Anna Olson’ shown on the Food Network that this recipe comes.  I think I’ve only used my Wilton individual bundt pan once before so this looked a good opportunity to dig it out!

I converted the recipe from the original cups (there is a link for the original recipe below) but please note that I added two tablespoons of milk to the chocolate batter as it was so thick it was like a truffle filling and I worried it might bake a bit hard.  I used my own ganache recipe, and I also added some cream cheese frosting on a you do!  I’m glad I added the frosting as the cakes might have been a little heavy going without it.

I didn’t wait long enough for my ganache to cool so had to do a double-dip.  I like how the chocolate layers came to rest at different levels; very pretty:

If you would prefer the original recipe in its original cup measurements it can be found here


For the cakes:
85g dark chocolate
115g unsalted butter, at room temperature
200g caster sugar
2 eggs
160ml sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
190g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cocoa powder, sifted
1-2 tablespoons milk, if needed

For the ganache glaze:
70ml whipping cream
1 tablespoon caster sugar
65g dark chocolate

For the cream cheese frosting:
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
150g cream cheese – I used Philadelphia
50g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

If you would prefer the original recipe in its original cup measurements it can be found here.


Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

Take a 12 hole mini bundt pan and spray with cake release or grease with butter and then dust with flour.

Break the chocolate into chunks and place either in a bowl sitting over a pan of simmering water (but not touching it) to melt, or in a covered bowl in the microwave giving it 30 second bursts until melted.  Leave to cool.

In a large bowl beat together the butter and sugar until light.

Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the sour cream and vanilla.

Add the flour, baking powder and salt and beat until combined.

Spoon about 1/3 of the batter into a separate bowl – I did this by eye, because there’s no need for it to be exact.

Into this 1/3 of batter, stir in the melted chocolate and the cocoa powder.  At this point, I found the chocolate batter a little dry so stirred in some milk to slacken it.  It will be firmed than the vanilla batter, so don’t panic.

Spoon a heaped tablespoon of vanilla batter into each bundt hole – I used a knife to make it into 2 blobs which I dropped on opposite sides of the bundt.

Take a level tablespoon of chocolate batter and, again, drop in two separate blobs in the pan, filling the gaps left by the vanilla.

If there’s any batter left of either colour add it to any bundt holes that look like they have some spare capacity.  You can fill the moulds almost to the top as they don’t rise greatly.

Use a skewer or toothpick to swirl the two colours of batter together.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cakes comes out clean.  Mine took exactly 20 minutes.

Leave to cool in the moulds for 30 minutes before turning out and leaving to cool completely on a wire rack.

If your cakes are uneven you can trim a layer off the bottom to ‘smarten’ them up.  I rather liked leaving them as they were as I like how the edges went crispy.

When the cakes are cool you can make the ganache: Place the cream and sugar in a saucepan and bring to almost boiling point.

Remove from the heat and add the chocolate.

Leave it to stand for a minute before stirring and bringing the chocolate and cream together.  At first it will look runny but keep stirring and it will become thick and glossy.

Leave to cool for five minutes or the glaze might be too runny to hold on the cakes.  I learned this to my cost and had to dip them all again once the ganache had cooled down more.

Dip the top of the cakes into the glaze and then put them back on the cooling tray to set.  The glaze will cover the top of the cake but the sides should remain clean so you can see the sponge....of course, the odd drip or spill is not going to offend anyone!

When the glaze has set you can make the frosting: beat the butter in a bowl until smooth and soft.

Add all the other ingredients and beat together until smooth and light.

Pipe or spoon into the well in the centre of each bundt cake.

If you will be serving the cakes more than four hours after completing them, put them in the refrigerator where they will keep for up to 2 days. (Remove from the fridge at least 1 hour before serving)

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have made.



Jean said...

I so agree about modern cookbooks and cooking programmes.
A bit of a nosey into the life of the chef and their surroundings is fine, but it should still be about the cooking, not the person.
I thought the Rachel Khoo series was about right, some nice background stuff about her life in Paris, but mostly about the recipes.

These bundts look lovely. I will fish out my tin from the back of the cupboard.........

Janine said...

These look so good! I've not seen the appeal of a bundt cake before, but these are changing my mind.

I also agree about the cooking shows on the BBC - the worst ones are the Christmas ones where they sit down for a 'Christmas dinner' even though we all know they shot it weeks, of not months, in advance. The recycled tunes are also irritating.

Gloria Baker said...

I love these minis look absolutey delicious!!!

Ulla said...

Lovely mini bundt cakes! Bundt cakes are traditional here in Finland. I had to check if there's any pics of ones I have made in my all-in-Finnish baking blog, and but I found just one :)I seem to be baking lots of other type of cakes nowadays.
I don't watch much tv, but I agree with you that they should show us how to do it, not cook's or baker's face. I have some 350 cookbooks in our dining room, oldest ones are from early 1900's and you can see the difference how they are written. For me it's enough to see cook's face on cover.

Susie @ Fold in the Flour said...

Well, you're not alone - it could've been me writing the first two paragraphs of this post. It's a shame that so many programmes seem to forget what they are there for in the first place.

Anyway, Anna Olsen is one of my favourites, too, as her programmes are structured so you learn the recipes, rather than whether she has a nice little Italian deli around the corner. These look delicious! :)

Cupcake Crazy Gem said...

These are super cute! I love bundts, especially mini ones! and the marble effect coupled with the ganache topping looks super delish!

Cakelaw said...

These little cakes look gorgeous! The ganache really is the finishing touch.

Katie said...

I agree that a lot of modern cookery shows are more style than substance.

I've seen a few episodes of Anna too and am in love with her ovens - how large are they!!

These cake look delicious, especially with the ganache glaze

Garden Tea Cakes and Me said...

These look wonderful I bet they did not last long without being eaten up.

I've watched a few of Anna Olson's shows and love the style and structure not to mention the great drawers she stores her flour and sugar in.


Recipe Junkie said...

These look brilliant - bundt tins put the fear into me - I just know it would all stick and look rubbish... Yes, I do agree with you about TV cooking programmes. My particular bug bear though is with the competitions - just can't STAND all that over the top 'cooking doesn't get tougher than this' b******s. Does my head in.

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Recipe Junkie

A bit of cake release spray and they came out easily.

The competitions are so over the top, aren't they? I think they should make the antidote competition called "Making a bit of dinner" with people pottering around their kitchens singing along to the radio. Not every meal is a drama!

Happy baking

Lucy said...

I totally share both your rants about cookery books and shows! I recently discovered the Anna Olson series but had yet to bake anything from it - these look so adorable and I love the double dip of ganache.

thelittleloaf said...

I'm a total cooking/baking show junkie too - can't get enough of them! There are some wonderful ones out there, but also some really awful ones (which I probably still watch, gah!). These cakes look gorgeous.

Maggie said...

I saw these on the Food Network website and they do look lovely. I like some cookery programmes but not all are watchable and I lose interest very quickly. Lovely bundts!

Kit @ i-lostinausten said...

Oh WOW! These look so decadent & very inviting! Love to have some now ! YUM!

Choclette said...

I am so with you on the cookbook rant and probably would be on the cookery programme one too if I had a TV.

Your little bundts are adorable.

Pippi said...

utoh che belli..e che buoni..mmm..devono essere davvero squisiti!!

Kalyan P said...

looks delicious & mouthwatering!

sensibilia said...

TV is so full of copy-cats - they find one successful show and suddenly there a dozen all using the same formula.

Your bundts look absolutely luscious.

Where did you buy the bundt tins?

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Sensibilia

Can't exactly remember where the tins came from but most of my bakeware comes from one of four places: Lakeland, amazon, ebay or dept stores (usually Selfridges or Harrods).
I have a feeling these might have been ebay

Happy baking!

sensibilia said...

Thanks for the info. I see that you use Amazon for cake tins! That makes me laugh. In regard to your comment (thanks btw) that you revere "real" books for recipes, which are, of course, your true passion, that makes sense to me.

Sumaiyyah said...

"No blurry shots, no flirting and coyness, no catering for gatherings. Just common sense and good clear instructions." I'd like to echo your words exactly! I love Anna Olson. I also watch videos on Stephanie Jaworski also has that straightforward no-nonsense approach.