Is there a cake pan better suited to anything other than a Bundt?
The history of the ring-shaped pan dates back to 1950, when David Dalquist, founder of the Nordic Ware cookware company, envisioned it for a society of Jewish women in Minnesota who wanted to make kugelhopf (a yeast cake with a hole in the center).
Dalquist threw down his design for the ladies and, lo and behold, the Bundt pan was born. Today, there are thousands of recipes that take you beyond kugelhopf; besides, there are recipes that go beyond the cake. (Meatloaf in a Bundt, anyone?)
And not only can you get creative with ingredients, Bundt pans now come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and materials – from the base (Nordic Ware’s cast aluminum pinwheel design) to aluminum pans. glass and silicone that produce cakes resembling a pine forest, a holiday wreath or an elaborate sandcastle. There are even mini Bundt pans for individually sized treats.
Once you’ve selected a pan, pros know that the key to Bundt cake perfection is preparing your pan properly so that the unmolding process goes off without a hitch, says Brian Hart Hoffman, author of The Bundt Collectiona cookbook with over 100 recipes and tips for cooking your best Bundt.
Never use regular cooking spray, Hoffman says, because it will stick your cake. Instead, use a cooking spray containing flour – the secret weapon for quick and easy Bundt release. (You could also try greasing and flouring the inside of the pan yourself, but the intricate patterns may tempt you to reach for a spray next time.)
Then, says Hoffman, let your Bundt stove do all the work.
“Bakers can easily make banana bread, pound cakes and quick breads without worrying about decorating after baking,” he says. “The shape of the pan is the work of art.”
Chocolate chip bundt cake with chocolate ganache
Recipe creator Janice Lawandi of The Bake School, a popular baking recipe blog, credits sour cream for giving this Bundt its smooth texture and delicious crumb. The result is a chocolate dessert without being too intense.
“Chocolate ganache drizzled with a thick layer on top takes chocolate flavor to a whole new level,” says Lawandi. Try to use the best chocolate you have on hand for this recipe
- 3 cups all-purpose bleached flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine kosher salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup sour cream (14% fat)
- 1 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup high quality cocoa powder (70% dark chocolate)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
1. Preheat oven to 325°F and prepare Bundt pan by greasing and lightly flouring or using cooking spray containing flour.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition. The batter should be light and fluffy.
4. Add sour cream and vanilla, and beat again to combine well.
5. Add dry ingredients and stir over low heat to incorporate. Do not mix completely. When there is still unincorporated flour, finish stirring with a spatula or a large wooden spoon, taking care to scrape off what is stuck to the bottom of the bowl. Add the chocolate chips.
6. Drop a spoonful of batter into the prepared pan and stir and smooth with a small offset spatula. Knock the mold on the counter several times to make sure the batter settles in all the grooves of the mold. You can push a knife through the dough to force it into place.
7. Bake for 75 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Allow Bundt to cool 25 minutes before inverting onto wire rack to cool completely.
Prepare the chocolate ganache
1. In a medium bowl, melt the chocolate with the butter. Do it gently in a double boiler or in the microwave on power 5, making sure to stir occasionally to avoid burning.
2. Add sour cream and stir. Let the ganache become thick enough to spread over the cooled Bundt without running down the sides.