31
Jan
09

Nutty, Chocolaty, Swirly Sour Cream Bundt Cake and Caramel Cheesecake

Sorry for the lack of updates lately, but I recently resolved to only bake one thing a week, and the last few weeks I’ve just been making repeats of things (cookies, cheesecake, etc).  However, I did forget to post the recipe for a bundt cake I recently made with help from soux chefs Chrissy and Priscilla!

I decided to demo a simple yet elegant cake recipe, and the first thing that came to mind was a bundt cake.  These cakes are much easier to prepare than layered cakes and are easier to keep moist because the entire cake bakes more evenly due to the hole in the middle of the mold.  This prevents uneven baking (overbaking on the sides so that the middle has time to set).  They also rarely need any fancy frosting; I prefer to dust them with some powdered sugar or a simple glaze.

Chocolaty, Swirly Sour Cream Cake

Chocolaty, Swirly Sour Cream Cake

Caramel Cheesecake

Caramel Cheesecake

Note: Don’t confuse bundt cake pans with angel cake pans… although they both have holes in the middle and are generally round, they have some key differences and are used for completely different kinds of batter!  Angel food cake pans have middle parts which are longer than the sides, and usually some extra tabs on the sides so it keeps balance.  This is so that, when inverted, the cake does not touch the ground, and instead hangs in the air clinging to the pan until it sets.  This is very important for angel food (and chiffon) cakes, since they are foam cakes and need time to set before being taken out of their pan.  On the other hand, bundt cake batter generally use whole eggs and do not have to be aerated as much.  They are denser and sturdier than their angel food cake counterparts, similar to pound cakes.

Unfortunately, I do not have many photos because I was spending the time explaining some techniques and science tidbits while making this (with the help of my lovely assistants, of course).

As for this week?  I’m making a Caramel cheesecake for a Friday potluck.  The recipe is the same as my previous cheesecake recipe, although without any chocolate mixed in.  I’m also going to add a layer of homemade caramel on the top to form a nice outer layer for the cheesecake.  The cheesecake nearly overflowed out of the springform pan this time!

overflowing cheesecake

overflowing cheesecake

Nutty, Chocolaty, Swirly Sour Cream Bundt Cake

from Baking: From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Ingredients:

FOR THE SWIRL

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, or 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup plump, moist raisins (dark or golden) or dried currants
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt

FOR THE CAKE

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)

Directions:
GETTING READY: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9- to 10-inch (12-cup) Bundt pan, dust the interior with flour and tap out the excess. (If you’ve got a silicone Bundt pan, there’s no need to butter or flour it.) Don’t place the Bundt pan on a baking sheet — you want the oven’s heat to circulate freely through the Bundt’s inner tube.

TO MAKE THE SWIRL: Put all the ingredients in a bowl and stir to mix.

TO MAKE THE CAKE:

  1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. Working in the bowl of a stand mixer or in another large bowl, rub the sugar and zest together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and aromatic. Add the butter. With the paddle or whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, beat on medium speed for 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each egg goes in. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the sour cream. Still working on low, add the dry ingredients and mix only until they disappear into the batter.
  3. Give the batter a last stir or two with a rubber spatula (just to make sure all the dry ingredients are properly incorporated), then scoop about one third of the batter into the Bundt pan. Evenly sprinkle on half of the swirl mixture, then spoon in the rest of the batter. Make a shallow indentation with the back of the spoon in the center of the ring of batter and fill it with the remaining swirl mixture, then cover the mixture lightly with the batter on the sides of the indentation — the batter probably won’t cover the mixture completely, and that’s fine.
  4. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted deep into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the cake rest for 10 minutes before unmolding it onto the rack to cool to room temperature.
  5. Just before serving, dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.
My lovely assistants pose with the cake

My lovely assistants pose with the cake

Personal tips to keep cake moist:

  1. Make sure to measure the dry ingredients with the scoop-and-sweep method, then sift together.  I prefer measuring by weight but unfortunately Dorie’s book doesn’t have those measurements.
  2. Butter should be room temperature, preferably between 68 and 72 deg F.  This is important so that the butter hasn’t actually melted yet, but is malleable enough to easily coat the flour when mixed.  This will help prevent too much gluten from activating in the flour.
  3. Do not overmix the flour!  The less gluten the better for moist cakes 🙂
  4. Do not overbake; your cake tester shouldn’t be COMPLETELY clean, at least not according to the Cake Bible.  It should still have some bits sticking to it, but the cake should be set, not mushy.  The rest of the cake will set while cooling on the rack due to residual heat!

Caramel Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions:

1. Heat sugar on high heat in a heavy-bottomed 2 quart sauce pan.

Melting sugar

Melting sugar

2. As the sugar begins to melt, stir constantly with a whisk. As soon as the sugar crystals begin to melt (should be dark amber in color), add the butter to the pan (if you don’t do this immediately, the caramel will taste burnt). Continue to whisk until butter has melted.

Add the butter

Add the butter

3. Once the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat. Count to three, then add the cream to the pan and continue to whisk to incorporate.

Take the sugar off the heat

Take the sugar off the heat

Add the heavy cream

Add the heavy cream

4. Whisk until caramel sauce is smooth. Let cool in the pan for a few minutes, then pour over the cheesecake. You’ll have a good amount, which you can serve alongside, or save for ice cream later on. Just microwave any extra caramel for a few seconds to loosen it up again (after being refrigerated).

Finished caramel

Finished caramel

Before caramel

Before caramel

Pour onto cheesecake

Pour onto cheesecake

Save some extra caramel to drizzle on top of slices

Save some extra caramel to drizzle on top of slices

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3 Responses to “Nutty, Chocolaty, Swirly Sour Cream Bundt Cake and Caramel Cheesecake”


  1. January 31, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    Easily one of the best cheesecakes I’ve ever had Jin. Fluffy to the max! 😀

  2. 2 shewie!
    January 31, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    that looks SO GOOD! it didn’t deflate like mine used to hahaha and you’re right– chrissy’s hair is super cute :OD

  3. 3 Doraemonxo
    February 12, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    I think pika wants some cheescake as well!


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