Tuesday, May 19, 2009

cinnamon chocolate bundt cake

To contribute to our impromptu dinner gathering last weekend, my sister-in-law volunteered to bring some cake they had in the house. (And asparagus. Thanks, L!) Cake they had in the house. My brother-in-law likes cake, so he made cake. Just to eat, and not for an occasion. Hmm. Usually, for me to make a cake, there needs to be an (eating) occasion, but I rather like this idea of just baking a cake with no intended purpose. Half of what I bake ends up in Josh's office, the other half in the freezer, so why not?

I've been loving Mary's blog and paging back through her archives, and I came across this delicious-sounding cinnamon chocolate bundt cake. Mary said she liked it so much she made it four times the first week! That sounded like something I should try; moreover, I had (nearly) all the ingredients handy. The original recipe came from here, and she got it from Vintage Victuals.

I thought the cake was delicious. Light, moist (still hate that word, but have yet to find a more apt one for describing cake), and with a hint of cinnamon that twangs against the chocolate. When you use coffee in a chocolate recipe, it enhances the chocolate flavor without a resultant coffee taste. But when you use cinnamon with chocolate, it's like a counterpoint. My only difficulty was when the cake stuck in the pan. I'm not sure if I didn't grease it well enough or if I didn't wait until it was 100% cool to de-pan it. My only complaint is that each piece is ridiculously high in WW points (I think I estimated 5 points if you cut 20 slices - ouch!). If I get creative, I'll see if I can sub applesauce for some of the oil and butter, and possibly if I can cut down the sugar. To change it up, I do think it would be nice to try it with espresso powder instead of cinnamon.

A couple of final notes. It was kind of a strange method! First, you bring oil, butter, water, and cocoa to a boil. It works but it sure doesn't stir together at first. Then, you stir together the flour and sugar. I'm used to sugar being a "wet" ingredient. Next, you pour the chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients. It incorporates pretty easily, but I was surprised that the consistency was viscous in the way my brownie mix is. I always attributed that to the addition of eggs, but this was viscous before the eggs even got into the bowl. The last weird part was mixing together eggs, vanilla... and cinnamon. Texturally very odd. Anyway, it doesn't matter, because it all worked. I just found it puzzling at the time.

Cinnamon Chocolate Bundt Cake
1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
5 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375F. Grease a large bundt pan with cooking spray.

Put butter, water, oil, and cocoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. Pour the chocolate mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix well. Then, add the buttermilk and baking soda. (Note: I didn't have buttermilk, so I poured about a half tablespoon of lemon juice into the measuring cup, filled it to 1/2 cup with milk, and let it sit and clabber for about 15 minutes while I did other stuff.)

Mix together the eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla in a small bowl, and add to the batter.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 25 minutes. (Mary noted this as well, but mine took nearly 35 minutes to bake. Let the doneness of the cake rule, not the timer. It should spring back when you press it gently with your finger. If the indentation remains, it's not done.)

Allow cake to cool completely in the pan. Don't be hasty like I was. I assume that's why the top layer of my cake stuck. (It worked in my favor because I got to eat those crumbs!)

You could probably frost this, or dust it with powdered sugar, but it was perfectly delicious on its own. It would be great with a glass of cold milk!

Looks good in the pan, but...


Marsha said...

You can also use vinegar and milk in place of buttermilk - the same ratio of vinegar to milk as lemon juice to milk

Leah said...

You make us sound so enterprising with our cake-having, but I think we lose points when the cake comes from a box! (Although J tries to class it up a bit by pronouncing Duncan Hines as though it was a French name--think: Hines in two syllables, silent "h" and "s".)

Also, I agree 100% with the gross-ness of the word "moist." It ranks right up/down there with "nougat." Blech.

The Food Librarian said...

Hi! I'm so happy you made this cake...and found the method so bizarre too (and yet who cares because the cake is delicious!) I was reading some Paula Deen books and they make a Southern or Texas sheet cake in a similar fashion.

And I've made the cake about 5 more times since! :) Thanks for visiting my little blog!

Marsha said...

I made the cake yesterday and it is amazing! I was going to put a mocha glaze on it, but got lazy - it might have been overkill. I'm wrapping individual slices and freezing them for days when I must have cake!
I never thought about the words "moist" and "nougat", but now that I have, I agree with my lovely nieces!