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Is there a cake pan more up for anything than a Bundt?
The ring-shaped pan’s history dates to 1950, when David Dalquist, founder of the Nordic Ware kitchenware company, dreamed it up for a society of Jewish women in Minnesota who wanted to make kugelhopf (a yeasted cake with a hole in the center).
Dalquist cast his design for the ladies and, voilà, the Bundt pan was born. Today there are thousands of recipes that take you beyond kugelhopf; for that matter, there are recipes that take you beyond cake. (Meatloaf in a Bundt, anyone?)
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And not only can you get creative with ingredients, but Bundt pans now come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and materials — from the basic (Nordic Ware’s cast aluminum pinwheel design) to glass and silicon pans that produce cakes resembling a pine forest, a holiday wreath or an elaborate sandcastle. There are even mini Bundt pans for individual-sized treats.
Once you’ve selected a pan, the pros know that the key to Bundt cake perfection is properly preparing your pan so the unmolding process comes off without a hitch, says Brian Hart Hoffman, author of The Bundt Collection, a cookbook with more than 100 recipes and tips for baking your best Bundt.
Never use ordinary cooking spray, Hoffman says, since it will cause your cake to stick. Instead, use a baking spray that contains flour — the secret weapon for a quick and easy Bundt release. (You could also try greasing and flouring the inside of the pan yourself, but the intricate designs may have you reaching for a spray the next time.)
Then, says Hoffman, let your Bundt pan do all the work.
“Bakers can make banana bread, pound cakes and quick breads easily without worrying about decorating after they are baked,” he says. “The pan shape is the work of art.”
Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake With Chocolate Ganache
Recipe developer Janice Lawandi of The Bake School, a popular baking recipe blog, credits sour cream with giving this Bundt its smooth texture and delightful crumb. The result is a dessert that’s chocolatey without being too intense.
“The chocolate ganache drizzled thick on the top brings the chocolate flavor to a whole other level,” Lawandi says. Try to use the best chocolate you have on hand for this recipe
- 3 cups bleached all-purpose 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 cups sour cream (14 percent fat)
- 1 2/3 cups dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup chopped dark chocolate (70 percent cocoa)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
1. Preheat oven to 325°F and prepare Bundt pan by greasing and lightly flouring or by using baking spray containing flour.
2. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
3. In bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar. Add in eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Batter should be light and fluffy.
4. Add sour cream and vanilla, and beat again to mix well.
5. Add dry ingredients and stir on low to incorporate. Don’t mix completely. When there’s still some flour not yet incorporated, finish stirring with a spatula or a big wooden spoon, being sure to scrape up what’s stuck to the bottom of the bowl. Fold in chocolate chips.
6. Dollop batter into prepared pan and swirl and smooth with a small offset spatula. Bang the pan on the counter several times to make sure batter settles into all the grooves of pan. You can push a knife through the batter to force it into place.
7. Bake for 75 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Let Bundt cool 25 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Prepare chocolate ganache
1. In medium bowl, melt chocolate with butter. Do this gently over double boiler or in microwave at power level 5, making sure to stir every so often to avoid burning.
2. Add sour cream and stir. Let ganache get thick enough to spread on top of cooled Bundt without flowing off the sides.
Bundt Cake With Browned Butter Strawberry Syrup
Brian Hart Hoffman, author of The Bundt Collection, says you’ll never go wrong baking a butter cake in your favorite Bundt pan, because it provides a delicious flavor base that’s endlessly customizable. For spring, Hoffman tops this cake with strawberry syrup (see below), and he whips up an apple cinnamon version in the fall.
Hoffman has a tip for the brown butter strawberry syrup that gives this recipe its X factor: “Use the leftover syrup on ice cream, French toast, waffles or pancakes.”
- 3 cups unsalted butter, softened and divided
- 3 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/3 cups whole milk, room temperature