Double Chocolate Bundt Cake with Chocolate Glaze
One of the compelling things about food blogs is how they bring together people from all over the world. Cooking and eating is something we all have in common, no matter where we are from. Blogs have globalized cooking, erasing borders and boundaries. And I’ve enjoyed learning more about other people’s food and cooking, and meeting them as well.
Things have changed over the past few years, but a little over a decade ago, “link rolls” listed maybe a half-dozen blogs, and people would excitedly add new ones as they learned about them. One that stood out was Cafe Fernando, written by Cenk Sonmëzsoy. He started like most of us – sharing what he was eating and cooking, but eventually became known for his gorgeous photography, too.
I, and other readers of Cafe Fernando, weren’t the only ones who noticed him. Cenk got a publishing deal and spent six years working on his book, which was in Turkish. I was at a dinner party recently with some Turkish people who had non-Turkish spouses, and both sides agreed that Turkish is one of the most difficult languages to learn.
When I saw his book, I didn’t need to know any Turkish (although I can say, “Thank you,” “Goodbye,” and “hazelnut” in Turkish) — the book was so unique and beautiful that I didn’t need to understand any of words. Although I was hoping one day to be able to make the Hazelnut (Findik) & Caramel Cookies, which were speaking my language.
The book was recently released in English. Cenk translated the book himself, rather than rely on a translator, so more of us can not only appreciate the pictures, but the stories and recipes. The release of the book also gave me the opportunity to have a reason to spring for this bundt pan, which I’d been admiring for years. I finally sprung for it.
I don’t really like fussy cakes and shapes, and this one was bold and modern, perfect for a double-chocolate dessert.
When I showed it off online, wondering if the cake would come out after an OCD bout of buttering it, several people suggested using cooking sprays, which I didn’t go with since the manufacturer suggests they’ll ruin the finish over time. (And it voids the warranty.) Others mentioned the “paste” that had gone around the internet, a mixture of 1/2 cup each of flour, oil, and vegetable shortening mixed together and brushed on.
I’ve didn’t use it, not only because there’s no vegetable shortening in France, but it invites the inevitable question even in the U.S.: What can I use in place of the shortening? And I don’t know. Marion Cunningham told me she brought a tin of it to Paris when asked to come and make pies at the Ritz Hotel. According to her, the chef picked up the can, took a look at it, and said, “What is this sh*t?”
Others, even in America, don’t like to use shortening for a variety of reasons. (Although there is all-natural vegetable shortening.) I don’t get all worked up about it, it but I prefer to stick with butter.
The one issue I had with the pan when I unmolded the cake was there were air bubbles in the creases with created some rough edges. I got out my magnifying glass and looked at pictures of cakes made in this pan elsewhere and didn’t see any holes, or rough edges, like mine had.
I think the secret to get the creases not to have little holes, from air pockets (since I did my best to rap the cake on the counter a few times after adding the batter to the mold) is to either pipe the batter into the creases before baking the cake, or brushing up on your Photoshop skills if you’re planning on taking pictures of it and sharing them.
Or, you can let it go. They didn’t bother me, especially when they were deliciously filled in with the thick bittersweet chocolate glaze, which is the fun part of making glazed bundt cakes like this. They’re not fussy, and you don’t need to be an all-star cake decorator to have success with them.
My challenge was figuring out how to click the shutter button on my camera while icing a cake. No wonder it took Cenk six years to finish the book! (I didn’t think you could wait that long.)
In the end, though, it doesn’t matter. The proof is in the pudding, or in the cake.
One tip is to make sure to slightly underbake the cake. There’s heavy cream in the batter to counter some of chocolate’s drying tendencies (chocolate is an acidic ingredient) so remove the cake from the oven when there are still moist crumbs clinging to the toothpick. Most chocolate desserts benefit from being slightly underbaked, and this doubly delicious chocolate cake is no exception.