A bundt cake, in all its bouncy glory, will stop any show - if, of course, you can get the bugger out of the tin. Follow my tin preparation method below and that should bring you success every time.
INGREDIENTS - MAKES 1 BUNDT
FOR THE CAKE
- 250g very soft unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 275g caster sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 250ml buttermilk
- 350g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp bicarb
- 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 3 tbsp hot water
FOR THE GANACHE
- 75g dark chocolate, very finely chopped
- 75g milk chocolate, very finely chopped
- 75g white chocolate, very finely chopped
- 225ml double cream
- 2.5 litre/10 cup bundt tin
PREPARING A BUNDT TIN
It has happened to most of us: a perfectly-baked bundt which we have to prise, with bated breath, from a bloody bundt tin. Grease spray doesn't cut the mustard, oiling alone doesn't achieve anything, and margarine is a disaster waiting to happen. What the bundt needs is a butter, butter, flour preparation. Melt a little butter (about 50g or so) in a saucepan over a medium heat. Once the butter is melted brush a thin layer into the bundt tin, ensuring you cover every single nook, cranny and crevice. Put the tin into the freezer for a minute, butter again, then sift over a dusting of flour. Shake the pan about a bit, to cover every single inch with flour, then tap the excess flour out.
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas mark 4.
Put the butter and sugar into a KitchenAid fitted with paddle attachment and beat until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition. If the mixture splits just carry on and ignore it. Add the buttermilk in 4 inclusions, beating after each addition. If the mixture hasn't already split, it most likely will now, but keep your head held high and sing a happy song as you throw in the vanilla bean paste. Into a separate bowl sift the flour and bicarb. Add the flour to the mixer in three inclusions, beating gently after each addition, just until incorporated. As soon as the flour is all in, and you have a smooth batter, stop beating. Divide the mixture as evenly as possible between 2 bowls. In a small ramekin put the cocoa powder and hot water, and beat until smooth. Add the cocoa powder mixture to one of the bowls containing cake batter and fold in until evenly incorporated.
Blob the batters into the tin with a tablespoon, alternating between plain and chocolate. Once all of the batter is in the tin, take a knife and run it all the way around the tin, deep in the batter, twice.
Bake the bundt for an hour, until a skewer inserted into it comes out clean, and the gentle crackling bubble sound of baking has more or less subsided. Leave the bundt in the tin for 15 minutes, then give the pan a good shake back and forth, before inverting it onto a wire rack. The cake should fall out. If it doesn't, you may need to gently fiddle between the cake and tin with a small palette knife. Allow to cool completely.
For the ganache, set the chocolates into three separate bowls. Put the cream into a saucepan and set over a high heat. Once the cream comes to a boil, pour it, in thirds, over each chocolate. Leave for thirty seconds, then whisk to smooth, glossy ganaches - if you start with the white chocolate, then you don't need to wash your whisk after stirring. If the ganaches still contain little bumps of chocolate, set them over a pan of barely simmering water until smooth.
Pour the ganaches, randomly, over the bundt, allowing the ganache to mix, mingle and marble together as it drips down the sides of the cake.