Monday 22 July 2013

Dorie Greenspan's Mocha Walnut Bundt Cake

Remember that beautiful dress you were eyeing sometime back, but left it as you found it overly priced!! Well, dash and pick it up right now as almost every other store is on sale. Yes!! The off season sale is on!! Go ahead and make some space in your cupboard, as everything and anything seem to be on a discount. This is the best time of the year to pick up stuff that you have been yearning for. Notwithstanding, whether it’s a weekend or weekday, malls are bursting with shopping enthusiasts, rushing in and out of shops, trying to grab the best deals that work for them. And I am no different!! I too thoroughly enjoy this sale extravaganza, where one feels so thrilled at being able to pick up stuff at half the price of what we saw in the shop a month ago - even though it might be going out of fashion. But, there is another thing that I have got addictive to and that’s online shopping, something that is catching on like a wildfire with the shopping crazy customers today and that includes me. Its so easy, the best is on display and with the click of a mere button you can have the thing delivered right at your doorstep – no jostling, no long waits to try out a dress in the trial room or waiting in long queues to pay your bill, all in all making it a complete shoppers dream!!
Keeping with the spirit of sales, when announced a 70% off on their books, I just could not help but browse through their fabulous collection of cookery books and managed to get  a steal on quite a few cookbooks by my favorite authors which have been on my wishlist for a long long time. Amongst the many, I also picked up Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking – from my home to yours” which I had been dying to add to my collection since I think almost forever.
This book had been highly recommended by a friend, Ruchira , who is herself a passionate baker and runs a fabulous food blog The great cuckaroo. 

The book was promptly delivered in flat 3 days and on receiving my much awaited parcel, I quickly scanned through all the pages. Beautifully illustrated, Dorie greenspan's book is indeed a treasure cove of recipes consisting of all things sweet - cookies, desserts, pies, cakes, cheesecakes etc.- indeed a delight for any baker to possess.
From the book, I zeroed in on to the Marbled Mocha Walnut Bundt cake which had an irresistible combination of coffee, walnuts and chocolate. The only problem was that my son hates walnuts in the cake but as the recipe called for walnuts in a powdered form I decided to take a chance and give it a go.  I was really happy with the end result. The cake was superbly soft and moist - almost crumbly. It had a lovely buttery flavor, quite like a pound cake, a strong taste of coffee, which I love and with just a hint of walnuts it was a surefire winner. And of course my son loved it too!!

21/4 cups flour (316 gms)
1/2 cup finely ground walnuts
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
sticks plus 2 tbsp butter (about 225 plus 30 gms)
85 gms bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup prepared coffee 
1 tsp instant coffee powder
13/4 cup sugar (350 gms)
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup whole milk

Butter a 9 to 10 inch Bundt pan, dust the inside with flour and tap out the excess.
Whisk together the flour, ground walnuts, baking powder and salt.
Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Put 2 tbsp of butter cut into pieces along with the chocolate, coffee and instant coffee. Heat the mixture stirring often, until the butter and chocolate are melted and everything is smooth and creamy - keep the heat low so that the butter and chocolate do not seperate. Remove the bowl from heat. Add in the vanilla extract.
Beat together the remaining butter and sugar at medium speed for about 3 minutes till you have a thick paste.
Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, till the mixture is smooth and satiny. Add in the vanilla essence and mix well.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients and the milk alternately, adding the dry mixture in 3 portions and milk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients).
Scrape a little less than half the batter into the bowl with the melted chocolate and using a rubber spatula stir to blend thoroughly.
If you want to go for the gingko pattern, scrape all of the white batter into the pan and top with the chocolate. If you want a more marbled pattern, alternate spoonfuls of light and dark batter in the pan. 
When all the batter is in the pan, swirl a table knife sparingly through the batters to marble them.
Bake for 65 to 70 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted deep into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the Bundt pan to a rack and let cool for 10 minutes before unmoulding, then cool the cake completely on the rack.
I also made these cute cupcakes for my kids to take to school.

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