15 September 2009

Video and 3 Cake Recipes: Tunnel of Fudge Cake, Wacky Cake, Cold Oven Pound Cake

From Denny: This is so my kind of food video depicting comfort cakes with the best ingredients: sugar, flour and CHOCOLATE! :) My favorite is the Tunnel of Fudge Cake. This Cold Oven Pound Cake is a recipe I've never heard of and am curious to try. Apparently, it comes from the early 1900's (which is why I've never heard of it) and is a much lighter pound cake because it is started in a cold oven rather than a hot one. This chef from Cook's Illustrated is really interesting with the historical trivia for these recipes and food science explanations of why things work in these recipes. Take a look and a listen. Enjoy baking these easy comfort cakes!


Tunnel of fudge cake

From: Chris Kimball, editor of Cook's Illustrated

Serves: 12 to 14



• 3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting pan
• 1/2 cup boiling water
• 2 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 cups pecans or walnuts, chopped fine
• 2 cups confectioners' sugar
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 5 large eggs, room temperature
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
• 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

Chocolate glaze

• 3/4 cup heavy cream
• 1/4 cup light corn syrup
• 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Do not use a cake tester, toothpick, or skewer to test the cake — the fudgy interior won't give an accurate reading. Instead, remove the cake from the oven when the sides just begin to pull away from the pan and the surface of the cake springs back when pressed gently with your finger.

1. For the cake: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 12-cup Bundt pan and dust with cocoa powder. Pour boiling water over chocolate in medium bowl and whisk until smooth. Cool to room temperature. Whisk cocoa, flour, nuts, confectioners' sugar, and salt in large bowl. Beat eggs and vanilla in large measuring cup.

2. With electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat granulated sugar, brown sugar, and butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. On low speed, add egg mixture until combined, about 30 seconds. Add chocolate mixture and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Beat in flour mixture until just combined, about 30 seconds.

3. Scrape batter into prepared pan, smooth batter, and bake until edges are beginning to pull away from pan, about 45 minutes. Cool upright in pan on wire rack for 1 1/2 hours, then invert onto serving plate and cool completely, at least 2 hours.

4. For the glaze: Cook cream, corn syrup, and chocolate in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. Stir in vanilla and set aside until slightly thickened, about 30 minutes. Drizzle glaze over cake and let set for at least 10 minutes. Serve. (Cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.)

Wacky cake

From: Chris Kimball, editor of Cook's Illustrated

Serves: 6 to 8

This moist cake gets even better when served with vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.


• 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup natural cocoa powder
• 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon table salt
• 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 cup water
• Confectioners' sugar for dusting


1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 8-inch-square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Whisk flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together in pan. Make one large and two small craters in dry ingredients. Add oil to large crater and vinegar and vanilla separately to remaining small craters. Pour water into pan and mix until just a few streaks of flour remain. Immediately put pan in oven.

3. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 30 minutes. Cool in pan, then dust with confectioners' sugar. (If tightly wrapped, cake will keep for three days at room temperature.)

Cold-oven pound cake

From: Chris Kimball, editor of Cook's Illustrated

Serves: 12


• 3 cups cake flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup whole milk
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 20 tablespoons (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
• 2 1/2 cups sugar
• 6 large eggs


You'll need a 16-cup tube pan or angel food cake pan for this recipe; if not using a nonstick pan, make sure to thoroughly grease a traditional pan. In step 2, don't worry if the batter looks slightly separated.

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position. Grease and flour 16-cup tube pan. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in bowl. Whisk milk and vanilla in measuring cup.

2. With electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until combined. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with 2 additions of milk mixture. Mix on low until smooth, about 30 seconds. Use rubber spatula to give batter final stir.

3. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Place cake in cold oven. Adjust oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake, without opening oven door, until cake is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 65 to 80 minutes.

4. Cool cake in pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours. Serve. (Cooled cake can be stored in airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.)
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