Tuesday, February 2, 2010

TWD: Milk Chocolate Mini Bundts


The thing about Dorie Greenspan's recipes is that they are so good, so professional, and so foolproof that you can end up being kind of lazy about things and still wind up with a good result. Such was the case with this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe, Milk Chocolate Mini Bundt cakes. To start with, Dorie clearly specifies that you should use "premium milk chocolate." Well, my one grocery stop the day I made these was going to be Piggly Wiggly, where the best milk chocolate available was this:


My days tend to fall into one of two categories: (1) days when nothing will come between me and my Callebaut, and (2) days when the very thought of loading these three kids back into the van to drive to Whole Foods for fancy chocolate is the height of absurdity. I was having day #2, so I went with the Hershey's. I've also been known to make cupcakes from a box. But really, Hershey's is good enough to support an entire amusement park, so surely it could hold its own in a couple of mini bundts.

My pans weren't exactly mini, and they weren't exactly bundts. I can best describe them as smallish and bundtish:


I think I found the pans at Target - they were called "dome pans" or something like that. They annoy me every time I use them, because they are never exactly what I want. Anyway, the upshot of all that is that my baking times were a little off -- these really needed to bake longer than the recipe calls for. I lost count of how many times I stuck these back in the oven for another 2 minutes, another 3 minutes. In the end, I probably overbaked them by a few minutes. Nothing that a little Reddi Whip couldn't fix!

I intended to make the glaze, and even went so far as to melt some bittersweet chocolate (which overfloweth in my pantry, unlike milk chocolate) for the glaze, but then I realized I didn't have any corn syrup. So I ended up serving the first cake sans glaze, and I figured I'd pick up some corn syrup to make glaze for, and then photograph, cake number two.

The kids and I LOVED this cake warm out of the oven. I can't identify the flavor, but it sure wasn't chocolate. Just that magical combination of butter, sugar, flour, eggs, and Hershey Bar, I suppose (and mini chocolate chips, which I threw in there for fun). I immediately thought of my friend Amanda, who does not like bittersweet chocolate. I'm so making this cake for you, sister! This is really a great chocolate cake for people who prefer milder chocolate, or who don't like chocolate at all. I don't think anyone would know this was a chocolate cake if you didn't tell them (at least not if you make it with Hershey Bars and don't glaze it).



In keeping with the lazy theme, I never did make the glaze, and I never did photograph the second cake in natural light. I'll spare you my long boring list of excuses. But don't you love the twinkle of the incandescent light as it catches the glass cake stand under the overhead kitchen fixtures? Nope, you won't get that outside at 4 p.m.

I finally decided to eat the last (still naked) cake on Sunday night, several days after I made it. And it was still fabulous! But that's a Dorie recipe for you - you can use inferior ingredients, skip a major component of the recipe, and let it sit there for days getting stale, AND IT IS STILL DELICIOUS. So you can only imagine what her recipes taste like when you actually follow her instructions!

Thanks to Kristin of I'm Right About Everything for a great pick!

35 comments:

Mary said...

Your last photo looks like the cake is floating in the air! Very cool--try that with natural light:) I skipped the swirl and used a caramel glaze instead.

Amanda said...

Does sound good!! I love the last picture- it kind of looks like the cake is floating..

mike said...

Hershey's? I used bulk "no name" blocks of milk chocolate out of a barrel (and it was still good)! I'm not sure if you could tell high from low quality in this recipe. Love your pans - and for some reason, these cakes looked better "un-iced", IMO!

Jennifer said...

Your cake looks awesome!

I made the glaze, but had issues with it and still loved it! I used Hershey's too!

vibi said...

When great minds encounter, they have Caillebaut together! LOL ...although I had to leave chocolate aside this week, for there is so much more coming our way during the month, I find reading you again and being able to enjoy all those quirks and mishaps you write about, to be some of the best read of my day... Caillebaut or not.

Very nicely done Cathy, I'm sure your kids are also glad you've gotten back on the chocolate bandwaggon! LOL

Kayte said...

I love those little pans, I think they are very nice in all their swirly goodness...the little cakes look great out of them. I learned a lot about chocolate in this post and made notes. Easier to take notes as you know there sure isn't going to be a taste test on chocolate from me! So, Hershey does not command the chocolate world? Ok, noted. Kids/Husband loved these and I thought their littleness was sweet and cute. Have to think of more reasons to use a mini-bundt pan. I'm firmly sticking to my no buying anything for myself this year policy and using what I have, own, store, dust around, wash, take care of, etc. so I don't absolutely NEED anything right now, but I am good to cover your tracks on the mini-bundt pan gift. LOL.

myfamousrecipe said...

You're making this sound so good, I'm regretting that I skipped this week. I'll just have to try it another time, eh?

I'm with you on the chocolate split personality. I swing wildly between cheapo chocolate chips and fancy Valrhona chocolate "feves."

Mary Ann said...

I actually do appreciate the reflection of the light on your cake stand.
I agree with you about Dorie's recipes too- you can mess with them a little bit and they still turn out fantastically!
Great job!
So glad that you are back to blogging. I missed you!

Sabrina said...

Nice job! I bet they were delicious!

chocolatechic said...

Beautiful wee pans.

Beautiful wee cakes.

I tweaked mine just a wee bit.

Susan said...

Love the last photo! I used the glaze, but had to add whipping cream to it before it would pour. Your cakes look great "naked". :)

Nancy/n.o.e said...

We girly girl types definitely appreciate the beauty of the twinkling lights and insist on a pantry full of dark premium chocolate. Things like the fabulousness of this cake are just a pleasant surprise that comes our way. I used "bundtish" in my post, too!

Peggy said...

I love your wee pans. and that you are cooking again. Mine are like JUMBO muffins!

Kim said...

Your little cakes are cute. I bet these were yummy with the milk chocolate. I searched my fridge for some leftover Hershey bars but no luck.

Vanillastrawberryspringfields said...

A lovely yummy chocolatey blog...am loving all ur recipes including ur chocolate caramel tart.....to me it wasnt a disaster sweetie....

And yeah this cutie bundt cakkeys rock too...

and so do the apple turnovers...fantstic....

Bridgett said...

I love these little cakes! They are too cute. I know what you mean about those days when taking the kids along anywhere is just too much to process, lol. These little babies look delicious.

pinkstripes said...

Glad to know it was a success and that you can totally be lazy. I need to go back and make these.

Leslie said...

So much for using premium everything to get a better result! With 3 kids, I think it's a miracle you get anything done, so producing cakes is impressive.

Do you think your "dome pans" could be jello molds?

dharmagirl said...

you captured my problem with these cakes: i wanted CHOCOLATE. and these did not taste like chocolate, but something else, even when made with bittersweet chocolate:)

(um, i forgot to take a photo before sending the rest of mine home with my bf. oops. love your twinkling indoor photo;))

Gabe's Girl said...

Great post! Your are so funny. Your cakes do look good. They do not looked overbaked to me at all. I wish I had a pantry overflowing with BS chcolate! I always have to run out and buy it. Thanks for the great read!

Di said...

Looks great, Cathy! I like this one a lot, too. Like you said, I'm not sure I would identify the flavor as chocolate, but it was quite tasty. I ate mine without glaze, with some caramel ice cream. Mmm.

Liz said...

I'm still giggling over "smallish and bundtish." You should trademark that and make your own set of annoyingly not-quite-right pans. I'd buy some!

Katrina said...

Your smallish bundtish cake looks great al fresco! I think I overbaked mine a little, too, as they were just a tad dry, but I did like that it wasn't such bittersweet chocolate for once!

So good to read you bloggin' again.

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Hooray for smallish bundtish pans!
The cake looks yummy. I have given up entirely on natural light as now it is getting dark here before 5pm. Too depressing. ;-)

natalia said...

Ciao Cathy ! I can imagine setting for Hershey's ! Some days are just like that !! We loved it too !!

Anne said...

So funny about Dorie's recipes spoiling us. I actually just baked a roll recipe from a famous restaurant and they didn't specify if the butter should be softened or melted. I was so irritated and thought, "Dorie would never do this!" So funny!

PS Your Princess Party was amazing... I couldn't believe the pictures! So fun! Thank goodness I have a baby girl to pamper someday or I would be seriously jealous!

Tracey said...

Oooh Piggly Wiggly! There was one in Nashville but I never stopped in (it was on the "bad" side of town) - sounds like maybe I didn't miss much :)

I think your little cakes look perfect sans glaze and I'm glad they were a hit! I'm not a bittersweet chocolate fan so these were right up my alley, though mine did turn out a bit dense.

AmyRuth said...

Cathy, you crack me up. BTW how are all the bruises? Remember how fun you are, Mommy! You are right. It is surprising how much leeway Dorie gives us and still we wind up with more that acceptable yummies. Great job and loved your story.
AmyRuth

TeaLady said...

We think alike, friend. I used the same pans and it did take longer to bake.

I used Dove and they were still good. with and without glaze.

Love the last pic.

Flourchild said...

I love the way your minis turned out. Mine were dreadful..dry and crumbly. I am glad I made this recipe though..it was fun to nibble on the crumbs!

jillbert said...

The cakes are cute! Cake with Reddi Whip sounds so good right now. We have Piggly Wiggly here, but I didn't know they had them in other states too. Interesting (kind of)!

Sweet and Savory said...

I enjoy reading your posts. I can almost put myself in your shoes, you make them come alive.

The icing was good but we ate some of mine plain and they were fine.

Steph said...

I actually prefer my chocolate cakes plain with no icing. While they may have tasted so much better with Callebaut, I would have definite settled for Hershey's too.. way too much stress!

The Queen of Quite a Lot said...

I'm so glad you and your family loved them! Thanks for baking with me this week!

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I'm still waiting for the day when I will finally be able to afford a 20 terabyte drive, haha. But for now I will be content with having a 16 gig Micro SD Card in my R4i.

(Posted on NetServ for R4i Nintendo DS.)

 
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