Tunnel of Fudge Bundt Cake

Sometimes when I find myself in a baking rut, unable to come to a decision on what I want to make next, I turn to Shane for advice. The only problem is that 99% of the time I ask him what he’s in the mood for, he responds with chocolate crinkle cookies. He’s a creature of habit, that’s for sure. I often wonder if he loves those cookies so much because they were pretty much the first thing I ever baked and blogged. Don’t get me wrong, they’re tasty, but I’m pretty sure I’ve made better things since, so I think more than anything they’re a sentimental favorite :)

Tunnel of Fudge Bundt Cake

Recently I was surprised when I posed the “what should I make?” question and actually got a different response – chocolate cake! And luckily, I had the perfect recipe in mind. I flagged this tunnel of fudge cake the minute I saw it on Annie’s site. I’ve had my eye on a very similar recipe in one of my cookbooks for ages, but that one had nuts unfortunately. I wasn’t sure how critical they were to creating the tunnel of fudge effect, and since the recipe didn’t indicate either way I hadn’t tackled the cake yet.

Tunnel of Fudge Bundt Cake

This is easily one of the coolest cakes I’ve ever made, I am so in love with it! I don’t know how or why it works, but as the cake bakes, two distinct textures are created. Along the outside edge, a rich chocolate cake, and in the center, a fudgy, almost molten tunnel of goodness. I took a chance at halving the recipe and baking the cake in a 6-cup bundt pan, hopeful the result would be just as good as with a full-size cake. I definitely held my breath as I cut the first piece of cake, crossing my fingers I’d find the tunnel effect inside, and I was delighted that I did. The cake is topped with a thick chocolate glaze adding to the richness, and making this a chocolate lover’s dream!

Tunnel of Fudge Bundt Cake

We enjoyed this one so much Shane decided not to take it into the office to share with his coworkers. Sorry guys, I’ll have to come up with something else for you later this week :)

Tunnel of Fudge Bundt Cake
slightly adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Entertaining, Holiday 2010 (via Annie’s Eats)

{Note: you can halve this recipe and bake in a 6-cup bundt pan. See instructions for reduced cooking time. Also, the recipe makes a ton of glaze. Next time I’d probably make 1/2 to 2/3 of the recipe.}

Cake
1/2 cup boiling water
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 cups (10 oz) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (2 1/4 oz) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 cups (8 oz) confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup (7 oz) granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed (5 1/4 oz) light brown sugar
20 tablespoons (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Glaze
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup light corn syrup
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 12-cup bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray with flour.

Place the chocolate in a small bowl, then add the boiling water. Let stand for about a minute, then whisk the mixture until smooth. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, confectioners’ sugar and salt together into a large bowl. In a measuring cup, whisk together the eggs and vanilla until combined.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then, with the mixer on low, add the egg/vanilla mixture and beat just until incorporated (the mixture might look a little curdled, it’ll come together don’t worry). Pour in the chocolate mixture and beat until combined. With the mixer still on low, gradually add the dry ingredients, beating just until combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the edges of the cake start to pull away from the pan and the top springs back when lightly pressed (if you halve the recipe and bake in a 6-cup bundt, the baking time will be less, mine was about 32 minutes).

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool in the pan for about 1 1/2 hours before turning it out onto the rack. Let the cake cool completely on the rack before glazing, about 2 more hours.

To make the glaze: Add the heavy cream, corn syrup and chocolate to a small saucepan. Set over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Let the glaze stand for about 30 minutes to allow it to thicken slightly, then drizzle over the cake. Allow to set for at least 10 minutes before serving.