Sunday, January 19, 2014

Creme Bruleed Chocolate Bundt

Devils food cake is something that most of us can hardly turn down.  It is always one that is guaranteed to take care of any chocolate craving.  It is such a wonderful cake, trying to make it even better can pose a bit of a challenge.

It seems as if this particular recipe did succeed in that respect.  In addition to a rich fudgy cake, you have raspberries filling the center hole that are mixed with raspberry liqueur.  Then a thick cream brulee covers the top which sprinkled with sugar and then caramelized with a blow torch to form a shell.

My only issue with the preparation was the caramelizing of the cream on top.  I have a welders blow torch, so it was difficult.  Even though the sugar was heavily sprinkled on top, all the torch seemed to do was melt the cream off of the cake.  I am sure with practice and an actual kitchen torch, the caramelizing of the sugar would be a easier task. 

However, the blow torch problem did nothing to impair the great taste of this cake.  I do love wine and dark chocolate, but after this, the raspberry liqueur is my first choice. Also, the cream brulee on top brings in the third flavor which comes directly from a vanilla bean, creating one tasty trifecta of a dessert.  Please note that this recipe is for a 10 cup capacity bundt pan.

Cream Bruleed Chocolate Bundt
adapted from Baking with Julia

Ingredients/Creme Brulee
3 tbs sugar
5 egg yolks
1 vanilla bean
3/4 cup heavy cream

4 eggs, separated
2 egg whites
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup flour

Ingredients/Filling and Topping
1/4 cup raspberry liqueur
1 1/2 cups raspberries
3-4 tbs sugar

For the cream brulee, start by filling a saucepan with the heavy cream.  Then split the vanilla bean and scrape out all the seeds into the cream and put the pod in the cream as well.  Place the saucepan over low heat and mix.  Once the mixture comes to a boil remove saucepan from heat and set aside.

Set up a double boiler and let water come to a simmer in the bottom pot.  In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks.  Pour mixture into the top pot of the double boiler that has already been placed over the simmering water.  Let the mixture cook while continuously whisking.  Once the mixture turns pale yellow and is very hot, remove the top pot from the simmering water and turn off the heat. Leave the pot of simmering water on top of the original heat source.

Then slowly blend the warm cream mixture into the yolks in intervals.  Pour in some of the cream and whisk until mixed and continue with this process until all the cream is blended.  Place this pot back on top of the one filled with warm water.  Let mixture sit for about 5-10 minutes, stirring every few minutes. In the meantime, fill a large bowl with ice.  Once the custard is very thick, place the pot of cream in the bowl with the ice.  After the mixture cools, remove the vanilla pod and strain into a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.

As the brulee is cooling, the cake can be made.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare the bundt pan by buttering the inside and dusting with flour.  Take care to make sure all cracks and crevasses are covered.

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a medium size bowl.  Then mix in 1 cup of sugar.  In another bowl, blend together egg yolks, vanilla extract, water and oil.  Add the dry ingredients to the egg yolk mixture, stirring until no dry streaks remain.  Mixture will be very thick.

Fill the bowl of a stand mixer with the 6 egg whites.  Beat at low speed until they reach a foamy consistency and barely hold a peak.  Continue to run the mixer, but increase the speed to medium.  Slowly pour in 1/2 cup of sugar, beating the whole time.  As the mixer is running the consistency of the whites will change.  They will become glossy and hold their shape as stiff  peaks.

Take 1/3 of the whites and blend with the chocolate mixture.  Then fold the chocolate mixture into the remaining whites.  Once blended, pour batter into prepared bundt pan.  Place cake pan on a baking sheet or jelly roll pan and put in oven.  Set timer for 35 minutes.  Check cake at the end of this time to see if a tester comes out clean.  The cake should already have started to pull from the edges of the pan and there should be some small cracks on the surface.  If the tester does not come out clean, bake for another few minutes until tester indicates done.

Remove and place on rack to cool for 25 minutes.  Then invert onto rack and let cool completely.  Invert again onto cake plate so decorative side is face up.

Once the cake is cooled, place raspberries in a small bowl and toss with the raspberry liqueur.  Then fill the center hole of the cake with the raspberries and pour all excess liqueur from the bowl on top of the berries.

Spoon the cold custard over the center and top of cake, making sure the raspberries are completely covered.  Sprinkle on the sugar and take a blow torch to the custard and let the sugar brown and  caramelize to form a shell over the top of the cake.

Tips and Notes:
1. The cake by itself can be made a day ahead and kept at room temperature. However, if filled and covered in custard, it must be served immediately.
2. The custard can also be made a day ahead and kept refrigerated.
3. The recipe states to spoon the custard over the top and drizzle down the sides.  The drizzling effect is hard to achieve with cold custard, but piping the custard down the sides is an option.
4. If I was to make this again, I would probably increase the custard recipe by 1/2 to insure that there is enough to drizzle down the sides.
                                      **LAST YEAR:Aristocrat Cookies**