Double Chocolate Bundt Cake

Adapted from Sunday Suppers at Lucques

I’ve made a politically unpopular move by attempting to makeover a family recipe that is viewed by my husband and anyone sharing blood with him as perfect – no modifications or improvements needed. For any birthday, holiday or other occasion necessitating a cake, this is THE cake. I have the recipe, have shared it countless times and over the course of a decade, made it many times over. So why fix what isn’t broken? I wanted to see if I could find a version of the recipe that was made from scratch, with high-quality “real” ingredients. The original, while unmistakably delicious, is made from a combination of processed food mixes – a cake mix, a box of Jell-O, etc. The version below is as “real” as it gets.

  • 7 oz. bittersweet chocolate, divided (I used Sharffen Berger)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 3 extra-large egg yolks
  • 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche
  • Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Prepare a bundt pan by greasing it lightly with butter. Be sure to get into all the creases and corners. Set aside.
  • Roughly chop 5 oz. of the chocolate and add it to a small saucepan. Cut the remaining 2 oz. chocolate into slivers and set aside for later use. Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the saucepan along with the vanilla. While the oven is preheating, set the saucepan in the oven and allow the chocolate, butter and vanilla to melt together. When melted, remove from oven, stir until blended, then set aside and allow to cool slightly.
  • In another small saucepan, combine the cocoa powder with the hot water and cook over medium heat while stirring constantly. Allow the mixture to come to a boil for a few seconds, then remove from heat. Add it to the chocolate, butter and vanilla mixture.
  • Sift together the flour, baking soda and baking powder. Add the salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, place the eggs and egg yolks. Using an electric hand mixer, blend for a few seconds until combined. Add the sugar, then blend on high speed about 6 minutes, until the mixture is very pale yellow and thick. You can also do this step using an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
  • Gently fold the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Next, add the creme fraiche. Finally, fold the flour mixture into the batter in thirds, taking care to blend it well without deflating the batter.
  • Pour 1/2 of the batter into the prepared bundt pan, then sprinkle the 2 oz. chocolate slivers over the batter. Add the last 1/2 of the batter. Bake on the middle rack for 25 minutes. When you test the cake, it will not seem done. It should be set on top, but the inside will still be very soft and moist. Take it out of the oven anyway!
  • Once you remove the cake from the oven, it will very quickly fall. I don’t know exactly why this is the case, but I was warned in the cookbook and I am now warning you. That is exactly what it did. Within a minute of getting out of the oven, the whole thing sunk. Allow the cake to cool for 30 minutes, then invert it onto a cake plate. When the cake is completely cooled, use a sifter to dust confectioners sugar all over the top.
  • Quick Tips
  • 1. If you like a sweeter chocolate, try using semi-sweet chocolate instead of bittersweet. Believe it or not, this is not a terribly sweet cake. It is indeed a chocolate explosion, but not overly sweet.
  • 2. The original, or “real” as my husband would say, bundt cake recipe has about 6 oz. of chocolate chips in the batter. I believe this batter is thick enough to hold chips, so I might try that if I make this recipe again in the future. Another idea would be to increase the slivers to 6 oz. and layer them in a couple times (a third of the batter, then slivers, then another third, more slivers, etc.)
  • 3. One noteworthy difference here – this cake takes quite a bit longer to prepare than the family recipe, though it bakes in just half the time. I can whip up a “real” bundt cake and have it in the oven in 15 minutes or less. This version takes at least 45 minutes to put together before it goes in the oven.

Preparation time: 45 minute(s)

Cooking time: 25 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 12

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