Root Beer Bundt Cake

April 21, 2009

I’ve been seeing the book Baked: New Frontiers in Baking praised all over the web. Any book by a bakery whose signature cake is called “Sweet and Salty Cake” was a book I had to have. Needless to say, I was very excited when my copy came and immediately read through the entire book. I am itching to make many of the recipes, but the cake that first jumped out at me was the Root Beer Bundt cake. Besides sounding amazingly fun, the liquid in the cake is root beer making it an obvious candidate for a parve cake.  A bundt cake is often quite large, and I wanted to make this cake for a dinner of five, so it was also a great excuse to get the 6-cup bundt pan I had been wanting in order to make a half recipe.

I have to admit, the cake did not quite live up to my expectations. It was a moist chocolate cake, but the root beer flavor was barely noticible. It tasted like a chocolate cake with a hint of something else, but if I hadn’t known it was suppose to be root beer I probably couldn’t have identified what that extra flavor was. If I make it again next time I will try to find the root beer schnaps they recommend as an optional addition to bring out the flavor more. The texture of this cake was lighter than I had expected. I was expecting the denseness of a bundt cake, and this had the exact texture of a cake made from a cake mix. I enjoyed the texture, andI think the carbonation had something to do with it. Now I want to experiment making a lemon cake using sprite to get the same kind of texture.

Overall the cake was fine, it isn’t my favorite chocolate cake recipe, but it is easy, doesn’t need a mixer, and the people who ate it seemed to like it.

The only problem is that I now have the rest of a 6-pack of root beer sitting in my pantry. We don’t drink soda, so I need to find other recipes to use it up. Any suggestions?

Root Beer Bundt Cake for 1 (10-inch) Bundt Cake from Baked: New Frontiers In Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

For the cake:

  • 2 cups root beer (do not use diet root beer)
  • 1 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs

For the frosting:

  • 2 ounces dark chocolate (60% cacao), melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup root beer
  • 2/3 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

For the cake:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Generously spray the inside of a 10-inch bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray; alternatively, butter it, dust with flour, and knock out the excess flour.

In a small saucepan, heat the root beer, cocoa powder, and butter over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add the sugars and whisk until dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until just beaten, then whisk them into the cooled cocoa mixture until combined. Gently fold the flour mixture into the cocoa mixture. The batter will be slightly lumpy–do not overbeat, as it could cause the cake to be tough.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a small sharp knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Gently loosen the sides of the cake from the pan and turn it out onto a platter.

For the frosting:

Put all the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until the frosting is shiny and smooth.

Use a spatula to spread the fudge frosting over the crown of the Bundt in a thick layer. Let the frosting set before serving, with the ice cream on the side.

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