Bundt Cakes is a baking suspense because no matter how delicious or good your cake recipes are, it may come out a disastrous mess if the cake pan is not prepared well. If you are asking why make it into a Bundt tin at all, the short answer is that they just look so beautiful and cool but of course, if you are not up for the unknown, this cake recipe bakes fantastic in basic cake tins and pans as well but the baking time may need to be adjusted.
So, here are somesmall tips and tricks I find helpful.
Tips in preparing the Bundt tin
Grease your tin with fat
Greasing is the key if you want your cake to release from the tin especially if you are using the Bundt tin that has lots of details and sharp edges. The type of fats you can use are melted lard, butter or vegetable oil. I prefer using oil spray because its easier to spray them lightly without over greasing the pan.
Combination oil and flour
Greasing your pan is one way to ensure that your cake will release from the baking pan especially when its the one that you cannot line with baking paper with. However, some fats like butter can solidify during baking because of the milk solids and cling on to the cake batter making it hard to have a clean release.
So, for a peace of mind, it is recommended to dust a very thin and even layer of flour on top of the fat layer so that the cake batter do not have a chance to stick to the milk solids (if you are using melted butter). The best way to do this is by dusting the flour rather than dropping a chunk of flour into the pan which can cause the heavy lump of flours to pull down from the surface of the pan with the fat together with them. All you really need to do is dust the flour lightly over a sift and ensuring that it covers every bit of the pan, especially the centre pillar because this is the part that will cling on to your cake for life.
Once you have dusted the flour, tap the pan down gently once or twice. The excess flour will start to fall to the base. Now, tilt your pan at a 45 degree angle and with one hand clinging to the hole in the centre of the pan, rotate the pan while the other hand taps the sides and continue to do this until you have gone over the full circle of the pan. This ensures that parts that are not covered yet with the flour get a chance to be covered. Then tap out the excess flour entirely.
Resting the cake but not fully cool it down before releasing
Knowing when is the best time to release the cake is the key. From many failures before this, the one thing you do not do is trying to tilt the cake over while it is still super hot from the oven.
Once the cake is out from the oven, place the tin over a wire rack. This ensures that the base get the air flow it needs to cool slightly, otherwise the sides will cool but the base will still be warm. This is what causes the cake to stick at the base while the rest of the cake releases from the pan. The best cooling time is around 10 minutes mark. I always go by the "the pan is cool to touch but the cake is still warm" rule.
Do not let the cake cool too much in the pan though, as this can cause the fat to cool and solidify in the pan especially if you are using butter and the cake will just be stuck in it.
Once you have cool the pan slightly and the cake is still slightly warm (not hot), place a wire rack over the top and turn it upside down. Tap the top of the tin gently to help the cake release and then carefully lift one side of the pan and feel for the release then continue to do it for all sides. Do not be tempted to lift the cake pan off immediately because some parts might still be stuck to the pan. Steady and easy.
Creaming the butter and sugar
If you want to achieve that fluffy light texture that a cake should, you need to cream the butter with the sugar until they are super light and airy. The butter mixture should turn slightly light yellow in colour and feels light and fluffy. If you ever had a cake that is really dense, that is an indication that you did not cream the butter and sugar mixture enough.
Something cool about creaming butter and sugar is that it traps tiny little air pockets which helps aerate and lighten the mixture which will give you a light and tender cake. The science behind this is that as you beat the sugar together with the soft enough butter (room temperature - 18°C- 20°C), the miniscule sugar granules punches a hole against the butter and create and indent and as you keep mixing, these fats wrap around the tiny air pocket that the sugar has created and holds on to them. Because it does that, when you are creaming butter and sugar together, you are essentially aerating the mixture as well.
Note that you can only have successful aeration with the creaming method if you use room temperature butter, where the butter is soft enough for the sugar granules to punch through but not too cold hard that makes it impossible for that task nor too soft that it is impossible for the fat in the butter to hold on to any air pocket.
Flour functions as a structure builder in almost all baked goods. The starch in the wheat flour contain a type of protein called "Gluten" when mixed with liquid. This gluten works together with the egg foam and liquid to help it expand, hold on to its structure and prevents it from collapsing during baking. Gluten is also what gives bread dough the extensibility and baked bread the chewiness.
The cake flour used for this recipe has a 8% protein content which is great if you want a really light and delicate cake. If you are unable to find cake flour, you can substitute some of the plain flour with a small amount of corn flour to slightly bring down the protein content. The common ratio is approximately 12% of corn flour to the total plain flour.
Equipment: Diameter: 23.5cm x 8cm (height)
Yield: 1 Bundt Cake
250 g Unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
150 g Granulated sugar/ Caster Sugar
100 g Light brown sugar
2 tsp. Vanilla bean paste
2 Large eggs, at room temperature (approx. 100 g)
4 Egg yolks, at room temperature (approx. 80 g)
250 Cake Flour
8 g Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
160ml Buttermilk, at room temperature*
For the Chocolate Batter
190 g Base Batter (From above)
120g Bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate - melted to above 40°C
1. Pre heat the oven to 170°C. Lightly grease the Bundt cake tin with oil spray ensuring that all parts of the tin especially the centre pillar are coated lightly with oil. If you get any drips of excess oil, use a tea tower and dap them off to prevent big lumps of flour in your baked cakes.
Sift plain flour over the greased tin all around to fully coat every nooks and corners. Gently tap the pan. The excess flour will start to fall onto the base of the tin. Hold the tin at a 45 degree angle and lightly tap the tin while rotation it to collect all the excess flour. Tap the excess flours out and leave the tin aside until ready to use.
2. Place the room temperature butter with the sugars into a stand mixer bowl fitted with a paddle attachment. Cream the butter mix over medium speed until light and creamy. (This process takes approximately 8 to 10 minutes). Make sure to scrape the side and base of the bowl to prevent any lumpy bits that did not get mixed through.
3. Whisk the eggs together and gradually add them into the creamed butter while still whipping over medium speed until all the eggs are incorporated. Scrape the bowl down whenever necessary.
4. In a few additions, add in the sifted dry ingredients until they are just mixed and are well incorporated. Do not over mix.
5. Turn the speed of the mixer to low then stream in the room temperature buttermilk to loosen the batter slightly while mixing. Stop mixing as soon as all the buttermilk has been added.
6. Melt the chocolate in a microwave bowl then scoop in 190 g of the plain batter in to the melted chocolate and mix the two together until smooth.
Note: Ensure that the chocolate is above 40°C. If your chocolate is too cold, it will start to set too quickly and create lumpy bits of set chocolate.
7. With the help of a spoon or ice cream scoop, scoop random portion of plain batter and chocolate batter alternating them until all the batter has been placed into the tin. Ensure that you do not scrape any of the floured part in the tin.
8. With the help of a small angled palette knife, gently spread the top of the batter until they are flat and even.
Place the Bundt cake tin onto a baking tray and bake in the oven for approximately 50 minutes to an hour or when tested with a skewer, it comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven, then place the Bundt tin onto a wire rack and let it cool slightly for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes, place the wire rack on top of the Bundt tin then invert. Gently tap the base of the tin to help release the cake then slowly lift the tin to release the cake.
Note: Do no invert the Bundt cake tin straight from the oven. When you do rest it, do not let the cake cool too much either otherwise the cake will not release and will get stuck to the tin. You have to catch the right moment to invert the tin. 10 minutes seems to work best each time for me.
9. Serve the cake warm or cold.