Chocolate-Cinnamon Bundt Cake with Mocha Frosting

A few weeks ago when my family visited I had sprained my foot, so I needed to go back to a foolproof and easy recipe for dessert.  This is a wonderful very chocolaty bundt cake recipe that I’d pulled out of an old Bon Appetit magazine a few years ago.

I’ve been using my Mom’s original bundt pan from the 1970’s – it’s harvest gold –  for this recipe but I don’t think I can do that for much longer because some of the coating is starting to chip.  I think I’ll just have to retire it and keep it for the memories.  I don’t mind getting a new pan from Nordic Ware though because I love that their products are made in America and they’re well made.

I’m told this cake is dangerous and addicting, so try it but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Be sure to spray your bundt pan with plenty of cooking spray before pouring the batter into the pan.  And, a bit of harvest gold peeking through the middle.

Ready for the oven.

Hot out of the oven.

Iced and ready to go.

Don’t you want a slice?  I wish there were scratch ‘n sniff computers, so you would know how good this smells.

Enjoy.

Chocolate Cinnamon Bundt Cake with Mocha Frosting

Yield:  12 – 16 servings                Cook Time:  50 minutes

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cups mini semisweet chocolate chips

Icing:

  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder (if you want a more subtle mocha flavor, use 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli)
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

Directions:

Step 1:  For the cake:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Boil water and dissolve cocoa powder and espresso powder in it.  Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a bowl and mix well.

Step 2:  Take about 2 tablespoons of the flour mixture and mix it into the chocolate chips in a small bowl and set aside.  Mixing the flour with the chocolate chips will help prevent the chips from falling while baking along with some additional steps I’ve incorporated into the process.

Step 3:  Beat brown sugar, vegetable oil and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer to blend.  Beat in eggs one at a time until well incorporated.  Beat for another minute until smooth.  Add about half of the flour mixture until combined, then beat in the cocoa mixture until combined and then beat in the remaining flour mixture until combined.

Step 4:  Spray a large bundt pan liberally with cooking spray.  Pour some of the batter (about 1 1/2 cups) into the bottom of the bundt pan.  Fold chocolate chips into the remaining batter.  Pour the remaining batter into the bundt pan.

Step 5:  Bake about 50 minutes.  Test with a toothpick inserted near center at 45 minutes – it should be clean.  If the toothpick isn’t clean test again in 5 minutes.  Cool cake in the pan for 10 minutes.  Gently jostle the cake to loosen it from the pan sides.  Depan cake inverted onto a cooling.  Cool another 30 minutes.

Step 6:  For the icing:  While the cake is cooling, stir brown sugar, espresso powder, and water in small saucepan or small frying pan over medium heat.  Stir continually until sugar melts.  Remove from heat and mix in butter and chocolate chips.  Stir until butter and chocolate melt and butter is completely incorporated.  Cool until frosting thickens a little.

Step 7:  Transfer cake to a serving dish.  Drizzle icing over cake making sure it drips down the sides a little.  Let cake cool completely.  It’s time to eat.  If you have any leftovers, this cake keeps well at room temperature.  If you like chocolate cold, chill the cake in the refrigerator for a few hours.

Enjoy!!!

Recipe adapted slightly from Bon Appetit.

Cannoli Filled Puff Pastry Cups

Another busy weekend gone by and to prepare for it I needed a quick, easy and delicious dessert to bring to a family dinner and have during Super Bowl.  I had two pounds of ricotta cheese in the refrigerator and puff pastry in the freezer, since I wouldn’t have the time to shop I decided that I would combine cannoli cream filling with puff pastry cups.  The cannoli cream needs to be made ahead of time so that it has the right consistency and isn’t too soft.  The cannoli cream recipe is one I’ve used before and I’ve had rave reviews every time.

I began by finding a recipe to turn the puff pastry dough into pastry cups on the puff pastry website.  I only needed the puff pastry cup portion of the recipe as shown below.  Once the puff pastry is baked and cooled it can be stored unfilled in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days.

The cannoli cream had to be started a couple of days ahead of time because the ricotta cheese needs to be drained of extra liquid.  In addition, I only use the Polly-O brand for cannoli filling or ricotta cheesecake.  I have found that the Polly-O brand does not become grainy when processed in the food processor.

Enjoy!

Yield:  24 filled cups                 Cook Time:  10 – 15 minutes

Ingredients

Puff Pastry Cups:
1 17.3-ounce package Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (2 sheets), thawed according to package directions
1 egg, beaten

Cannoli Cream Filling:
2 lb container Polly-O ricotta cheese, drained overnight in a 2-ply cheesecloth
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
1 1/2 c powdered sugar, sifted
2/3 c mini chocolate chips; plus some additional for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Spray 12 (2 1/2-inch) muffin-pan cups with the cooking spray or line them with paper cupcake liners.
  2. Unfold the first pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface.  Roll the pastry into a 12 x 9-inch rectangle.  Cut the rectangle into 12 (3-inch) squares.
  3. Press the pastry squares into the muffin-pan cups.  Brush only the sides of the pastry cups with the egg.  Prick the bottom of the pastry cups with a fork.
  4. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until the pastry cups are golden brown.  Begin checking the puff pastry after 10 minutes.  Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the pastry cups from the pan and cool completely.
  5. Repeat steps one through 4 for the second pastry sheet.
  6. For the filling, mix ricotta, vanilla and sugar together.
  7. Move the mixture to a food processor (I used a small Kitchen Aid chopper that was included with my stick blender) and mix until the filling is smooth and is the right consistency.  Depending on the size of your food processor, you may need to mix in more than one batch.
  8. Fold in chips, place in a Ziploc bag and store at least overnight in the refrigerator.
  9. When ready to fill, make a 1/2 inch cut on one corner of the Ziploc bag and use as a pastry bag to fill the cups.
  10. Sprinkle some chips on top of each filled pastry cup.

Tip:  How to tell if Puff Pastry is done baking?  Take a sharp knife and nick off a teensy piece to test for crispness and flakiness.

Puff Pastry Cups recipe from puff pastry.
Cannoli Cream recipe from unknown source.