Trevor and I are the type of book nerds who actually find it valuable to own expensive eBook readers for the benefit of carrying a dozen books in one tiny package for fear that one day while outside the house, we may finish a book without another book immediately available for consumption. Also, they weigh a lot less than an 800 page fantasy novel. Our devices (a Kindle for him, a nook for me) have some issues but we love them anyway. However, there is one thing I greatly miss since owning one. Trevor and I both love bookstores. We love sitting in aisles, cross-legged like small children, taking our time to peruse our favourite bookshelves in order to pinpoint that one special book to build a relationship with over the next few weeks.
Perusing an eBook store on your nook, Kindle or internet browser doesn’t exactly have the same… feeling to it.
We still make trips out to book stores, although now they’re more like selection processes on what to buy next on our eReaders. That satisfying end result is gone, a crisp, rigid, dogeared free book in our hot little hands as we leave the store, spines waiting to be cracked at our will. We could still buy physical copies of books, but it seems silly to do so just to have that short, joyful moment as you leave the store.
I’ve discovered there is one type of book that exists that I can still buy at bookstores, guilt free. Cookbooks. Most of them aren’t available in eBook format because… why would they ever want to be? The small, paperback book sized screen would never lay out an entire recipe well, the pictures of luscious, chocolatey cakes would now look grainy and one-dimensional, and if I kept it in the kitchen with me… can you imagine the stress of trying to clean flour and melted chocolate out of the crevices of an expensive electronic device? Cookbooks on the other hand can feel as though they haven’t been loved enough if they’re not at least a little bit sticky here and there.
I bought a new cookbook a couple weeks ago. And I am very excited about it.
Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito is a book I have been meaning to buy since the first time I saw the sweet and salty cake on the Martha Stewart Show. Any bakery that wants to prominently associate themselves with the sinfully delicious combination of salted caramel and chocolate on national television is something I can be a fan of.
However, now that I have the book, my first recipe out of it will not be the sweet and salty cake. Nor will it be what is apparently the “best” brownie (as dubbed by America’s Test Kitchen). It will be the Root Beer Bundt Cake.
Root beer and I go way back. As a child I loved all pop but had near zero feelings for Coca-cola or Sprite if root beer was in the room. I loved its sweetness and its association with vanilla ice cream.
24 year old Amanda desperately wanted a slice of anything involving salted caramel. 8 year old Amanda could think of nothing but root beer. Root beer and chocolate.
Did you know that when you add root beer to cocoa powder it bubbles up like a witches brew? I like it, I feel it adds whimsy to the whole process.
I love that the frosting in this recipe is made in a food processor. What’s that? A frosting making method in a covered device which ensures I won’t get powdered sugar everywhere? Why yes, I would enjoy that.
24 year old me will still be around for a few months longer. Time make my inner child happy.
So this is where I would typically insert a fabulously lit photo of the final product, taken on my DSLR, chocolate glaze shining in the sunlight. Unfortunately, I was a total noob this morning and forgot to take photos of it before leaving for work. I love this blog, but not so much that I would deny my coworkers their Friday treat just so I can bring it home whole and take photos of it.
So instead, here is a lame photo taken in the car on my iPhone.
Root Beer Bundt Cake
Recipe from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
- 1 1/2 cups root beer (not diet)
- 1/2 cup root beer schnapps
- 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 packed dark brown sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large eggs
Root Beer Fudge Frosting
- 2 oz. dark chocolate (60% cacao)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup root beer
- 2/3 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- Cake: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Generously spray the inside of a 10-inch bundt pan with baking nonstick spray (the type with flour) or butter it, dusting it with flour knocking out the excess.
- 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 misture 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 the rack.
- Frosting: Melt dark chocolate in a double boiler or in a metal bowl over gently simmering water, ensuring the bowl does not touch the surface of the water. Put aside to cool.
- Put all the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until the frosting is shiny and smooth.
- Assembly: Use a spatula to spread the fudge frosting over the crown of the bundt in a thick later. Let the frosting set before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream if desired.