I'm clearly quite biased, but I think my husband is pretty awesome. He's been especially awesome throughout this pregnancy. When I had an *ahem* minor freakout upon finding out we were expecting twins, he talked me down off the ledge. When I had multiple meltdowns about moving and finding the perfect house, he didn't lose his patience. When I'm too sick or tired or lazy to make dinner, he's okay with take-out or quesadillas. He gets up at the crack of dawn with Caroline and Smith every morning and lets me sleep until the last possible minute before he has to get ready for work. He does bath and bedtime completely on his own so I can relax and put my feet up at night. He washes all the dishes every night. And he doesn't get mad at me when I yell at him for doing things like breathing too loud.
And it doesn't hurt that he's a handsome fellow, very smart, and one of the funniest people I know. He does stuff like this in his free time. I dare you not to laugh:
So with all that said, I wanted to make him a totally awesome birthday cake this year. I typically like to go all out and do something elaborate, but given my physical condition these days, I decided to keep it simple. He requested chocolate, and I immediately thought of this tunnel of fudge cake. I've had it bookmarked for over three years, and had somehow forgotten about it. Lucky for me, Annie posted it a few months ago, and I've been dying to make it ever since.
So let's take a moment to talk about the amazingness that is this cake. From the outside, it just looks like a standard chocolate bundt cake with a chocolate glaze. But then. You cut into it, and there's a tunnel of fudge. A tunnel. of. fudge. So you are basically left with kind of a molten lava cake in bundt cake form. The cake itself is moist and tender, but then the magical chocolate center is a cross between pudding, fudge, brownie batter, and cake. I don't really know what else to say about that. Or what else you need to know.
It's super easy and uses all pantry staples (for me anyway). No fancy equipment or ingredients, and it feeds a crowd. Because it is so super rich, you can likely stretch it even more by serving small slices. Since you always have a few weaklings who "can't eat a big piece because it's so rich." ;-)
If you're still looking for a dessert for a holiday party or dinner, I highly recommend this. It will most definitely be a crowd-pleaser, and you won't even have to spend all day in the kitchen baking. And it makes husbands happy :)
Tunnel of Fudge Cake
barely adapted from The Best of America's Test Kitchen 2009
- 3/4 cup (2 1/4 oz) Dutch-processed cocoa powder, plus more for dusting the pan
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 2 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 cups (10 oz) all-purpose flour
- 2 cups (8 oz) confectioners' sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 Tbs vanilla extract
- 1 cup (7 oz) granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup packed (5 1/4 oz) light brown sugar
- 20 Tbs (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position. Grease a 12-cup bundt pan with butter and dust with cocoa powder.
Pour the boiling water over the chopped chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl, and whisk until smooth. Cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, whisk the cocoa, flour, confectioners' sugar, and salt in a large bow. Beat the eggs and vanilla in a large measuring cup.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes.
Lower the speed to low and add the egg mixture until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the chocolate mixture and beat until incorporated. Beat in the flour mixture just until combined, about 30 seconds.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top with a spatula, and bake until the edges are beginning to pull away from the pan, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool (in the pan) on a wire rack for about 1 1/2 hours, then invert onto a serving plate and cool completely, at least 2 hours.
To make the glaze, heat the cream, corn syrup, and chocolate in a small saucepan until smooth, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Allow to sit about 30 minutes, until slightly thickened. Drizzle the glaze over the cake and set for at least 10 minutes before serving.