Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Erin’s Glazed Chocolate Bundt Cake & a birthday #bookgiveaway from @LeslieBudewitz

LESLIE BUDEWITZ:  We’ve long joked here at the Kitchen that some of us are People of the Pie while others are Clan of the Cake. I have long been proudly and happily People of the Pie and celebrated Pi Day appropriately. But in recent years, I have discovered some of the joys of making and eating cake at times other than my birthday. This cake was our Valentine’s Day treat. It’s dense and fudgy, but lighter than a flourless chocolate tort. The glaze is melty-good.

And the whole thing is easy as pie. (Hey, you knew I was going to say that, didn’t you?)


Erin Murphy, the star of my Food Lovers’ Village mysteries, shares many of my food tastes. She also shares my March birthday, and I am certain she would love this cake as much as we did. (Mine was two weeks ago; I'll pass your greetings on to her.) Readers of the series may remember that when she was born, her father, Tom Murphy, told her mother, Francesca, that she’d gotten to name the first two kids and now it was his turn. She was born on St. Patrick’s Day, which made the choice obvious.

To celebrate Erin’s birthday on March 17, I’m offering two lucky readers a signed copy of Death al Dente, the first Food Lovers’ Village mystery and winner of the 2013 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. 

Cake? Pie? What do you choose to celebrate your birthday or the birthdays of those you love?  

Erin’s Glazed Chocolate Bundt Cake

Adapted from the Washington Post

For the cake:

1 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder 

1 tablespoon instant espresso powder

1 cup boiling water

1 cup whole or reduced-fat milk

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon fine salt

1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup canola or other neutral oil 

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened 

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 large eggs, at room temperature

For the glaze:

3 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder

2 tablespoons honey

Pinch fine salt 

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons whole or reduced-fat milk

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Make the cake: 

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a large Bundt pan with baking spray or grease with butter or oil. (My nonstick pan does not need greasing; you know your pan.) 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cocoa and espresso powders until combined. Pour in the boiling water, whisking until thoroughly combined. The mixture will thicken and turn glossy, almost like pudding. Let cool slightly, then whisk in the milk until incorporated.

In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In an electric mixer, beat the brown sugar, granulated sugar, oil, and butter on medium until lightened in color, creamy and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beaters or paddle if needed. Beat in the vanilla extract, then the eggs, one at a time, waiting until the first is incorporated before adding the second. Scrape down the bowl again. On low speed, gradually add half the cocoa powder mixture. After the liquid has been thoroughly mixed in, stop the mixer, add half the flour mixture and mix again on low until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Repeat with the remaining cocoa mixture and then the remaining flour mixture.

Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl once more. Turn the mixer back on to medium and beat for about 30 seconds. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and scrape once more to eliminate any dry pockets or chunks of unincorporated butter. The batter will be thick and glossy, almost like a soft pudding or mousse.

Scrape the batter into the prepared Bundt pan and smooth the top with the back of a spoon or spatula. Gently tap the pan a few times on the counter to pop any air pockets in the batter. Bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until a cake tester (or wooden skewer) inserted into the center comes out clean. When pressed lightly with your finger, the cake should spring back a bit, but it may still feel very soft. That’s okay; it will firm up as it cools.

Let pan cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides of the cake with a small, flexible spatula or a table knife, then invert the pan onto the rack and let the cake cool completely.

Make the glaze: 

Combine the cocoa powder, honey, and salt in a small bowl, preferably one with a pouring spot. 

Place the butter and milk in a small, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until the butter has melted, 30 seconds to 1 minute. The milk may foam, so keep an eye on it, pausing the oven and stirring if needed. Pour the milk and butter mixture into the cocoa powder mixture and whisk until glossy, smooth and well-combined. Whisk in the vanilla. 

Allow glaze to cool a few minutes, then drizzle on the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides. Start slowly; if your glaze is too thin, allow it to cool a little longer. (If it gets too thick, you can warm it – briefly – in the microwave.)

Let the glazed cake set for about 30 minutes before cutting and serving. The cake will keep, covered, up to five days. 










And yes, that's my Christmas mug shown with my breakfast cake. One of the Secrets of Adult Living is that cake -- and pie -- make great breakfast. 

Cake? Pie? What do you choose to celebrate your birthday or the birthdays of those you love? 

Leave a comment for a chance to celebrate Erin’s March 17 birthday! Two lucky readers will win a signed copy of Death al Dente, the first Food Lovers’ Village mystery, winner of the 2013 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. (US and Canada only.) Mr. Kitten will choose the winner on Thursday, March 17. 

Friends, we try to keep things light here at the Kitchen, but we are keenly aware of the powerful role of food in connecting people and in shaping a culture. If you’d like to express your concern for Ukraine and its people through food, consider making Dureny, Ukrainian potato pancakes, or this pan-fried Chicken Kiev, or another Ukrainian dish. If you share pictures, use the tag #cookforUkraine. And consider a donation to World Central Kitchen, the organization started by Chef Jose Andres to bring food to people in crisis situations throughout the world


From the cover of BITTERROOT LAKE, written as Alicia Beckman (Crooked Lane Books; available in hardcover, ebook, and audio): 

When four women separated by tragedy reunite at a lakeside Montana lodge, murder forces them to confront everything they thought they knew about the terrifying accident that tore them apart, in Agatha Award-winning author Alicia Beckman's suspense debut.

Twenty-five years ago, during a celebratory weekend at historic Whitetail Lodge, Sarah McCaskill had a vision. A dream. A nightmare. When a young man was killed, Sarah's guilt over having ignored the warning in her dreams devastated her. Her friendships with her closest friends, and her sister, fell apart as she worked to build a new life in a new city. But she never stopped loving Whitetail Lodge on the shores of Bitterroot Lake.

Now that she's a young widow, her mother urges her to return to the lodge for healing. But when she arrives, she's greeted by an old friend--and by news of a murder that's clearly tied to that tragic day she'll never forget.

And the dreams are back, too. What dangers are they warning of this time? As Sarah and her friends dig into the history of the lodge and the McCaskill family, they uncover a legacy of secrets and make a discovery that gives a chilling new meaning to the dreams. Now, they can no longer ignore the ominous portents from the past that point to a danger more present than any of them could know.


Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries, continuing in July 2022 with Peppermint Barked. She's the winner of Agatha Awards in three categories. Death al Dente, the first Food Lovers' Village Mystery, won Best First Novel in 2013, following her 2011 win in Best Nonfiction. Her first historical short story, "All God's Sparrows," won the 2018 Agatha Award for Best Short Story. As Alicia Beckman, she writes standalone suspense, beginning with Bitterroot Lake (2021) and continuing with Blind Faith (October 2022, Crooked Lane Books).

A past president of Sisters in Crime and a current board member of Mystery Writers of America, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by her website and subscribe to her seasonal newsletter, for a chat about the writing life, what she's working on, and  what she's reading -- and a free short story. And join her on Facebook where she shares book news and giveaways from her writer friends, and talks about food, mysteries, and the things that inspire her.

44 comments:

  1. I love to have cake in my birthday.
    Kitten143 (at) Verizon (dot) net

    ReplyDelete
  2. I normally have cake for birthdays, but I love pie too. I'll eat either anytime!
    kozo8989(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love to have a cake for my birthday! Either a chocolate cake or a coconut cake!Thanks for the recipe and the chance!!

    jarjm1980(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll confess, I never cared for coconut cake until a patient of Mr. Right's was working on her recipe and brought us a big chunk of one. Hooked! Even put it in an upcoming book!

      Delete
  4. Thank you so much for the recipe for Erin’s Glazed Chocolate Bundt Cake. Sounds so yummy good!

    As for me, my special cake was always my Mom's Hungarian Coffee Cake. It was what I always requested for my birthday. Think monkey bread, but all made from scratch with lots of pecans, cinnamon and gooey yumminess. Mine are good, but think they miss Mom's secret ingredient of her love. Also love a Three Day Coconut Cake that is super, super easy to make. And yes you have to make it 3 days before you can eat it. :)

    Now hubby is 100% a pie person. He loves my cream pies and my pecan pie which I make in a deep dish pie plate doubling the gooey layer but not the pecans which seems to be a bit hit for those that love and can tolerate the super richness. (Hint: Make sure to cook a lot lower temperature and longer to get it done.)

    Thank you so much for the chance to win a copy of "Death al Dente"! Love your books, but seem to have missed this one. Would love the opportunity to read and review. Shared and hoping.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    ReplyDelete
  5. Cake is a birthday treat and a lemon cake would be my favorite. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Cake is definitely my choice. My Mom was a good cook, and she always made buns and bread, but she had no hand for pastries, so her pie crusts were, shall we say, not flakey? But her cakes were wonderful :-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I totally agree with Alicia! We always have cakes for birthdays but I love them both. Thanks for the giveaway. ckmbeg (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Marble Cake is a real indulgence for my birthday. Moist and tasty. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you like chocolate, this one would be perfect!

      Delete
  9. Happy Birthday to Erin!! Hope you had a good birthday! Mine is the 18th -between St Patrick's and St. Joseph's. Cake - chocolate with lots of icing!!
    Diane Slonski dls318@att.net

    ReplyDelete
  10. Delicious! If we hadn't already had a poppyseed cake AND banana-chocolate chip bread in the house, I would have baked a pie yesterday. I'm firmly in the cake-pie camp!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Yummy recipe, going on the bake-this-soon list. Pie or cake - both? Strawberry rhubarb pie. And always white cake with 7-minute frosting for my birthday made by my mom when I was young. Happy Birthday to you and Erin!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love both cake and pie, but have always thought of cakes for a birthday celebration. Now, though, I have a grandson with a Pi Day birthday so they celebrate with pie - yesterday he enjoyed banana cream pie for his 3rd birthday!

    ReplyDelete
  13. My favorite birthday cake is yellow cake with milk chocolate icing and decorated with yellow roses. My favorite bundt cakes are rum and pistachio. Now I am really hungry and I just finished lunch!!
    lindalou64(@)live(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  14. My Grandmother used to make me a homemade chocolate cake with homemade chocolate buttercream frosting every year for my birthday so I will always choose cake over pie, but the flavor doesn’t always have to be chocolate. I love a good carrot cake, red velvet, coconut, lemon, strawberry, or even a really good yellow cake with chocolate buttercream frosting.
    tiggercat24alisha@yahoodotcom

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love a good carrot cake -- and I know there are several good recipes on this site alone!

      Delete
  15. This cake is similar to one my mom used to bake for special occasions & potlucks. It was rich & firm enough to hold up to thin slicing so more people could get a slice! Her glaze was bittersweet chocolate. Yummy! I love anything cake chocolate & cherry pie, sometimes cherry pie filling mixed into a rich chocolate cake! I love "Murder Al Dente"! It's delicious! Love to talk to you too. Cecile

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cherry pie! When I was 4 or 5, my mother made two cherry pies for the cake walk at the school carnival, just before Lent. I crawled up on the kitchen counter and ate part of the crust from one pie. Guess who didn't get to go to Carnival that year?! Thanks for the kind words!

      Delete
  16. Cake for breakfast? Sure. It has milk and eggs and flour, right? That sounds like a proper breakfast to me!
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

    ReplyDelete
  17. Don't make me choose! Maybe a slice of this scrumptious sounding chocolate cake with a side of pecan pie?? Or vice versa. Happy Birthday Erin and Leslie; may your hearts be content with pie and/or cake!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now there's the perfect recipe for a fabulous celebration! Thank you, from both of us!

      Delete
  18. we usually celebrate birthdays with cake. My husband loves a great cherry pie any time and I am a fan of chocolate tarts!

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  19. I like cake for my birthday. Your chocolate bundt cake looks delicious.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love cake for my birthday. Thanks for the chance.
    Jess
    maceoindo(yahoo)dot(com)

    ReplyDelete
  21. We always did cake for birthdays, but we now do small pastries and macarons. Everyone picks what they want and we have no waste.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Delish! That's the advantage of being the baker in the family -- when it's my birthday, I'm pretty sure I'm going to like what I make!

      Delete
  22. My favorite cake is almond cake. A bakery two hours away makes the best I've had, but I fo my own copycat version for celebrations most of the time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds delish! Great that you found a copycat version -- I love doing that!

      Delete
  23. I'm a person of the pie. Key lime and cherry are my favorites.
    wskwared(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm not much of a cake person although I love carrot cake! Would rather have any kind of pie! tWarner419@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. This recipe looks fabulous, Leslie! I love both cake and pie. I guess there isn't a dessert I don't like and that's my problem! I tend to favor chocolate and chocolate ice cream or chocolate cake are my favorites.

    ReplyDelete
  26. We always have ice cream cake for our birthdays. Thank you for sharing the recipe, and for this chance to win! areewekidding(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  27. My favorite that I ask for for my birthday is black forest cake. Hubby doesn't really care for it so I get it for my birthday!

    ReplyDelete
  28. I like cake, but pie is my favorite. My son got a Key lime pie for me a couple of weeks ago for my birthday, after taking me to Cracker Barrel for lunch. That cake looks really good !☘️

    ReplyDelete
  29. I like both cake and pie. Since I have an August birthday I usually go with a no-bake dessert like Lemon Ice Box Pie (the recipe in the Whistle Stop Cafe cookbook is the best)! I bake my hubby a Gooseberry Pie for his birthday in February. Another favorite is green tomato pie. Thank you for the chance to win. madamhawk at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No bakes are great in the summer, aren't they? Mr. Right's an August baby, too, and loves a huckleberry pie!

      Delete
  30. We always do cake for our birthdays. Sometimes it may be cheesecake, other times cookies and cream or red velvet. It depends on what the birthday girl or boy is craving at that time. cherierj(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete