Chocolate Espresso Bundt Cake with Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Glaze

Well, the birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and Easter is just days away, so I really don’t have a reasonable explanation as to why I would feel the need to create such a dark and intense dessert followed by moody and borderline-ominous photos.  The thing is, that just seems to be my frame of mind these days: well, not moody and ominous, but dark, rich, and chocolate-loving. In this case, my inspiration for the flavours of the cake came solely from a jar of dark chocolate covered espresso beans (the ones in the photos) that I bought a few weeks ago because, well, as you may have guessed if you follow my tweets on twitter, that I am often yearning for good coffee, chocolate, and caffeine in general. Sure, some may call that an addiction, but I prefer to call it a deep and passionate love affair. The style and photo inspiration came from a gorgeous blog I found a few months back through Pinterest, from this photo here, taken by John Cullen. The photo and cake are from designer Nikole Herriott‘s blog, who happens to be a local talent. She, among many other wonderful things, creates the most stunning and unique wooden pedestal plates. You can see them here. Let’s pray I can someday be the proud owner of one!

So, as any self-respecting chocolate and coffee addict would do, I decided to go ahead and try a chocolate espresso bundt cake and top it with a dark chocolate cinnamon glaze. If you happened to catch my recent post about the Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake with Vanilla Bean Glaze, you’ll remember that I am quite taken with bundt cake pans, even though my collection was pretty sad at a whopping 1 pan. Since then, I’ve added 2 more bundt pans to my collection, and couldn’t wait another day to get bundting. In this case, it’s actually an official Kugelhopf pan, which I really love, but the final cake took on a slightly less intricate shape, simply because the batter didn’t fill up the entire pan. I really didn’t mind, since it appears a bit more simple.

The cake itself is a rich, deep dark, chocolate cake kept moist with butter and sour cream. The method of warming the butter and cocoa on the stove first, then whisking in the remaining ingredients, was a first for me, but I feel it was a success, and it was kind of a welcomed change. I decided to add some cinnamon to the dark chocolate glaze because I love the combination of espresso and cinnamon; it’s reminiscent of my beloved triple-lattes sprinkled with cinnamon, but it also adds a neat, almost Mexican, dimension to the cake.  I should add, though, that the flavour of the espresso powder and cinnamon in the glaze is subtle, and really just boosts and enhances the amazing flavour of the dark chocolate, both in the cake and glaze. 

That’s also why I feel it’s really important to use the best quality chocolate you can. I made this cake a few days ago, and just tried it today for the first time (once I finally had the chance to photograph it!). I was really surprised at how amazingly moist it was, and the flavours really came together nicely, I imagine even more so than day 1. I suppose that’s one of the many wonderful things about bundt cakes, and one of the reasons why they are quickly becoming a favourite on my love-to-bake list.

From a photography perspective, you may have noticed that, up until now, I tend to love taking bright, white backgrounds, and uber-happy baked-good photographs. Well, that certainly hasn’t changed, but I’ve secretly always been absolutely smitten with dark, moody food photographs, however, as I discovered today, they definitely require a mental shifting of gears. Perhaps it’s mainly because I have never attempted it before, and because I’m pretty new to food photography, but it was tricky at first. In the end, I found it most effective to underexpose the photos a bit and to avoid too much incoming window-light. I’m not sure if that’s how the pros would do it, but it’s what I found worked for me to achieve the look I was going for.

I also found that boosting the photos in Photoshop (I always start with The Pioneer Woman’s “Boost” action), really helped to bring the depth to the photo. Speaking of the pros, I have some serious professional food-photographer crushes these days, such as John Cullen, Tina Rupp, Jim Norton (who actually shot some of my work recently!), and Katie Quinn Davies–they have all mastered this type of photography, among others, which is why I consider each of their portfolios the ultimate food-photography inspiration. I was lucky enough to have an array of Grant’s grandmother’s (Nanny) vintage silver cake and sweet serving dishes complete with the perfect patina for the dramatic vibe I was going for. Love when that happens! This photo above makes me think of a ghostly tea party, of sorts. Now that I think about it, perhaps the vibe of this photo shoot is a side-effect of the hauntingly beautiful Black Swan we watched late last night by candlelight and the pattering sound of rain outside.

I hope you’re having a not so dark-and-ominous weekend, but that you enjoy this cake (most definitely not a dark-and-ominous experience.).

Chocolate Espresso Bundt Cake with Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Glaze

Ingredients

    For the Cake:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks)(227 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) high quality dark Dutch process cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) instant espresso powder dissolved into 3/4 cup water
  • 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (240 ml) sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon (4 g) salt
  • For the Glaze:
  • 4 oz (114 g) high quality bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/3 cup (76 g) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons (7.5 ml) light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) ground cinnamon

Instructions

    For the Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter and flour a 10-12 cup bundt pan or Kugelhopf pan.
  2. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat; add cocoa, stirring until smooth. Whisk in the espresso water and remove from heat.
  3. Add the sugar, sour cream, vanilla and eggs to the warmed cocoa mixture and whisk until smooth. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add all at once to the first mixture, whisking until well blended.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until it feels firm to the touch and has slightly pulled away from the sides of the pan. Cool in pan on a rack for 20 minutes. Carefully loosen the cake with a knife and invert onto a large plate.
  5. For the Glaze:
  6. Place the chocolate, butter, corn syrup and cinnamon in a medium heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir the mixture using a rubber spatula until melted and smooth.
  7. Assembly of the Chocolate Espresso Bundt Cake with Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Glaze:
  8. Pour warm glaze over bundt cake. Keep covered in a cake-keeper at room temperature for up to 4 days.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://sweetapolita.com/2011/04/chocolate-espresso-bundt-cake-with-dark-chocolate-cinnamon-glaze/

[cake recipe adapted from Chocolate Bundt Cake from About.com]

[glaze recipe adapted from Baked Explorations]

Sweetapolita’s Notes:

Good luck & enjoy!

Related posts:

Comments

  1. 1

    Love, LOVE! I don’t know how you come up with these treats, but they are too die for.

  2. 2
    Kate McMurray says:

    Beautiful Pictures! I love this black backdrop on chocolate – very rich. Good work, again

  3. 3
    Fiona Richards says:

    I am so craving a piece of chocolate cake now. Love the dark pictures too!

  4. 4

    Gonna have to try baking this cake soon!! I won’t be able to get it off of my mind until I do!!!

  5. 5

    You are one talented woman! Gorgeous, simply gorgeous!

  6. 6

    Oh my goodness… This is why I love your blog.

  7. 7

    That is one gorgeous cake! I’ll definitely have to try that recipe someday, it looks sooo delicious!

  8. 8

    Rosie…everything you do is GORGEOUS! This cake is just……WOW!!!! Although you love bright & cherry pics with you’re amazing desserts – this is such a nice change. We all need change…good change ;)
    I love the shape…I think I’m going to google some bundt cake pans now.
    Thank you for the post! Enjoy your cake!!

  9. 9
    Alicia S says:

    WOW! My heart rate increased at just reading the title! Can’t wait to try this…

  10. 10

    Amazing photography, Rosie!
    This cake looks so delicious, i’m definitely gonna try it :)

  11. 11
    • 12

      Thank, Guilia! I love and adore that photo/cake of Nikole’s, and have had it in my favourite photos on Pinterest now for months! I wanted to include a link to her fabulous blog and designs, but got completely distracted. Going to update the post and share the link with my readers right now! Thanks!

  12. 13

    Beautiful pictures, they remind of Dutch still life paintings, so rich looking! Can’t wait to try the recipe too, sounds delicious, perfect for any chocolate/coffee addict!

  13. 14
    Laura Lee says:

    That looks like a nice cocktail party cake…so sophisticated. The photography is amazing, seeing as your cake still pops out with the dark background. Well done Rosie!

  14. 15

    Rosie! Omninous, indeed. Love it! You are so gifted. XO

  15. 16

    You chose the perfect cake to start experimenting with the dark background. It sets quite the sexy mood for dark chocolate! :-)

  16. 17

    Gorgeous! I share your love of chocolate and coffee, can’t live without it!

  17. 18

    Absolutely gorgeous Rosie!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the dark photos! I love how they set a completely different mood to light bright photos.

  18. 19

    That is definitely the prettiest bundt cake I’ve ever seen! It also sounds incredibly rich and delicious!

  19. 20

    Rosie, I love it. This cake is a work of art and when I saw those deep points and curved lines I had a sneaking suspicion you used a bundt pan! I’ve always been a bit nervous to try my hand at the dark and moody food photo, the lighting always seemed like a challenge but i certainly think you have overcome it. You’re baking is, as always, an inspiration.

  20. 21

    Chocolate is my guilty pleasure and this cake looks perfect for a sin. I will sure make this for this Easter! :)

  21. 22

    I can take on any weather with this dark beauty.

  22. 23

    These photos are not dark and omninous but rather rich and actually sensuous in a beautiful chocolate bundt cake with chocolate drizzle way. Love that the cake is on a beautiful(is that pewter?) plate and that you have the pedestal stands in the background with the sliced pieces. Just gorgeous!

  23. 24

    This looks so beautiful and absolutely delicious. I’ll definitely be trying it. As much as I love your usual cheery fare, I adore this change of pace – keeps things interesting.

  24. 25
    Amy Nguyen says:

    Wow! Thank you so much for providing this post! You will not believe all of the batches I’ve made and hours wasted while attempting to makes SMB! I have watched plenty of YouTube tutorials and learned that if you keep whipping it will all come together, but for some reason, my frosting was still curdled and scary-looking… I will have to try again with your method.

  25. 26

    Oh my this cake looks divine! Bring on the chocolate!

  26. 27

    The cake looks soooo sinfully delicious! And beautiful photography!Thanks for sharing!

  27. 28

    wow that looks rich and delicious… i eat dessert and i swear it never looks as good as it does here on your blog.

  28. 29

    This cake is simply beautiful! Love this.

  29. 30

    I FEEL LIKE PUTTING MY HAND THROUGH THE SCREEN AND GET A PIECE OF THIS MARVELOUS CAKE

  30. 31

    I absolutely love the dark cake contrasting with the dark background – so beautiful! Very elegant.

  31. 32

    Gorgeous! It makes me want a new fancy bundt pan. And you cannot go wrong with coffee and chocolate.

  32. 33

    This really shows your versatility, Rosie. Five stars!

  33. 34

    Um, yeah, you pulled it off! I’m with you, I love the dark moody photos. I’m definitely still trying to master this type of photography.

  34. 35

    oooooooooooooooh my gosh!!! so decadently amazing looking!

  35. 36

    Wow… that cake looks completely sinful! I love it! Great styling, in all your pics. I too have fallen in love with bundt cake pans. When I bought 2 at the same time my husband couldn’t understand why I needed 2! Do you find that when you bake with the bundt pans your cooking time changes much?

  36. 37

    Those photos are stunning….Photos really emotes the Dark Intense flavor… Cake looks amazing…

  37. 38

    That cake is simply stunning! It’s nice to shoot dark, it enhanced this cake.

  38. 39

    Your photos certainly turned out beautifully. You couldn’t have made this cake look any more delectably “moody” or enticing. Really exceptional! Lovely post and wonderful recipe.

  39. 40

    That is one gorgeous chocolate cake! Your photos are fantastic!

  40. 41

    You’re blog is literally so SWEET! I loved your idea, and the way you post, the layout, everything.
    I’m here looking at your sweets – that look amazing – and wishing you had a shop in Vancouver haha (I don’t know any place here where I can find cakes and sweets that look delicious and not dry like yours). I have never baked before but am going to try at least one of the recipes! :) Thanks for sharing!

    I have a blog too, I’m going to link yours there, more people should know about it!

  41. 42

    Whoa. What a gorgeous shot.

  42. 43

    This is one fantastic looking bundt cake!!! The chocolate-cinnamon pairing is one that has just gotten popular, but I think it’s just terrific! What about something spicy like a little cayenne? Thoughts? Feelings?

  43. 44

    this is gorgeous and undoubtedly might scrumptious. well done!

  44. 45

    Now that’s what I call chocolate cake.

  45. 46

    Rosie , From where do u get this inspiration??? I believe u r an amazing person and may God bless u with all beautiful things to get more and more inspiration…Just love and love ur blog…Keep it up!!!

  46. 47

    The pictures are perfection-cannot wait to try the recipe-CHOCOLATE NIRVANNA !!!!!!

  47. 48

    Just found your blog and am totally smitten :) I want to try so many of your recipes already! Another inspiring photographer is Sharyn Cairns (http://sharyncairns.com) who is known for the drama and dark tones in her photos. Seems like you nailed it in this post… beautiful cake, styling, and lighting!

  48. 49

    Can’t get enough of chocolate! The given pictures accompanied with the instructions make your recipe easy to comprehend, thank you. It also provides readers an idea as to how the finish product will most likely to look like.

  49. 50

    Wow that looks delicious. I love chocolate haha xD

  50. 51

    Hey i made ur cake Thanks alotttt for the recipe Check it out hope u like it :) http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=219691474776519&set=a.167067816705552.43136.158704577541876&type=1&ref=nf

  51. 52

    I’m making this! Right now, as we speak, the cake is in the oven. I cannot wait. Yum!

  52. 53

    The photography is gorgeous… and this cake is DIVINE. It’s perfectly decadent without weighing you down. My family and my boyfriend’s coworkers loved it. The only change I made was to use semi-sweet instead of bittersweet chocolate in the glaze, simply due to family preference. I am thrilled to have stumbled upon your blog in an earnest search for a chocolate-espresso dessert! Thank you! :)

  53. 54

    Hi Rosie!

    I found your website via someone who had pinned one of the gorgeous images above to Pinterest. You don’t have to convince me to the beauty and joys of (certain) bundt cakes ~ in fact, I happen to have this same gorgeous pan (I’m addicted to Nordic Ware cast aluminum bakeware!). I’ve only baked Kugelhopf and other sweet yeast breads in this pan so far, but happen to be a coffee & chocolate aficionado and when I saw your photo, I knew I had to bake THIS recipe :-) Since I now know you love bundt cakes, I will email you my recipe for a butterscotch & chocolate (only a little chocolate) bundt with brown sugar fudge glaze (unfortunately, I’ve never had a chance to photograph it yet, despite making it several times ~ pieces of it disappear too quickly into tummies!). It’s a surprisingly light and deliciously moist cake, and so simple to make. I think you’ll like it. Anyway, I’m glad I’ve found your lovely cooking blog ♥

    ~ marie, the EpicureanPiranha

  54. 56
  55. 57
    Serena Arlington says:

    OMG!!!!!!! I REPEAT!!!!! OMG!!!!! When i read the title i was like, ooooooohhh myyyyy gosh, ive sooooooo got 2 try this it sounds delicious. oh yeah and here’s something shocking: im eleven. i am in love with making cakes and baking cookies and stuff like that and was searching every corner of google for a good website that had cool recipies. guess what? found it. your website just totally made my favorites list!!!! thanks so much for creating it!!!!!!

  56. 58

    can we use silicon bundt pan ???

  57. 59
    Yasmin Anderson says:

    I’ve made this cake twice now. The flavour is amazing. However the cake is not so tender and feels hard to the touch. Is this how it is supposed to be? More dense and brownie like instead of a cake? I was wondering if I did something wrong. Not that that matters because its devoured withing the hour. Thank You so much!

  58. 60

    Can I frost the next day Rosie?

  59. 61

    Oh wow ! Your pictures are so amazing ! Everything is so appetizing ! I’m French and I’ve never tasted a bundt cake…Now I know I really have to try! Your website is really beautiful. Have a nice day!

  60. 62

    made this tonight for a party and the flavor was incredible! but ithe cake was a bit too crumbly, a wee bit too dry. i didn’t bake too long, but i wonder if I overbeat it when adding flour in? Anyway, it was a hit, everyone loved it and it was so easy to throw together! Thanks!

  61. 63

    Hello ~ a really beatiful cake and photograf.
    I would just remind you of the eggs in the recipe , I had to go to your source to get that;)

  62. 64

    Loved the cake made it for my MIL wedding anniversary. Turned out good. The icing was a lil thick, can u pls tell me what can be used to replace corn syrup??

  63. 65

    excellent points altogether, you just gained a new reader.

    What might you recommend about your submit that you just made a few days in the past?
    Any positive?

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