Outward appearances aside, this is no ordinary bundt cake. Hidden inside is a ruby trail of raspberry jam mingling with bittersweet chocolate. When you can't decide between a fruit dessert and a chocolate dessert and you just want a hint of each tucked into moist yellow cake, this is the dessert to make.
I found this recipe in Sarabeth's Bakery: From My Hands to Yours, a cookbook I won from Eliana over at A Chica Bakes. After reading Eliana's review of the book and her interview with Sarabeth, I was thrilled to find out I won my own copy. I flipped through it immediately, mentally bookmarking recipes to make, and it was the simplicity of this cake (found in the Everyday Cakes chapter) that called out to me and convinced me to try it first.
Technically, the recipe calls for homemade raspberry jam (and there's a recipe in the book for that), but I took a shortcut and went with Smucker's. When it came to the choice of semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, I went with bittersweet because I knew I would enjoy the more complex chocolate flavor with the raspberry jam.
The one thing to remember when making this cake is that you need to keep the filling inside the batter; therefore, it does require some piping bags. I came very close to skipping this seemingly more laborious step and just scooping the batter and jam into the pan, but then I decided not to chance it. Piping the batter and then the jam into the bundt pan was actually probably quicker then scooping everything in and definitely produced neat results. I used my reusable pastry bag for the batter and a disposable one for the jam, so I wouldn't have to deal with cleaning a sticky mess.
Maybe you can make this cake with its surprising red filling for a Valentine's Day treat!
Ruby Cake (adapted from Sarabeth's Bakery)
(Print this recipe)
Softened unsalted butter and flour, for the pan
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 1/4 cups superfine sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs, at room temp, beaten
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon raspberry jam
1/4 cup finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour the inside of a 10- to 12-cup Bundt pan, making sure to tap out excess flour.
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute.
Gradually beat in sugar and then vanilla. Continue beating until very light in color, about 5 minutes.
Gradually beat in the eggs.
Reduce mixer to low speed, and beat in one-third of the flour mixture. Then add half of the sour cream, another third of the flour mixture, the rest of the sour cream, and then the rest of the flour mixture, beating after each addition until smooth.
Transfer half of the batter to a large pastry bag with a 3/4-inch-wide opening. Pipe a thick layer of batter in the bottom of the pan. Next, pipe a circle of batter around the circumference of the pan, and then pipe one around the circumference of the tube.
Using a baby offset spatula, create a shallow trough between the two circles.
Fill a second pastry bag with a 1/4-inch diameter pastry tip with the raspberry jam. Pipe the raspberry jam into the trough.
Sprinkle the chocolate on top of the jam.
Place the remaining batter in the first pastry bag, and pipe it into the pan.
Smooth the surface with a spatula or baby offset.
Insert a chopstick or kebab skewer into the batter and move it in spirals through the chocolate and jam, being careful not to touch the bottom or sides of the pan.
Bake until the top of the cake springs back when gently pressed and a cake tester inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour.
Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert the cake, and turn it out onto the rack to cool completely.
Dust with powdered sugar (if desired).
Cut into wedges, and serve. Look at how gorgeous that trail of filling is.
What's your favorite kind of Bundt cake?