Serves 12 to 14
The Pillsbury dry frosting mix originally used in this Bake-Off winner from 1966 hasn’t been available for years. Though Pillsbury revised the recipe to reflect the change, not everyone was pleased with the outcome. This version, adapted from Cook’s Country magazine, is much more involved than the original 15-minute recipe that Ella Helfrich, of Houston, created. But it’s well worth the effort. For additional flavor, toast the nuts (spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake five to 10 minutes at 350 degrees, until they begin to give off an aroma).
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
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½ cup boiling water
¾ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder, plus extra for pan
2 cups flour
2 cups walnuts or pecans, finely chopped
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon salt
5 eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1¼ cups (2½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for pan
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons water
1. To prepare cake, adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 12-cup Bundt pan and dust with cocoa powder, tapping out excess. Place bittersweet chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Add boiling water, whisk until smooth, cool to room temperature and reserve.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together cocoa, flour, walnuts (or pecans), powdered sugar and salt and reserve.
3. In a large measuring cup, whisk together eggs and vanilla extract and reserve.
4. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat sugar, brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Reduce speed to low, add egg mixture and mix until just combined, about 30 seconds. Add chocolate mixture and mix until just combined, about 30 seconds. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined.
5. Scrape batter into prepared pan, smooth batter with a rubber spatula and bake until edges are beginning to pull away from pan, about 45 minutes; do not overbake (do not use a cake tester, toothpick or skewer to test the cake).
6. Remove to a wire rack and cool, upright, for 1½ hours. Invert cake onto serving plate and cool completely, at least two hours.
7. To prepare glaze, place chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan over high heat, combine cream, sugar and water and bring to a boil. Pour liquid over chocolate and let sit for 30 seconds. Using a whisk or a rubber spatula, gently stir chocolate and cream together in small circles, starting at center of bowl and working your way out in increasingly larger concentric circles.
8. Leave glaze at room temperature until it thickens just enough to pour in a ribbon, about 20 minutes. Drizzle glaze over cake and let sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. Cover tightly and store at room temperature for up to two days.
Nutrition information per each of 14 servings: Calories: 610; Fat: 35 grams; Sodium: 202 milligrams, Carbohydrates: 71 grams; Saturated fat: 16 grams; Calcium: 56 milligrams, Protein: 8 grams; Cholesterol: 120 milligrams; Dietary fiber: 5 grams
From Lee Svitak Dean, (Minneapolis) Star Tribune