Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Once Upon a Failed Tunnel of Fudge

Christmas Eve oh so many years ago my mom opened her brand new Kitchenaid Mixer, a Chocolate Cake Recipe Book and a silicon bundt pan. Sure – it was 9PM – we still decided to try out one of the recipes! My dad picked the Tunnel of Fudge Cake. We had all the ingredients – so we went to town on it! The bundt pan was a bit flimsy so we thought we were so smart and stuck it on a cookie sheet and slid it in the oven.
An hour later we decided it must be time to unmold it and enjoy the baked goodness! Flipped it onto a plate and lifted… well… let’s just say it ended up being a molten mess. When you block the heat from the center of the bundt pan – things have a tendency of not getting baked very well. FAIL.
We would not be deterred! We started again! Now it was probably close to 10:30PM and we started all over. This time we turned a cooling rack upside down and used that as our “tray”. Now near midnight we unmolded the cake – perfect!
I’m not sure my folks have made this one since – but I made it for friends of ours – he’s a chocolate fiend… when we walked in with it – he began to drool. (This coming from a man whose palate includes banana flavored candy – gross.) It is a pretty cake and tastes awesome too. Just remember NOT to block that hole – pretty important step.

Tunnel of Fudge Cake

What you need!
1 1/2 cups milk
1 package (3.4 ounces) chocolate fudge pudding and pie filling mix (not instant)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon butter.
Vegetable oil spray for misting the pan
Flour for dusting the pan
1 package (18.25 ounces) devil's food cake mix with pudding
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup water
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups finely chopped walnuts (optional)
Martha's Chocolate Icing

Make it!
1. Place the milk in a medium-size saucepan and whisk in the pudding mix. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips and butter. Stir until the pudding is smooth and thickened and the chocolate has melted. Set the pan aside.
2. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly mist a 12-cup Bundt pan with vegetable oil spray, then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Set the pan aside.
3. Place the cake mix, oil, sour cream, water, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping the sides down again if needed. The batter should look thick and well combined. Fold in the walnuts, making sure they are well distributed throughout the batter.
4. Reserve 2 cups of the batter. Pour the remaining batter into the prepared pan. Spoon the pudding filling in a ring on top of the batter, making sure it does not touch the sides of the pan. Spoon the reserved batter over the filling, smoothing it out with the rubber spatula. Place the pan in the oven.
5. Bake the cake until it springs back when lightly pressed with your finger and is just starting to pull away from the sides of the pan, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Run a long, sharp knife around the edge of the cake and invert it onto a rack to cool completely, 20 minutes more.
6. Meanwhile, prepare Martha's Chocolate Icing.
7. Place the cake on a serving platter and pour the warm icing over it. Let the cake rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
8. Slice and serve.

Martha's Chocolate Icing (for 1-1/2 cups):
What you need!
1 cup granulated sugar
5 Tbs. butter
1/3 cup whole milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Make it!
Place sugar, butter and milk in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until it comes to a boil--about three to four minutes. Still stirring, let mixture boil for one minute. Remove from heat. Stir in semisweet chocolate chips and stir smooth. Spread icing over a cooled cake or cupcakes, or pour over a Bundt cake.

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