Firstly I would like to state that this is an autumnal recipe that does not contain pumpkin. There is no pumpkin hiding in these cakes. Anywhere. Don’t get me wrong, I like pumpkin. I am a fan of pumpkin and its sibling squashes (particularly when they are roasted and/or turned into soup), but now that October is well and truly behind us, enough with the pumpkin. Let’s move on, although preferably not to another orange coloured vegetable.
And while we are on the subject, I have had my fill of recipes that use ‘brown’ butter. Just because the leaves on the trees have now turned brown, does not mean that our butter has to match them. As soon as I see those two words in a recipe title now, I blank them out, because I just can’t take it. Brown butter in cookies, cakes, soups, cheesecake (??!!), scones, muffins, sauce, salad dressings . . . Gah! Let’s just have some good ol’ butter that is good ol’ traditional yellow. Rather than something that frazzles your nerves – is that brown or is it burnt???
End of rant. Sorry.
These little bundt cakes get their autumnal hues from three things that are comforting – chocolate, coffee and blackcurrants (okay, I may be stretching the autumnal thing a bit with the blackcurrants, but they are comforting – who hasn’t found a mug of hot Ribena soothing when they are feeling a little under the weather / cold? And blackcurrants are packed with vitamin c, which is . . . comforting as well as beneficial).
The coffee and blackcurrant flavours come from this new limited edition cordial from Bottle Green. It’s quite potent when you smell the bottle – the aroma of roasted coffee hits you in the nostrils with a punch, but when added to cake it adds a lovely background note to the chocolate, lending a slight malty / fruity taste. It is also delicious when diluted with hot water – like drinking coffee . . . but not. Am I drinking coffee? No, it’s Ribena. No, it’s coffee. Grab a bottle while you can (I got mine in Waitrose). If you can’t get hold of it then don’t worry, you can substitute it with straight-forward coffee.
Not only was the cordial calling to me, but also the new mini bundt pans I bought the other week. I have been itching to use them. In fact since purchasing them I have thought of three mini bundt recipes (including this one) so I think there might be a ‘mini bundt series’ about to hit the blog. On top of all the other seasonal / Christmas recipe ideas I want to try out, there could be a bit of a baking frenzy going on at weekends. Not that that is a bad thing.
One of the other great things about these cakes, is that if you use a vegetable oil based spread (that is suitable for baking) instead of butter, they are dairy free! Although if you fill the little divit in the middle with cream and then drizzle quick chocolate sauce around the edges (like we did, recipe below) they are not dairy-free, but how you serve them is entirely up to you.
Mini Autumn Bundt Cakes
Makes 4 mini cakes
- 63g good quality dark chocolate
- 43ml Bottle Green Coffee & Blackcurrant cordial
- 40ml water
- 52g + 72g soft light brown sugar
- 53g vegetable oil margarine (or butter if you prefer)
- 1 egg
- 90g gluten-free self-raising flour (or 90g gluten-free plain flour plus 1/4 tsp each of baking powder and bicarbonate of soda)
- 4g cocoa
- Icing sugar, to decorate (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 170 celsius / 150 fan / 325 fahrenheit. Grease the mini bundt pans extremely well. Place the bundt pans on a baking sheet in order to make them easier to get in and out of the oven.
- Place the chocolate, cordial, water and 52g of the sugar into a small saucepan. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved and the chocolate has melted. The mixture will look grainy. (NB: if substituting the cordial with coffee, use an espresso cup of freshly made strong coffee and top up the liquid content to 83ml using water). Set aside while you make the rest of the batter.
- Cream the margarine / butter with the remaining 72g of sugar, until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg.
- Sift in the flour and cocoa and mix until incorporated.
- Add the slightly cooled chocolate / cordial mixture and stir carefully until combined. The batter will be quite runny.
- Transfer the batter to a jug, using a silicone spatula to scrap the sides, making sure you get all of the mixture out.
- Fill each mini bundt pan until approximately two-thirds full.
- Bake for 25-30 mins, until a skewer comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the pans for 20 mins and then carefully turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
- Dust with icing sugar if desired.
Quick Chocolate Sauce
Makes enough for the four mini bundt cakes.
- 50g good quality dark chocolate
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 tsp golden syrup
- 2-3 tbsp milk
- Place the chocolate, butter and golden syrup into a pan and heat gently until everything has melted and is combined.
- Remove from the heat and add the milk 1 tbsp at a time until you have the consistency of a runny-ish sauce.
- Serve immediately or leave for a short amount of time (NB: the sauce will thicken as it cools. If it is too thick / solid when you come to use it, gently heat and it will melt again).