Friday, February 5, 2010

Lava cake mix

As much as I admire the retro type on this cake mix box, I can't help but think that this dessert can easily be homemade instead of mixed up out of a box. (I recommend this recipe from Gale Gand/Food Network.)

Meanwhile, though, a million years ago (okay, 2004), the New York Times published a great article about the science of a particularly interesting chocolate bundt cake called the "Tunnel of Fudge". The chemistry of the cake is that the amount of sugar super-saturates the cake batter, so it will never fully "cake" all the way through. When the cake is cut, the inner bundt part just oozes out. I've made it more than once, and it's totally a showstopper. Easy, too! Here's the recipe.

The original tunnel-of-fudge cake won second place in the 1966 Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest for Ella Rita Helfrich of Houston. That version used a fudge icing mix to create a gooey chocolate center. But Pillsbury discontinued the icing mix, and the resulting clamor of home bakers led Pillsbury to release a recipe for making tunnel-of-fudge cake from scratch. Shirley O. Corriher, a bio-chemist and cook, took up the challenge.

While we're on the subject of chocolate cake, here is my hands down favorite recipe, which uses ricotta cheese as the binder (no butter to soften...always my downfall!).

1 comment:

Beth Tondreau said...

From this judge: Cake 10; Type 3*
To me, the script is sort of cheesy, canned retro—or should I say boxed? On the other hand, the Dr Oetker looks untouched-for-50-years retro.

BTW, a friend gave me a recipe for a great chocolate cake made with beets. I have it as a Word doc (I'm sure it's online somewhere) and can send it on . . .

* . . . a play on "A Chorus Line"'s "Dance 10; Looks 3