Friday, April 29, 2011

Mississippi Mud Bundt Cake Experiment

Well, I didn't think I'd be making two posts in one day, but here I go!

Today's experiment:  Converting a Mississippi Mud Cupcake recipe into a bundt cake in less than 2 hours.

I had to have a cake to take to a dinner tonight and used up most of the morning working on the first post here, and looking for recipes to try to decide what dessert to take.  Decided on Mississippi Mud Cupcakes (from in case you want to try that recipe); then decided it would be a lot faster to use a cake mix - though the cupcakes would come out less chewy and tasty with the cake mix than using the original recipe.

I decided it would also be easier and less messy to just dump the cake mix into one pan instead of 30 or so little cupcakes.  At high elevation, instead of getting 24 cupcakes from one box cake mix, we get 30... probably because, following high altitude mixing instructions, we add extra water (and more flour).

I usually also add a box of instant pudding mix (large package) to the cake when I make a bundt cake.  For some reason, at high elevation, if you add the pudding to the cake mix and make layer cakes, the centers of the cakes rise pretty high, then fall flat... actually, they sink in... so it looks like someone stepped on the cake.  Makes it tricky to decorate the cake then.  But, the pudding works OK in the bundt cake.

So, I baked the cake for an hour at 350F, took it out and let it cool enough to remove it from the pan (which I sprayed with PAM baking spray).  Tried to figure out a way to keep the marshmallows on the cake so that I could get it back in under the broiler to toast the marshmallows.  Decided to make a batch of chocolate frosting (see for "Chocolate Frosting I" for the recipe that I always use), spread a little on top of the bundt cake and stick the marshmallows onto the frosting.

Stuck the cake with marshmallows under the broiler for just a couple of minutes until the marshmallows got toasty.  The frosting then got kind of bubbly and crunchy.  So, if you ever actually want that bubbly, crunchy effect from frosting, you could stick your cake under the broiler.  ;-)

Now, from the following photos you can see that in food photography, angle is everything.  You can tell a good story, or you can tell the truth.  The marshmallows stuck pretty well using the frosting trick, but there were a couple of "oops" areas.

Some marshmallows slid down the side.

And some slid down into the center.

But, should you want those effects on your final cake, then great.  No need to experiment anymore.  Just use this technique:  stick your marshmallow covered cake under the broiler.

Now you may have noticed that my marshmallow bits weren't traditional mini marshmallows.  I only had bags of the full-sized marshmallows.  Here's a great tip to know, though:  spray a knife with regular PAM spray.  If you cut up large marshmallows with a PAM sprayed knife, the marshmallow won't stick to the knife!  I got nine marshmallow bits from each regular sized marshmallow.  I cut the marshmallow into strips, dividing the marshmallow into thirds; then I cut the thirds into thirds.

Then I drizzled melted chocolate chips (about 1/2 cup chips + 2 tsp. shortening) in the microwave for about one minute.  Stirred the chips to make them smooth, and drizzled the chocolate over the top of the marshmallows.  Then sprinkled chopped pecans on top that had been oven-toasted at 350F for 8 minutes.  Less time would have been better... maybe about 6 minutes.  These pecans came out extra toasty - not burned, but borderline.  You'll have to see what works best for you with your own oven.  My lower oven tends to get hotter than the upper oven.

So, later tonight, maybe I can get a photo of what my cake looks like inside.  I was tempted to inject it with some kind of filling... but when all is said and done, I think what I ended up with will be enough sticky goo for most people.  I'll save the filling for something else for a future post.


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