Spiced Chocolate Bundt Cake with Cranberries and Almonds #BundtAMonth

 

Chocolate Spice Cake for the holidays

 

The holiday season has arrived.  Again; a season which compels one to bake, indulge and play with the warm aroma of the spices.

 

 

We use spices every day. That is right. So how is today so different? Dark, rich desserts, empowered with some heat of the spices is the essence of the winter, of the holidays. What we usually use to make savory dishes, make their way into the sensuous bites of sweet and moist chocolatey sin.

 

Chocolate Spice Cake with Almonds and Cranberries

 

How did another year go by so quick?

 

This year I feel sort of resigned and drained of all excitement. I know there are reasons. There were plans and things to do and to say and they will never happen. The words are trapped inside me for ever. The plans will only remain a dream never to come true. Yet I know every moment of this precious life needs to be savored, happily, joyfully with my heart. I have plenty. It is gift and needs to be cherished. The awareness is there, and every second is making an imprint. But deep inside I feel an inexplicable void - a reminder of things that should not have been but again also a reminder to carefully hold on to what remains and what is yet to be.

 

I grew up with having rich plum/fruit cake through the holiday time, almost everyday for a couple of months during the end of the year. Warm cakes, fresh baked & wrapped in newspapers went out of our home as gifts to others and more cakes came in. I cannot imagine a holiday season without a fruit cake or even may be a spice cake. For the past many years, I have been baking at least one every year.

 

However, for some reason I always stayed away from combining too much spice with chocolate. I broke the rules, or rather my inhibitions this time. Chocolate and spices, orange zest, cranberries and nuts – everything came together so well.

 

Chocolate Spice Cake with Almonds and Cranberries for the Holidays

 

 

But this cake might not have happened if I had not seen  Simone’s Chocolate Cranberry Hazelnut Bundt. One glance at that cake and  I just knew what my next cake is going to be. This time, it was not exactly the same, but that cake, I just have to bake one day!

 

Last year I made the Mocha Rum Cake for A’s holiday party at work, which seems like only a few months back. It is already time for another one and he took this one to work a couple of days back. I made another small cake – the same kind, for T’s 7th Birthday – a little one, just for the four of us. Here comes the time of dessert overload. One birthday after another and the innumerable hard to resist holiday dinners.

 

Have you started baking yet?

 

chocolate-spice - Holiday Cake

 

 

 

Spiced Chocolate Bundt Cake with Cranberries and Almonds

 

Ingredients: (makes a 10 inch bundt cake)

  1. 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  2. 1/2 cup semi-sweet /or dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
  3. 1 + 1/4 cup water
  4. 1 cup orange juice (freshly squeezed or store bought)
  5. 1.5  cup all purpose flour
  6. 3/4 cup almond flour
  7. 2 teaspoon baking powder
  8. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  9. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  10. 8 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
  11. 3/4 cup granulated white sugar or brown sugar
  12. 2 large egg
  13. lightly toasted almond flakes to garnish
  14. 1/2 – 3/4 cup dried cranberries (adjust amount to taste)
  15. 1/2 cup lightly toasted nuts (any kind you want)
  16. 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract/or orange extract or anything else you want to use
  17. 1.5 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  18. 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg powder
  19. 1.5 teaspoon ginger powder
  20. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  21. 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Note: With the last five ingredients (the spices)  and the orange flavor and/or the extract use as much or as little as you want. We like the warm flavors of spice at home, so we tend to use a bit more

 

For the Ganache (adjust consistency by increasing/decreasing the amount of cream)

  1. 1/2 cup + 4 tablespoon heavy cream (bring it to room temperature)
  2. 1.5 tablespoon butter
  3. 8 oz chocolate, chopped
  4. 1 tablespoon orange zest
  5. 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder (Optional)
  6. few drops of orange or almond extract

 

 

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 10 inch bundt pan with spray/butter. Dust pan with some cocoa powder (or you may use flour; the flour will show white on the dark cake).

In a pan bring the water and orange juice to a boil; add the sugar and boil until the sugar dissolves completely. Pour it out in a large bowl and add the chocolate, cocoa powder and butter. Gently stir until the chocolate has melted and everything is well combined. Let cool to room temperature.

In another bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, all the spices and salt. Rub in the orange zest into the flour mix.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time, with the sugar chocolate butter mix, beating until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add in the vanilla extract/orange extract/or blossom water.

Add the flour mixture  and the almond flour and beat only until just incorporated and smooth.

Dust the cranberries and nuts with some flour and gently stir them in.

Pour batter in to cake pan.

Bake for about 35 minutes or until risen (time will vary with different ovens), and a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Cool completely before frosting.

 

Icing/Frosting the cake:

Cool cake completely before icing. You can even refrigerate the cake for about 1/2 hr.

Place the chocolate heatproof bowl. Heat the cream and butter in pan over medium heat or in the microwave slowly briging it to a boil. Immediately pour the cream over the chocolate and allow to sit for a couple of minutes; do not stir right away. After a few minutes gently stir with a spoon or whisk until smooth and shiny. Stir gently until all of the chocolate is melted.  Fold in the zest, extract and the ginger powder if you are using.

Pour/spoon it over the cake and let it drip down the sides. Decorate it with almond flakes. Refrigerate cake for the icing to harden.

chocolate-spice-cake-6.jpg

For Anuradha & Lora’s Spiced Bundt Cakes in November.

 

Related Posts: (Holiday Baking)


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20 comments to Spiced Chocolate Bundt Cake with Cranberries and Almonds #BundtAMonth

  • Lusciously decadent. A perfect cake for the holidays. We’re busy making stollen here to give as gifts. Hope all is well!

  • A splendid Bundt! What lovely spices. Very festive.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  • O you made the cake!!! It was so funny as I was looking at the photos and thinking it looks so familiar. Glad you made the cake and it looks so gorgeous!!

  • You know what’s funny and on a totally unrelated topic.. ;) I was just browsing through your recipes also looking for something to use on De Glazen Vork and then I was just blown away by the difference in your photography between then and now. You’ve grown so much!! I am totally in love with your style now but what a difference with your older posts!

  • I just died and went to heaven.

  • Wow mouth-watering cake…so yummy!

  • Chocolate and spices….I can almost smell the beautiful aroma of the cake baking!

  • The cake looks so gorgeous soma!! Your photographs are making me crave for piece now. Is that a shawl in the pictures. It looks like a hand loom shawl from Odisha.

    Thanks :) that is my mom’s shawl. I think she had got it from some emporium, I am not exactly sure.

  • A perfect looking bundt cake…stunning pics Soma! The use of spices are very inviting…will love to try this.

    Visit my recipes @ Manidipa’s Kitchen

  • First, this cake is just beautiful to look at! Beautiful! And I love the idea of spices and orange added to this chocolate cake and now I, a true lover of the chocolate bundt (I have a few posted), must make it after Simone and you – two fabulous bakers!

  • Perfect for the season….looks delectable…..pictures add to the glory….

  • Arn’t we glad we don’t put on weight by looking at food pictures. My first Christmas in blogsphere – absolutely thrilled with the festive recipes.
    Beautiful cake. I hope you find peace during the holidays.

  • kristine

    Wow, it seems so yummy and I will try it for sure. I am not sure it is a or not but i will give it a try.

  • Mmmm cake!! What a wonderful selection of flavors you have combined, I can just smell it with your beautiful pics Soma, gorgeous!

  • Nandita

    This is truly the most yummy looking chocolate cake I have seen…I wanted to make this cake, and was wondering if I could use all purpose flour instead of almond flour? Please let me know as I am eager to bake this yummy cake for my family :)
    Regards,
    Nandita

    Yes you could use all AP flour. That little bit of almond flour was used for slightly coarser texture and some flavor. but you can do without it! Thanks!

  • What a delicious cake,Soma!Your pictures are soooooo amazing…I am drooling here:)

  • This is nothing short of stunning, Soma! What a gorgeous bundt cake. I remember the mocha rum one you baked last year too! Thanks for linking up to #BundtaMonth. :)

  • soma

    Thanks much Anu! I cannot believe you remember that cake from last year :)

  • A mouthwatering dish, beautiful and brings out the holiday colours!

  • Thank you a bunch for sharing this with all folks you actually recognize what you are talking approximately! Bookmarked. Kindly also discuss with my website =). We will have a hyperlink change arrangement between us

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