Coalfield Cake

Coalfield Cake

Photograph by Tara Jensen

With an outdoor, wood-fired oven and natural ingredients, Tara Jensen makes magic. She brings artistry to her deep-dish fruit pies, bubby pizzas, and crusty breads that inspires amateurs and professionals alike to visit her rural mountain bakery time and time again. Tara’s creations not only feed the body but also nurture the soul, providing the spark between fire-based baking and people’s connection with the wider world.

Providing nourishing fare throughout the seasons—from porridge and waffles in winter and crusty loaves in spring, to summer pies and pizza and celebration cakes for the holidays —Tara also offers food for thought, revealing personal stories about how she simplified her life to cultivate a peaceful world full of possibility.

A Baker’s Year: Twelve Months of Baking and Living the Simple Life at the Smoke Signals Bakery is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.


Coalfield Cake

Makes 1 Bundt cake

 

INGREDIENTS

DRY

1/3 cups cake flour

4-1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder

3⁄4 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tablespoons chopped sage

Zest of 1 orange

WET

5 ounces 60% cacao baking chocolate

1 cup unrefined sugar 1⁄2 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

3 eggs, room temperature

1 cup whole milk, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

1⁄2 cup sour cream

Ganache glaze (recipe below)

 

TOOLS YOU’LL NEED

Measuring cups and spoons Microplane grater

Standard Bundt pan (12 cups / 10 by 31⁄2 inches)

Room-temperature butter and flour, for the pan

2 medium-size mixing bowls

Flour sifter

Chopping knife

Cutting board

Digital scale

Saucepan

Medium-size stainless-steel bowl

Whisk

Hand blender

Large wooden spoon

Thin-blade knife

Wire rack

 

Grease the Bundt pan with butter. Dust it with flour and shake out any loose flour left. Set it aside.

Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder; stir in the sage and orange zest. Set the bowl aside.

Roughly chop the chocolate.

Fill the bottom of the saucepan with water. Set it atop the cooking range.

Place the stainless-steel bowl on the saucepan.

Bring the water in the pan to a rolling boil, heating the bowl.

Toss the chocolate into the hot bowl, reduce the heat, and whisk evenly until the chocolate melts.

Carefully remove the bowl from the saucepan and let the chocolate cool. In another medium bowl, sift together the sugars.

Add the butter to the sugar.

Cream together with a hand blender until the mixture is light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add the eggs to the creamed mix one at a time, fully blending after each addition.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

To the creamed mixture add the milk, vanilla, and sour cream. Beat well.

Add the cooled, melted chocolate.

Beat well.

Pour the wet mix into the dry mix in thirds.

Fold gently until there is no visible flour and no lumps in the batter.

Pour the batter into the waiting pan.

Bake the cake in the center of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until a thin knife comes out clean.

Let it cool for 10 minutes.

Run a thin knife between the cake and the pan. Flip it over onto a wire rack.

Cool completely.

Pour the ganache glaze over the cooled cake.

 

GRATEFUL GANACHE GLAZE

INGREDIENTS

8 ounces bittersweet baking chocolate, at least 60% cacao

1 cup heavy cream

 

TOOLS YOU’LL NEED

Digital scale

Chopping knife

Cutting board

Saucepan

Medium, deep, stainless- steel bowl

Whisk

Potholders

Measuring cup

 

Roughly chop the chocolate.

Fill the bottom of the saucepan with water. Set it atop the cooking range.

Place the stainless-steel bowl on top of the saucepan.

Bring the water in the pan to a rolling boil, heating the bowl.

Toss the chocolate into the hot bowl, reduce the heat, and whisk evenly until the chocolate melts.

Carefully remove the bowl from the saucepan.

While whisking, drizzle in a third of the heavy cream. Whisk till combined.

Drizzle in another third.

Whisk to combine.

Drizzle in the remaining heavy cream and whisk thoroughly. Pour the ganache over a cooled cake.

 

TIPS

Setting the cake on a wire rack in a sheet tray makes for easy cleanup. Since this glaze is only two ingredients, don’t skimp on the quality. If you want a thinner ganache, drizzle in more heavy cream. If you want a thicker, more frosting-like ganache, reduce the heavy cream. Ganache works best when applied over a chilled cake—if the surface is still hot, it will slide right off.

Recipe reprinted with permission from St. Martin’s Press.

 

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