Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Chocolate cheesecake Bundt cake with dark chocolate ganache

My loyal Bundt cake pan has been sitting desolately in the back of the cupboard for quite a while, so I went on the hunt for interesting Bundt cakes, and spied this cheesecake-filled version. My recipe is a three-part hybrid. The original cheesecake filling made the cut (with slight measurement alterations). For the cake I opted for a new-to-me chocolate cake recipe, which is going to be used again in this house because it's awesome. Very easy to put together, moist and chocolatey good. And then ganache, because I couldn't leave it bare, and because, well, chocolate.

The original cake ingredient list included sour cream, but in baking sour cream and thick natural yoghurt are often interchangeable. We always have The Collective Straight Up yoghurt in the fridge (I reckon it tastes better than the other natural yoghurt brands you can buy from the supermarket - some of them are too tangy to be good on their own), so that was an obvious switch. Always good when you don't have to buy special ingredients *just* to make cake...

The gentle tang of the yoghurt in the cake works well together with the cheesecake, I reckon - that was my logic in straying from my go-to chocolate cake, and I'm pleased I did. And as I mentioned earlier, it's very easy to put together, so I think we're onto a winner.

The trickiest part is getting the cheesecake filling spread around the tin - I started with a spoon, but switched to a piping bag midway through and found it much easier. Either way will work but if you have the choice go with the bag.

The cheesecake would work equally well with flavour added - I'm thinking a teaspoonful of Fresh As powder in the fruit of your choice would change it up nicely.

To top it all off I whipped up a quick ganache, though I was distracted while making it and added too much chocolate (a phrase I never expected to utter - I mean, is "too much chocolate" even a thing?), which meant it was spreadable rather than drizzly. Even after using the hairdryer to try to make it run down the sides of the cake.

If you follow my recipe (a feat I am apparently incapable of) yours should pour nicely, though. Which will benefit you, especially if you go to the effort of perfectly prepping a fiddly Bundt tin beforehand.

The more detailed your cake tin is the more it matters how you prep it - a smooth ring tin might be fine with a quick spray, but a Bavaria one like mine has many niggly little grooves that want to hold on tightly to cake, so careful prepping is key to getting the cake out intact.

My process is this: first I spray the pan liberally with non-stick spray. Then I turn it over and hold over the sink for a minute, to allow any excess spray to run out. Next, I add flour (about a tablespoonful) and shake it all about until the surface is coated. Finally, I upend the tin over the sink again and tap it a couple of times - quite firmly - to knock out any extra flour.

This adds a very small amount of flour to the surface of the cake. Taste-wise you can't tell, but it does make the crust slightly paler. If I'm not icing a cake (Bundt cakes are so pretty it can seem a waste to ice them) I still would usually put some kind of glaze or syrup over it, which tends to darken the cake up a bit so if you're concerned about it looking pale then glaze is your friend.

So tell me - have you ever used a hairdryer, or other unlikely appliance, in the kitchen? Or is that just me?

Chocolate bundt cake with cheesecake filling and chocolate ganache icing
Filling (recipe adapted from Handle the Heat)
250g cream cheese
1/2 cup / 110g sugar
1 egg
2 tsp / 8g flour
1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
Cake (recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod)
225g butter
1/3 cup / 45g cocoa
1 cup water
2 cups / 365g flour
1 3/4 cup / 450g sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 cup Greek yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
Ganache (my own recipe)
150g chocolate
125ml cream

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C. Spray and flour a large bundt pan, tapping any excess flour out.

Prepare the filling. Beat the cream cheese and sugar together until sugar is dissolved. Beat egg, flour and vanilla in, then set aside.

Prepare the cake batter. Combine butter, cocoa and water in a saucepan over a medium heat, stirring occasionally until butter is melted and ingredients are combined.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar and baking soda. Add half the cocoa mixture and beat until  just combined, then repeat with the other half. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition, then add yoghurt and vanilla and mix to combine.

Assemble the cake: pour half the batter into the prepared bundt tin. Using a piping bag or a spoon distribute the cream cheese mixture around the cake, keeping it away from the edges of the tin. Pour the remaining cake batter on top.

Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a knife inserted shows the cake batter has cooked (the cheesecake batter will stay gooey so don't worry if this comes out; if the chocolatey part is cooked you're good).

Cool for 30 minutes then turn out carefully onto a plate (if it has risen substantially or unevenly you can trim the top first so that it sits flat).

Heat the cream in a small saucepan until just on the edge of boiling. Remove from heat and add the chocolate, and stir until smooth. Drizzle over the cake. Serve warm or chilled - it's good both ways!

The Collective kindly provided the yoghurt for this recipe, but I wouldn't recommend it to you if I wasn't a fan. 


  1. Way back in the day Mr Griz used his electric drill to make a pav at a school camp. Did you know you can use cocoa in place of the flour for lining pans, means you don't get the pale surface.

  2. Haha, awesome hack, go Mr Griz! And great tip on the cocoa, that makes perfect sense but is not a tip I'd heard before. Thanks!


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