Some recipes demand immediate action to transform words to food. Others can be a drawn out affair lasting months or years. I first made BAKED’s Chocolate Root Beer Bundt Cake last year after a year-long search for ingredients. I never wrote about it even though it was one of my most unusual tasty memories from that Saturday of tasting 19 different cakes. I wrote at length about my Mont Blanc, which was my last minute back up. The Mont Blanc was regal and ethereal. It only made the brown on brown confection all the more homely. I long to rave about the soda fountain fun of a cake that mixes root beer and chocolate in harmony.
But I didn’t because I was too embarrassed about the photographic evidence of my first attempt. No amount of food styling skill could save my sad looking cake. And so I forgot about it for months. Last night was one of those miserable rainy evenings. I finished my rehab exercises early and was looking for things to do. I looked in my pantry and realized I had all the ingredients for Chocolate Root Beer Bundt Take Two.
The recipe (online version is available at Serious Eats) uses the easy quick bread method of mixing. I heated up root beer, root beer schnapps, butter, and cocoa to whisk into sugar and eggs. Flour and baking soda were gently folded in and the thin batter went into the oven just like that. Like most Bundt cakes, the baking took almost an hour to complete. When the cake unmoulded successfully from the Bundt pan, I wanted to high five myself (well, nobody else was around to high five with me).
I let the cake cool completely overnight and I had time to contemplate on the serious matter of frosting. Frosting was my downfall in the previous attempt. It was a warm day and I simply could not swirl it attractively over the cake. At the same time, it was also a fudgy rich addition to an already attention grabbing cake. I decided to pass on the original recipe’s frosting this time around.
I took inspiration from its use of chocolate and root beer to create my own cocoa root beer glaze. I maintained the strong taste of root beer by using root beer schnapps instead of the soft drink. The glaze did not overwhelm the cake and made it a bit lighter for the warm weather. Did I also mention the cake look amazingly attractive?
This cake may look deceptively like any chocolate cake. Take my word that it is anything but. The root beer taste hits you like a rush and you want to eat this cake with a side of vanilla ice cream. It may still be a while until it feels warm enough for root beer float. This cake may just be the alternative that we all need.
Cocoa Root Beer Glaze
makes glaze to cover a 12-cup Bundt cake
- 100g icing sugar
- 10g cocoa powder
- 10g corn syrup (optional but it keeps the glaze shiny)
- 4-5 tablespoons root beer schnapps
- Combine icing sugar, cocoa powder, and corn syrup in a bowl. Drizzle in 4 tablespoons of root beer schnapps. Stir vigorously until smooth.
- If the glaze looks too thick, drizzle in more root beer schnapps a few drops at a time. Pour over cake immediately. It should set in about 30 minutes.