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TUNNEL OF FUDGE CAKE WITH CRYSTALLIZED GINGER
Tunnel of fudge cake – when I first heard the name, I fell in love. I’d never seen or tasted one, but I knew it had to be good, and so I let Mel Gresham, the café owner in my Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries, put the cake on her menu. Of course, Mel being Mel, she didn’t settle for traditional tunnel of fudge, she insisted on studding the cake with crystallized ginger. We both liked that idea so much we decided to include the recipe in Knot the Usual Suspects, coming out in September. The problem with that plan was two-fold: a) we didn’t have such a recipe, and b) Mel isn’t real, she’s a character in the books, so not a lot of actual help. But that didn’t stop us.
There are quite a few versions of the recipe available. Mel and I ended up using parts of three and then adding our variation – substituting crystallized ginger for the walnuts all three called for. Our results? Everything we’d hoped for. The baking cake smells wonderful, it slices beautifully, it’s delicious and moist, and the structure is stabile – the tunnel remained fudgy and intact over five days of taste tests.
Mel and I are planning another experiment – dividing the batter for one cake between three loaf pans – hoping to answer two questions: 1) will the loaf pans produce structurally sound tunnels, and 2) will making the cake in three loaves, two of which can be given away, be the answer to the moan, “I can’t make that cake and have it sitting there tempting me”? When we find out, we’ll report back.
Tunnel of Fudge Cake with Crystallized Ginger
Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt or tube pan.
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1-3/4 cups butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
2 1/4 cups unbleached white flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups chopped, crystalized ginger
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
4-6 Tbsp milk
1. In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Gradually add the 2 cups of powdered sugar, blending well. Stir in flour and remaining cake ingredients. Pour batter into prepared pan. Spread evenly.
2. Bake at 350ºF for 45 to 50 minutes or until top is set and edges are beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 1 1/2 hours. Turn out onto serving plate and cool completely.
3. Combine glaze ingredients in small bowl, adding enough milk for desired drizzling consistency. Spoon over top of cake, allowing some to run down sides. Store tightly covered.