In looking at the pictures of these mini bundt cakes with a deep, dark chocolate glaze, I realized they have an attribute that transcends their deliciousness.
They look a bit like Darth Vader’s helmet.
Perhaps it’s a matter of my surroundings, as the second trailer for Episode VII was released just days ago. But seeing these Vader-helmet-chocolate cakes has answered the ever-plaguing question of, “What can I make in December 2015 in honor of the new Star Wars that isn’t the bluish milk that Aunt Beru makes Luke drink in Episode IV, since no one in the movies seems to eat anything that isn’t shared with an Ewok?”.
The answer is chocolate cake. Chocolate cake that looks like Vader’s helmet. And the added pecans in a dark glaze make it look a bit molten and disfigured, just like the MYSTERIOUS BURNED VADER HELMET that was in the new teaser.
I fell passionately in love with Star Wars roundabout 1998. My brothers, who are a bit older than me, had already left for college, and my 10 year old self found their Star Wars (circa early 80s) sleeping bags, and the worn out VHS tapes of the only existing episodes at that point, IV-VI.
It was insanity. I was a strange child to begin with, but the fervor that overtook me upon discovering this incredible trilogy was remarkable. I was enamored of the universe, the young Harrison Ford compared to his The Fugitive days that I was familiar with, and the general wonder and enchantment of intergalactic travel… Not to mention my ridiculous crush on Mark Hamill.
I literally wrote a letter to the American Girl magazine’s advice section (before they were bought out by Barbie’s company and ruined forever) and titled it: “Help, I’m obsessed with Mark Hamill!”.
Like I said, I was a strange child.
I tried forcing my elementary school friends to watch it, joined the Star Wars fan club that came through our Scholastic Book Fair, and swore to myself my firstborn would be named Luke.
Then George Lucas nearly ruined the series with Episodes I and II, only saving it through the grace of Ewan McGregor and John Williams in Episode III (because Annakin and Padme’s chemistry surely wasn’t throwing the story a life preserver…). BUT NOW. Now we wait.
Only a few more months until JJ Abrams meets a.) His crowning glory, or b.) His demise, dependent on how Episode VII is received by the raving lunatics that compose the immense network of Star Wars fandom.
I was enthralled by the new trailer. Like many others, my eyes filled with the happiest of happy tears and my heart burst with joy as Han and Chewie (both of whom have aged remarkably well) were shown on the Millenium Falcon, Han saying, “Chewie, we’re home”.
And Harrison Ford didn’t even look like he hated being there!
December 2015, get here soon. I need to know more about the adorable droid, BB-8. I must see how Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher fare on the big screen after years of relative anonymity. Who are Rey and Finn? Why is that Star Destroyer buried in the desert of a new barren planet that isn’t Tatooine? Who is behind the three-pronged light saber in the forest?
Surely, I could have harped on the glory of these mini Mexican chocolate bundt cakes and their silky, gooey, crunchy chocolate praline topping instead of word vomiting about the stories that occurred a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… But no. No, Star Wars is on the brain, and any food that could slightly remind me of it in the next week will require my full attention.
But yes, this sweet concoction is utterly delicious and addictive. We’ve made it twice in the past month, first in a large bundt cake pan, then in the little, adorable, mini bundt cake molds that I bought in a moment of weakness on Amazon.com
The recipe comes from my pastry chef crush, Rebecca Rather. She wrote The Pastry Queen, sharing the recipes of her now-closed restaurant in the heart of Fredericksburg, Texas. This is the book I pored over at my first job in a bakery during the slow hours, learning the glory of a stick of butter and the value of a cookie the size of a small plate. Much to my joy, there are dozens of recipes left for me to test and enjoy in the already stained and worn cookbook.
These are the perfect warm, gooey, sinfully chocolatey dessert that you’d expect to find at a restaurant. It’s not a molten cake by any means, as the cake is completely cooked through. But the gooey praline topping smothers the already decadent cake in a warm, sweet, crunchy hug that doesn’t cease until the last bite. We served it most recently in these little, mini molds as individual desserts to a sweet couple friend of ours who came over for dinner. The next day, I received a message from the prettier half of the couple letting me know she had eaten one of the extras we sent home with them for breakfast. And absolutely zero regrets were had.
I would say serve it with some Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream, but until this post-apocalyptic listeria scare ceases, dollop it with some fresh whipped cream or an ice cold glass of cold milk.
Then, if you haven’t already, watch the new Star Wars trailer and let me know what your three biggest hopes and fears are for the JJ Abrams-era trilogy.