Sunday, March 3, 2013

Bundt #5 of BCS5: Bubble Ring (aka Monkey Bread)

Baked on November 11, 2012.

When the Main Squeeze and I first got together, he used to talk about this cinnamon-sugary, yeasted dough, breakfast baked good that his Mom had made a few of times when he and his brother were younger: Bubble Ring.  This breakfast item was described in idyllic terms.  It sounded wonderful.  But in spite of all this waxing poetic, the infamous Bubble Ring has never appeared.  It was explained to me by the Main Squeeze that Bubble Ring was pretty time consuming to make, and would require getting up really early.  As someone who values sleep, I could understand why his Mom did not feel compelled to make Bubble Ring for us.

Several years ago (dear lord, it's been at least ten), I don't know how it came up, but I was describing this mythical dish to some former co-workers.  One of my co-workers told me that she knew exactly what I was talking about, and that she had a recipe for it, which she would bring in for me.  I was terribly excited.  Bubble Ring was almost in my grasp!  And the next day, she gave me a photocopy of a recipe for something called "Cape Cod 'Sunrise' Stickies."  But this couldn't be right, it called for frozen bread balls and butterscotch pudding mix.  This seemed nothing like the hours-long process for Bubble Ring, with a yeasted dough you rolled into balls and covered in cinnamon and sugar (though both were baked in a bundt pan), that the Main Squeeze had described.  I held onto the recipe, but I never made it.

Then a year or two ago, in response to either the announcement of the start of the latest Bundt Cake Season or a specific bundt cake I had posted about, my cousin's husband, Jack (a fabulous baker, by the way), shared a recipe for something called Monkey Bread, and described it as "[his] kind of bundt cake."  This involved, if I remember correctly, Pillsbury biscuits cut up and mixed with cinnamon and sugar and baked in a bundt pan.  But as much as I have been a fan of Pillsbury biscuits in the past, this again, although it sounded similar to Bubble Ring, couldn't be right.  Pre-made biscuit dough?  No, that would never do.

Fast-forward to last fall.  My friend, Joanna, in the links for a Pajiba Love, included a link for something that looked absolutely fabulous, Cinnamon Roll Pancakes.  In the description, the author mentioned that you could make a cream cheese glaze for these pancakes, if you wanted.  (The Cinnamon Roll Pancakes are fabulous, by the way.  I strongly recommend that you make them.  This weekend.  And they really don't need a cream cheese glaze--they're perfect plain.)  And that, my friends, intrigued me.  Cream cheese frosting is my favorite kind of frosting, so a cream cheese glaze sounded like it could have a lot of potential.  I went in search of a cream cheese glaze, and that search lead me to this: Smitten Kitchen's Monkey Bread with Cream Cheese Glaze.

I took one look at it and immediately thought, "That's Bubble Ring!"  Since Smitten Kitchen is responsible for one of the all-time best bundt cakes I've made during the various Bundt Cake Seasons, I was certain that I could trust her recipe for Bubble Ring (or, as I have figured out, what everybody else calls Monkey Bread), especially when in her post she pooh-poohed using canned biscuit dough for this dish.  I quickly bookmarked that recipe and looked forward to the day I would surprise the Main Squeeze with the famous Bubble Ring (only sixteen short years since he first mentioned it).

He wasn't kidding when he said this would take a while to make.  It has two rising periods, each at least an hour long.  Then there's the time it takes to divide the dough into 64 pieces, dip each of those in melted butter, and then in a cinnamon-sugar mixture, and layer them in a bundt pan.  And then it bakes for half-an-hour or so.  It took me over four hours to make the Bubble Ring--I think it may have been five.  A speedier baker, I'm sure, could cut down that time quite a bit.  I would hope.

In addition to the time factor, which wasn't too intimidating, I undertook the task of making Bubble Ring with some trepidation, because you see, yeast makes me nervous.  I'm afraid of killing it.  This anxiousness did bring about the one major problem I had when I made the dough.  I was so concerned about getting the water temperature to exactly 110 degrees, that it wasn't until after I had combined all the dough ingredients, I realized I hadn't poured out the extra water, and that I had no idea how much water was in the dough.  I had no choice but to throw the dough out.  Do you know how painful that was?  VERY.

In any case, I persevered, and started all over.  One of the exciting things about making Bubble Ring, is that it meant that I got to use the dough hook attachment for my stand mixer for the first time.

Look!  The dough came together, exactly as the recipe described.  It's a miracle!

After kneading the dough, the big test came.  It was time to let it rise.  Into a greased bowl it went.  After coating the dough with a little more oil, it went into the warm oven to rise.

In only one short hour  later, I'd know if the Bubble Ring was doomed to failure, or if there was hope that the mythical baked good might be mine to try.

OK, I know that I should have taken the picture of the risen dough
still in the bowl for proper perspective, but you're going to have to
trust me that it did what it was supposed to do: double in size.

Success!  The dough came out of the oven twice has big as when it went in!  I had mastered a yeasted dough.  All kinds of baked good possibilities were now open to me.

The next step in the process took a while.  After patting the dough into an 8-inch square, you then cut it into 64 pieces, and then each piece gets dunked in melted butter and then covered in sugar and cinnamon and layered into a bundt pan.  Ms Smitten Kitchen gave some excellent advice to make sure you separate the pieces quickly from each other, or they'll just glom back together while you aren't looking (or even while you are looking).  I figured the easiest thing to do was to cut off an inch strip at a time, which I then cut into eight pieces, rather than trying to divide and separate 64 pieces at once.  This worked well for me.  Her other excellent piece of advice was to use a fork to spear the dough balls for the dunking and coating process.

I'll note here that I ended up using an additional quarter of the brown sugar coating more than the recipe called for.  Perhaps I was just extra generous with the sugar mixture?  I remember at the time thinking a little cardamom in the cinnamon-sugar mix would be delicious, but for my first try, I was going to stick to the recipe (and to keep it traditional for the Main Squeeze).

It was as I was doing the dunking and coating that the Main Squeeze walked into the kitchen, essentially spoiling the surprise.  This was, in part, because making this was taking much longer than I had anticipated, and he needed to head off to football Sunday.  He was incredibly excited and clearly hadn't expected Bubble Ring when I told him earlier I was making him a special surprise.  Upon figuring out what was going on, he suggested I bring the Bubble Ring to football Sunday, because A) it was best warm, B) it doesn't last very well & C) would be far too much for two people (us) to eat on our own, and D) that his brother would be stunned if I showed up with Bubble Ring.

After all the cinnamon-sugar coated dough balls are in the pan, it gets covered with plastic and put back in the oven to rise again.  For another 50 to 70 minutes.  You see why this took so long, yes?  Of course, what cracked me up is that the directions say that after this second rise, it will be one to two inches from the top of the pan.  As you can see from the picture above, that's where the balls of dough were *before* they went into the oven to rise again!  (I'm guessing that this is because I have a 10-cup pan, rather than a 12-cup pan.)  One of the things that Ms. Smitten Kitchen recommends is making sure you stagger the placement of the dough balls, so that you don't end up with columns of them, but since I don't have a standard bundt pan, that's pretty much what happened naturally for me.

I'm trapped in a plastic-wrapped bundt pan of emotion!
I was worried that the Bubble Ring wouldn't rise as much as it should, because it would be restricted by the plastic wrap, but I think it turned out fine.

Finally ready for baking!
Into the oven it went, to bake for 30-35 minutes.  Ms. Smitten Kitchen said that her Monkey Bread ended up baking for a little too long, because the recipe she was following said that the caramel would bubble up, but hers never did.  So, I decided to just bake it until the top was deep brown.  (The caramel didn't bubble up for me either, as I recall.)

Just seeing it fully baked in the pan is making me crave Bubble Ring!
After it cools for only five minutes, you turn it out of the pan--she was clear that if you waited any longer, you'd have problems getting it out of the pan.  And no one wants all that hard work to go to waste!  (Or, at the very least, to lose any of the delicious bubble ring/monkey bread to the pan.)

Mmm, cinnamon-sugar turned to caramel-y goodness.
After letting it cool for another ten minutes, you drizzle it with the cream cheese glaze.

I'm not sure why this photo came out so dark.
I quickly popped the top on the cake taker and headed over to the Main Squeeze's brother's place.  It a little less than 15 minutes away, so the Bubble Ring was still warm when I got there.

The Main Squeeze was right.  His brother was shocked by the arrival of Bubble Ring, which he didn't think he had had in at least 20 years.  Shocked and super excited.  The others at football Sunday, by the way, confirmed that everyone else calls this Monkey Bread.

We dug into the still-warm Bubble Ring/Monkey Bread and it was *so* good!  The eight of us pretty much devoured it.  (Even the hung-over member of the group, who had only eaten dry toast that day, was able to eat and enjoy the Bubble Ring--it's clearly a miracle food.)  The Main Squeeze and I had enough to nibble on the next morning (when it wasn't nearly as good).  I will absolutely make Bubble Ring/Monkey Bread again in the future, but obviously when I have several hours that I can dedicate to doing so.  You should also set aside a good four hours or so in the near future to make one for yourself.  (Well you and your friends/family--this is too much for just one or two people to eat and the Main Squeeze is right, it's really at its best on that first day.)  You deserve some super delicious Bubble Ring or as everyone else calls it, Monkey Bread.

* * *

Normally, this is where I'd post the recipe, but I'm going to send you over to Smitten Kitchen for the recipe.  Not only is this post long enough as it is, I think you should see her gorgeous pictures and get all of her baking hints.  Also, if you are unfamiliar with her food blog, you really should check it out.

Here is the one change I would make to the recipe, based on my experience of running out of cinnamon-sugar mix:

Brown Sugar Coating
1 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar (Instead of just 1 cup)
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (Instead of just 2 teaspoons)
If you like cardamom, I'd put a teaspoon of that in as well.
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick or 4 ounces), melted (I'm pretty sure I didn't need any more melted butter, so this stays the same.)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Bundt #4 of BCS5: Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Baked November 10, 2012

You may recall that one of the few bundt cakes that I baked last season was the Strawberry Champagne Celebration Cake for my friend's birthday/ housewarming party.  What I found out that evening was that her favorite kind of cake is Pineapple Upside Down Cake.  I made a mental note to make her that kind of cake for her next birthday.

As November rolled around, I actually remembered my mental note from the previous year, and made plans to make Becky a bundt Pineapple Upside Down Cake.  Part of the reason I was excited for this cake was that I knew my Kiss My Bundt cookbook actually had a Pineapple Upside Down Cake recipe, which meant I had access to what I expected to be a really good cake recipe.

Although Chrysta Wilson recommends ditching the traditional maraschino cherries in favor of dark fresh or frozen cherries, I decided that when you are taking on someone's favorite type of cake, you stick with tradition.

After making the batter, the first step is to line the bottom of the pan with pineapple rings and then place a cherry in the center of each ring.  I didn't think that would be enough pineapple, so I placed the pineapple so that they were along the sides of the pan as well.  I'm sorry I don't have a picture to show you--I was quite proud of my handiwork.

Next you make a caramel, which goes, still warm, into the pan.  From this you can get and idea how I arranged the pineapples and cherries.

Mmm, caramel.
On top of all this goes the batter.  And then it's into the oven.  Ms. Wilson recommends lining the oven rack with aluminum foil, because the caramel can bubble over, which I did.  I think I was glad I did so, but it's been long enough that I don't really remember if it bubbled over or not.

I do remember two things quite clearly.  One, this cake took much longer to bake than the recipe called for.  And two, when I turned the cake out onto my cake plate, the caramel, which was quite thin, since it was so hot, went everywhere!  So, for that last part, when you turn the cake out, make sure you do so on an easy to clean surface, like your kitchen counter.  And make sure the space is cleared of items you don't want caramel to hit.

As for the cooking time issue, perhaps this is a good time to discuss how often this happens to me.  I think once, in all the times I've baked a bundt cake (a full size one), has the time been accurate.  I don't think it's that my oven is too cool, because I bought an oven thermometer, and that indicated that the temperature was accurate.  No, I'm 95% sure that it's due to the fact that I use a 10-cup bundt pan, rather than the 12-cup that is the standard size pan, which means that the pan is more full, and the batter is deeper than it would be in a bigger pan.  To the best of my knowledge, all of the "fancy" bundt pans (the ones that aren't in the basic bundt shape) are 10-cup pans.  So, for those of you who also have 10-cup pans, count on your cakes taking *at least* 15 more minutes than the latest time of the recipe.  This one?  I think it was at least 30 more minutes.  I just remember that I was on the phone with a friend, and that I set the time for 10-15 more minutes at least three times!  I mention this for planning purposes.

The cake itself was a hit.  And Becky had never seen one in bundt form before, so score one for me.

Here's the recipe:

Ready to go into the oven.
Batter Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter (softened)
1 3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup whole milk (I used 1%)
1 can pineapple rings, drained
5 cherries, sliced in half

Caramel Ingredients:
3/4 cup butter
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1 cup brown sugar, packed


  1. Line oven rack with aluminum foil, in case the caramel bubbles up over the sides of the pan.  (Alternately, you could put a cookie sheet in the oven to catch any caramel spillage.)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sift flour and baking powder and salt together.  Set aside.
  3. Beat butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes.
  4. Slowly add the sugar. Beat on medium speed until mixture is fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  5. Crack eggs into a separate bowl and add to batter one at a time.  Then beat on medium speed for an additional 2 minutes.
  6. Add vanilla to milk.
  7. Beginning and ending with the flour mixture, mix 1/3 of the flour into the wet mixture, then 1/2 of the milk, alternating until all ingredients are mixed.
  8. Coat pan with a baker's cooking spray that includes flour.
  9. Line the bottom of the pan with pineapple rings (6 - 12 rings--if, like me, you put the pineapple so that it goes up the sides as well, then you will use the whole can of pineapple rings).  
  10. Put half a cherry in the center of each pineapple ring.
  11. Make the caramel by combining the butter, corn syrup, and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the mixture is smooth.
  12. Pour the warm caramel over the pineapple and cherries at the bottom of the pan.  (Use care in handling the caramel, so you don't burn yourself.)
  13. Transfer the batter to the cake pan. 
  14. Bake cake until an inserted toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.  About 40 minutes (as I mentioned, this cake took much longer than 40 minutes to bake.  I think it was closer to an hour and 15 minutes.  So keep that in mind for planning purposes.)
  15. Invert cake onto a cake plate.  You might want to let it cool for 10 minutes--I turned mine out right away and the caramel went every where, because it was so hot.  You also don't want to leave the cake in the pan for too long, or else I don't know if you'll have any problems getting it to turn out.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Bundt #3 of BCS5: Cranberry-Pecan Bread (aka the Hurricane Bundt)

Baked on October 29, 2012

As I mentioned when I did a mini-post on it back at the end of October, I took the forecast of Hurricane Sandy as a call to break out my bundt pan.

In October of 2011, we had an unseasonably early snow storm.  Because it was autumn, and not terribly cold out, the snow was very heavy.  That heavy snow landed on trees which had not dropped most of their leaves, which then lead to downed branches and downed trees.  And that in turn, lead to power outages.  The Main Squeeze and I were lucky, because although our back porch did take a hit, and we were without power, unlike many folks around us in neighboring towns, we got our power back in about a day and a half.

As far as damage from that October 2011 storm goes, we were really lucky.

With that experience fresh in my mind a year later, the forecasted arrival of another big storm and the possibly of being without power again, meant preparing for that worst-case scenario.  And that meant making sure we had things to eat that did not require power (or opening the fridge).  I wanted something that was going to be a bit healthier and heartier than cake, and I love cranberries, so when I found this Cranberry Nut Bread recipe in my Bundt Cookbook, I thought it would be perfect.

The recipe actually called for cranberry-orange relish, but I just substituted a cup of sliced cranberries instead. The final step of the recipe struck me as strange, "When cool, wrap bread tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store overnight before slicing."  I am really curious why they want you to do that, but I wasn't about to follow that step.  I will say this, after the first day, the consistency of the bread was  a little weird.  Kind of like it started going stale pretty quickly, but not exactly that.  I don't know if following the wrap-and-store-overnight step would have prevented that.  I also don't know if the bread would have simply benefitted from being kept in foil (or plastic wrap), rather than in the Tupperware cake taker I always use for my bundt cakes.

I'm not sure I'd make this bread in the future, but it was fun to give it a try.  I've had other cranberry breads that I've liked better.  I think I might just find another cranberry bread recipe, and perhaps try it in the bundt pan, in the future.  This one was really good the first day, though.

Here's the recipe:

3 cups sifted flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cups sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 cup cranberry-orange relish (Though as I mentioned, I just used a cup of sliced cranberries--I had some frozen.  If you have frozen cranberries you want to use, don't bother to defrost them, just slice 'em in half and throw them in.  If you want a cranberry-orange flavor, then just put in some orange zest.  A tablespoon or two should do it.)
1 cup chopped pecans (other nuts would work too)

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until blended.
Add egg to butter mixture and mix well.
Add sifted dry ingredients and milk alternately to butter mixture; mix thoroughly.
Stir in cranberry relish (or sliced cranberries and orange zest, if using) and pecans.
Bake in a greased and floured (I just use baking spray) 10 or 12-cup Bundt pan at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until bread tests done.
Cool in pan 10-15 minutes; turn out on wire rack to complete cooling.
When completely cool, wrap bread in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store overnight before slicing.

As I mentioned in my mini-post on this, I had chosen my "wave" bundt pan, as I think of it (but which is actually Nordic Ware's Heritage bundt pan) because since this was a bread, there was definitely not going to be any glaze (which I think of working less well with this shape bundt).  What I didn't realize, until I turned it out of the pan, is how appropriate it was for a bread made in anticipation of a hurricane.  See:

There is a 100% chance of cranberries and pecans.
In any case, we were lucky and the storm wasn't so bad for us--no loss of power or downed tree limbs on our house.  So, I'm crediting the hurricane bread.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Bundt #2 of BCS5: Caramel Apple Cake

Baked on October 14, 2012

Our local neighborhood association had its annual meeting on October 14th.  Part of the meeting included an "apple fest" where folks were to bring an apple dish.  Clearly, I had only one option, which was to make an apple bundt cake.  My first destination for a recipe was my favorite bundt cookbook, Kiss My Bundt by Chrysta Wilson, but sadly, no apple cake recipes were to be found there.  So, my next stop was the old school Bundt Cookbook put out by the originators of the bundt pan, Nordic Ware.  There, I was drawn to the Caramel Apple Cake.  And so, it was decided that was the cake I was bringing to the annual meeting.

Because I was running late (as usual) I neglected to take any pictures of the cake, until after the meeting.  (As you can see from the picture for this post.)  You can also see that the cake was well received, which was interesting to me, since I, myself, did not love this cake.  The caramel glaze really was not caramel-y.  Instead, it had an almost maple flavor.  I think it's due to all the powdered sugar in the glaze recipe.  If I were to make this again, I'd find something more traditionally caramel--butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and milk (or even better, cream).  So, that's my recommendation to you.  Find a better glaze.  (If you look at the picture, you can see the glaze is not the right color for caramel--that's all that powered sugar mucking things up.)

I don't remember much about this cake (see, this is a problem with waiting three months to write your posts), just that I thought it was okay.  Again, though, other people really liked it.  One neighbor even asked me for the recipe, as it was her favorite item there!  And another neighbor, when I mentioned on Facebook that I didn't love the cake, also gave it high praise--and she described herself as being "fussy."  So, there ya go.  Oh, speaking of that FB post, I see I said that if I were to make the cake again, I'd leave out the raisins (and I like raisins!).  So, that's good to know.

So, yeah, now that you're all excited to try this cake for yourself, here's the recipe.

For the cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
2 cups, peeled, thinly sliced apples
1 cup chopped nuts (I think I used pecans.  And you should always toast nuts for the best flavor.)
1/2 cup raisins (like I said, I'd leave these out; let the apples shine.  Hell, maybe add another 1/2 of apples?)

For the glaze (Though again, I really, really recommend finding a different glaze! Unless you want a more maple-y glaze, then use this one.):
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 to 4 teaspoons milk
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped nuts

Directions for the cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray pan with baking spray (or you can use the grease & flour method).
Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off.
In a large bowl, blend all cake ingredients except nuts and raisins, beat 2 minutes at high speed.
I am certain I did not follow that step, but rather, whisked the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in one bowl.  And then, in my stand mixer, beat the butter for 2 minutes on medium, until light.  Then slowly added the sugar, and let it mix for another two minutes, until fluffy.  Then I would have added the eggs one at a time.  And then added the vanilla.  Finally adding the dry ingredients in batches.  At which point, I'm guessing I let it mix for 2 minutes, per the directions above.
Stir in nuts and raisins.
Spoon into prepared pan.
Bake 45 - 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool upright in the pan 30 minutes; invert onto a serving plate.
Cool completely.

Directions for the glaze (or try this one, it looks good):
In a small saucepan, melt butter.
Stir in brown sugar; remove from heat. (I know I kept it on the heat and let it cook for a little while, in an effort to get it more caramel-y.)
Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk; blend well.
Immediately spoon over cake.
Sprinkle with nuts.

Bundt #1 of BCS5 - Honey Cake with Dark Chocolate Glaze

Baked on September 30, 2012.

I was motivated to start Bundt Cake Season 5 earlier than previous seasons, in part, because my colleague, AJ, sent me this recipe for Honey Cake with Dark Chocolate Glaze (and a sprinkling of sea salt) and it looked delicious.  I was also motivated to get an early start to BCS5, because I ended up baking so few bundts last season (four total, though I only posted about two).  So, I was eager to get out my bundt pans and get baking!

I have been searching for a good Honey Cake recipe for awhile.  My old CSA used to sell these amazing honey cakes for Rosh Hashanah, which had raisins and carrots in them(not dissimilar to carrot cake), but that CSA no longer exists, hence the search for a honey cake recipe of my own.

This cake, although it has neither carrots nor raisins (which I'm pretty sure were unique to that baker's interpretation, as I don't think most honey cakes have either) still looked really good.  And how can you go wrong with a dark chocolate glaze and a sprinkling of sea salt?  The answer is, you really can't. Also, clearly this Honey Cake was meant for me, because it was a bundt cake.

I brought this cake into work to share with my coworkers and the Dean (who usually avoids sweets and things that aren't healthy, in general) poked his head into my office and told me, "You could sell this."  That was high praise.  

As the description at Epicurious says, this cake is ideal for any occasion, so no need to wait for the next Rosh Hashanah to make this.

Here's the recipe (which you can also find here).


For cake:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
1 cup pure honey
3/4 cup lukewarm coffee (brewed, or instant dissolved in water)
1 1/2 teaspoons packed grated orange zest

For chocolate glaze:
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons well-stirred canned unsweetened coconut milk (not light)
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
4 ounces bittersweet (60% cacao) chocolate, finely chopped (I just used dark chocolate chocolate chips.)
Out of the pan, before the glaze.
For garnish:
Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon (optional)


For cake:
Heat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Generously spray pan, including center tube, with baking spray.

Whisk together flour, baking powder and soda, salt, and spices in a large bowl.

Whisk eggs well in another large bowl and whisk in sugar, oil, honey, coffee, and zest until well combined.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the honey mixture, then stir with the whisk until the batter is smooth.

Pour batter into pan (it’s liquid enough to level itself in the pan), and bake in oven until springy to the touch and a cake tester comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes.

Let cake cool in the pan on a rack for 20 minutes.

Loosen cake from the pan with a thin rubber spatula, then invert cake onto the rack and cool completely.

For glaze:
Bring coconut milk and corn syrup to a simmer in a small heavy pan, stirring until combined.

Remove pan from heat and add chocolate. Let chocolate stand 1 minute, then stir until chocolate is melted and glaze is smooth.

Let glaze stand, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, but still pourable.

Transfer cake to a cake plate and slowly pour the chocolate glaze over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides. If desired, let the cake stand at room temperature until glaze is set.
Freshly glazed cake, pre-sea salt.

Just before serving, sprinkle glaze lightly with flaky sea salt, if using.

Helpful hint from Epicurious (check out their web site for other hints):
Measuring oil and honey: Both should be measured in a liquid measuring cup. The oil is listed first, because if you measure the honey in it afterward, without washing the cup, the honey will slide out easily, with barely any help needed from a rubber spatula. 

Let's Get this Bundt Cake Season Back on Track!

Sadly, I seem to be following in last season's footsteps.  But unlike last season, I have been making more bundts!  (Though there has been a two-month lull since my last bundt.  I do have plans to fix that tomorrow, however.)

Clearly, I'm not cut out to be a very good blogger.  Oh well.  Let's just see if I can get this blog back up to speed.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Bundt

This is just a quick mini-post.  I know I still need to tell you about bundts one and two of Bundt Cake Season Five (and actually bundt three, since this isn't a full post), but this just calls for an out-of-order post.

Like many of my East Coast friends who were going to be potentially affected by Hurricane Sandy, I decided that the situation called for some baking, which in my case, meant a bundt.

Having lost power in last year's October snow storm, I figured we'd want something that didn't need refrigeration and would be easy to snack on.  I also wanted it to have some sort of redeeming nutritional value, so I decided to go with a cranberry-pecan bread, rather than a cake.

Since there was clearly going to be no glaze with this bread, it meant I could use my newer "wave" pan, as I've dubbed it.

It wasn't until I turned it out of the pan, that I realized how appropriate that pan choice was.  See for yourself.

Hmm, that shape looks familiar...
Yep, it's a hurricane-shaped bundt!

Luckily, we didn't lose power this time.  I'm crediting the bundt bread.