Monday, February 21, 2011

Bundt Cake #8 of Bundt Cake Season 3: Pear Cranberry Cake

Back in mid-December, our friends TK and Christa came to visit. Christa brought this lovely Pear Cranberry cake (her first bundt cake, if I recall correctly.) It was delicious, perfect for the holidays, but also for less fancy occasions. I put it in the category of cinnamon-spice type cakes. We had it for dessert after lunch, and again with breakfast the next day, and it was perfect for both. And did I mention the fabulous dulce de leche-like glaze?

Recipe from epicurious. com (see link below).

  • For cake:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 Bosc pears (1 1/2 pounds), cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 cup cranberries (thawed if frozen)

  • For glaze:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 (3-inch-long) cinnamon sticks

  • Equipment: a 10-by 4-inch angel food cake pan or a 15- cup Bundt pan

For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter cake pan.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and spices.

Beat together sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla with an electric mixer until combined well.

At low speed, mix in pears and cranberries, then mix in flour mixture until incorporated.

Spoon batter into pan.

Bake until a wooden pick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.

Cool in pan 30 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool completely.

For the glaze:
Bring cream, brown sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, cinnamon sticks, and a pinch of salt to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally, then simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Cool glaze 5 minutes. Discard cinnamon sticks, then pour glaze over cake, letting some drip down sides.

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Bundt Cake #7 of Bundt Cake Season 3 - Chocolate Stout Bundt Cake

The third cake is the charm.

As you may recall, back in November I posted a link to the Food Librarian's
I Like Big Bundts: 2 (Seriously, the woman puts me to shame--also she may be crazy, baking a bundt a day for 30 days! On the other hand, I do like feeling like I'm part of some sort of bundt cake revival. I feel like I'm hearing about bundt cakes left and right.) So, when I was looking for a bundt cake recipe during the first weekend in December, I went to that post and did some scrolling. The cake that caught my eye was the Chocolate Stout Bundt.

Here's what I have to say about it: YOU TOTALLY NEED TO MAKE THIS CAKE! The Main Squeeze declared it probably his favorite of *all* the bundt cakes that I had made up until that point. We literally had to discuss how much of it I could to bring to my coworkers. It was that good. And said coworkers agreed. It's nicely moist and has a rich chocolatey flavor. I suggest you resist the urge to use a chocolate stout, and stick to a standard one, but it's totally up to you.

The original recipe actually came from Smitten Kitchen. The guest blogger who baked the Chocolate Stout cake for I Like Big Bundts: 2, used a different ganache recipe, but I used the one in the Smitten Kitchen recipe, but tweaked it to my own liking. Namely, I substituted Kaluha for the instant coffee granules and used dark chocolate chips, instead of semi-sweet.

So, here's the recipe:


  • 1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream


  • 6 ounces dark chocolate chips
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2-3 tablespoons Kahlua

Cake prep:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter or spray a bundt pan well; make sure you get in all of the nooks and crannies. (Some people even go so far as to brush the inside of their bundt pans with melted butter–you cannot be too careful!). Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer cake to rack; cool completely in the pan, then turn cake out onto rack for drizzling ganache.


For the ganache, melt the chocolate, heavy cream, and Kahlua in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally. Drizzle over the top of cooled cake.

I'm still here!

I know I've been neglecting this poor blog, but I am going to fix that soon! Really. Hopefully.

See, what happened was that I volunteered to coordinate Cannonball Read III for Pajiba and that's just taken up a lot of my spare time. Especially when it comes to doing stuff on the computer. I'm not one of those people who can do a million things at once. So, poor Bundt Cake Season has taken a bit of a back seat, I'm afraid. But, I'm hoping to get things back on track.

I have, I believe, five bundt cakes to tell you about, so let's get this show on the road.