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.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bundt Cake Season Five Has Begun!

Yes, yes, I'm behind on Season Four, quelle surprise.  But, there's only one more cake in the season, so I'll get that post up eventually.  I'm hoping to turn over a new leaf with Season Five.  Also, since there were only three bundt cakes in Season Four, that may be why Season Five is the earliest starting season so far.

Anyway, here's the first bundt cake of the season, a Honey Cake with Dark Chocolate Glaze (sea salt is coming, but not yet sprinkled on the cake).  My friend, AJ, sent the recipe to me on Rosh Hashanah.   So, she gets some credit for the early start to this year's season.

Recipe and all that to follow.  Though, if you're in a hurry, you can find the recipe here:  http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/holidays/highholydays/honey-cake.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Bundt Cake #2 of BCS4: I kind of had to Frankenstein it together

A friend of mine had a birthday on November 10th, since she was turning 25 (yes, I know, so young) and had recently moved into a new place, she and her main squeeze had a party. Since she is a fan of the strawberry champagne (she also extols its virtues in a strawberry mimosa), it seemed appropriate to make her the Strawberry Champagne Celebration Cake. Because this was going to be for a party, I went for the full-size bundt this time. I also skipped the champagne buttercream, because, as I mentioned in that post, it turns out that I don't really like the stuff (buttercream frosting in general, not the champagne one specifically). I decided, instead, to make a Strawberry Champagne Glaze to go on it.

I made the cake (you can find the recipe here) and when I went to turn it out, I started getting nervous that I was going to have a repeat of the disaster of Bundt Cake #1 from this season. The first time I attempted to turn it out, only a small section came out--from just one side of the cake. I let it sit for 15 minutes and tried again, this time an almost equal-sized chunk of cake came out--this time from the other side. Remember, this was supposed to be going to a party. I was seriously starting to freak out!

If you look closely, you can see the two pieces.
And obviously, the cake still in the pan behind it.

Before I turned the cake out for the final time, I got a silicon spatula out, and ran it along the side of the bundt pan to help the cake loosen from the edges. Luckily, that worked! Then I just needed to "Frankenstein" the cake together, which I did by figuring out where the edges matched up, so when I turned it out the final time, the parts all fit together. Too bad I wasn't frosting the cake, because then I could have used the frosting to glue the pieces together. As it was, since the two pieces that came out first were flat-ish, it just kind of stayed together.

Because the cake left some of its crust, so to speak, in the pan, I decided against pouring the glaze on it, for fear it would end up soggy. So I brought it separately to be poured on individual slices.

Crysta Wilson has a recipe in Kiss My Bundt for a 7-Up glaze for her 7-Up Poundcake, so I used that recipe as my guide when making the Strawberry Champagne Glaze.

Strawberry Champagne Glaze

1/2 cup Strawberry Champagne
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar (I recommend sifting the sugar, as my glaze ended up a little lumpy)

Pour the champagne into a small bowl. With a whisk, stir in the powdered sugar a 1/2 cup at a time until fully mixed.

She recommends pouring a 1/2 cup of the glaze on the cake while it's still hot (that way it will absorb some of it) and then once the cake has fully cooled, drizzling the rest on it.

As with the first, more disastrous, cake of Bundt Cake Season 4, this cake was still delicious. And since it was dark at the party, no one really noticed its Frankenstein qualities. This cake is so good! You should definitely give it a try--you don't even need to splurge on the good stuff, Andre or its like will do just fine. This cake would be especially handy if you had some leftover champagne you wanted to use up, but weren't in the mood for drinking it (for some bizarre reason).

After two problematic cakes in a row, I was seriously starting to worry about the fate of Bundt Cake Season 4!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Bundt Cake #1 of BCS4: Bundt Cake Disaster!

As you may recall, Bundt Cake Season 4 started on October 31st. The Main Squeeze and I were among hundreds of thousands of people in New England who lost power in the evening of Saturday, October 29th in a freak snow storm that brought down lots of branches and whole trees (since the snow hit so early, most of the trees still had their leaves. That, combined with the heaviness of the snow, led to the downing of trees and the breaking off of tree limbs. In fact, our back porch was damaged from a large branch hitting it). We were lucky, because our power returned by Monday morning. Once the power returned, among the many things that I wanted to do to take advantage of once again having electricity was to bake a bundt cake and get Bundt Cake Season 4 started!

Months ago, I had found a recipe on the web that I wanted to use to start BCS4, but unfortunately, I didn't have at least two key ingredients, and I wasn't about to venture to the store when it was sure to be insanely packed. So, I found another recipe whose ingredients I did have: Lemon Ginger Cake from Kiss My Bundt.

I had forgotten that I used up my baking spray, but I figured, no big deal, when I first started baking bundts, I used the old butter and flour method, I'd just do that. I don't know what happened (I'm guessing I didn't grease the pan thoroughly enough), but I had my first experience of the cake not releasing from the pan. I kept letting it sit for 15 minutes and trying to turn it out, but no go. I even tried to ease it out using a silicon spatula. I finally had to take desperate measures. I think I ultimately had to use a knife to get it out.

It wasn't pretty. In fact, I think it's safe to say it was an aesthetic disaster. See for yourself:

Well, at least it tasted delicious.

Sadly, I had made a lemon ginger syrup to pour over it, to give it a stronger ginger flavor, but clearly, a syrup would have just have made it soggy.

Did I mention that we had invited friends who were still without power over for dinner? And after all the work that went into this cake, I wasn't about to just toss it. The Main Squeeze had an excellent suggestion: serve it in bowls. Which is what I did. With the syrup on the side for folks to put on their cake as they liked.

It really was quite tasty. Since it was a fresh ginger cake, without the ingredients that would have made it more spicy (like molasses ), the ginger flavor was on the subtle side. And this was after I added more ginger than the recipe called for. I also was probably a little too generous with the lemon zest, as I think the lemon flavor dominated the ginger flavor a bit.

If you're looking for a cake with more of hint of ginger than an intense gingerbread experience, then this is the cake for you. Omit the lemon zest if you'd like just a simple, fresh ginger cake.

Ginger peeling hint: The best way to peel ginger is to use a spoon. Seriously. That way you remove just the thin skin without losing any of the delicious root.


1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger (I don't have a ginger grater, and my experience using a regular grater has been unsatisfactory, so I just chop it very finely.)
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup whole milk (as always, I used the 1% I had on hand)
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs, room temperature


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Add grated ginger, lemon zest, and vanilla to milk. Set aside.

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.

Beat butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy, about two minutes.

Slowly add the sugar. Beat on medium speed until the mixture is fluffy, about two minutes.

Crack the eggs into a separate bowl and add to batter one at a time. Then beat on medium speed for an additional two minutes.

Beginning and ending with the flour mixture, mix 1/3 of the flour mixture into the wet mixture at low speed, then 1/2 of the milk, alternating until all ingredients are mixed.

Transfer batter to a cake pan that has been coated with a baker's cooking spray that includes flour. (If you are using mini bundt pans, fill them 3/4 full.)

Bake until an inserted toothpick or cake tester comes out clean--about 40 minutes for a regular-sized bundt pan.

Invert cake onto a cooling rack or serving plate. If cake resists, cool in the pan for 15 minutes before inverting. (HA!) If it still resists, give it another 15 minutes (double HA!).

I don't remember now what I did for the syrup, but I think I went with something like this:

1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of sugar
1-2 tablespoons of grated ginger
1-2 teaspoons of lemon zest
If you happen to have some Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, add some, that would be delicious--a couple of tablespoons, I'm guessing, would do nicely.

Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook until slightly syrupy, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

If everything had turned out correctly, I would have poked holes in the cake with a skewer and poured the syrup over it.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Woohoo! I FINALLY Finished the BCS3 Posts!

Now it's on to Bundt Cake Season 4 posts! Wait until you see the first two cakes...

If you missed the last two cakes of BCS3, #16 - Cabernet Chocolate Cake with Blackberry Red Wine Glaze and #17 - "Pretty in Pink" Chiffon Cake (because I changed their post dates so they'd at least be found with their sister cakes), you can find them here and here. They were both delicious, and very different from each other. So check them out and see if you're in the mood for one or the other.