Let Them Eat Bundt

Many of my clan have August birthdays, and I’m only too happy to offer up cakes in honor the celebrations. But August also represents the hottest part of summer, so fancy layer cakes with mounds of fluffy frosting are problematic. They take longer to put together in a hot kitchen and have a tendency to melt in transport.

Enter the Bundt cake, the single layer, hole-in-the-middle, all-purpose cake.

I have two standbys that are simple, absolutely delicious and every bit as festive as their fussy layered counterparts. First is a Chocolate Stout Cake with a surprisingly light texture and the subtle nuances that come from dark beer. Second is an Apple Cake that includes applesauce and fresh grated apples. Both can be drizzled with a simple glaze of confectioners’ sugar and milk or just dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Another bonus? They are better the second or even third day after baking.

As my friends and family get a little older, we may not want all the candles on the cake for the world to see, so Bundt cakes work perfectly to add a sweet finale to another year well lived.

IMG_5836CHOCOLATE STOUT CAKE

Makes 12 to 16 servings

This cake is a monster, filling the pan almost to the rim. But a pleasantly spongey texture and complex flavors make it hard to resist going back for seconds.

11/2 cups stout beer (such as Guinness)

11/2 cups unsalted butter

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

3 cups flour

3 cups sugar

21/4 teaspoons baking sodaIMG_5833

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3 large eggs

3/4 cup sour cream

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 10-inch tube pan. Dust with flour, tapping out excess.

Combine stout and butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Add cocoa powder. Whisk until smooth. Remove from heat. Cool slightly.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another bowl until blended. Add stout mixture to egg mixture. Beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on low speed. Use a rubber spatula to fold batter until completely combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour.

Transfer pan to rack. Cool 10 to 15 minutes. Turn cake out onto rack and cool completely.

Before serving, dust with confectioners’ sugar.

IMG_5857APPLE CAKE

Makes 12 servings

Think of this as a dressed up applesauce snack cake with bits of fresh apples. Vary the spices based on what you have on hand. A teaspoon of apple pie spice can be used in place of all the spices, if desired.

11/2 cups unsweetened applesauce or 1 cup apple butter

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon salt

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

11/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 medium-size apples with peel, grated

1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 10-inch tube pan. Dust with flour. Tap out excess.

If using applesauce, set a fine strainer over a bowl. Pour applesauce into strainer. Let stand 15 minutes to drain of excess liquid. Measure out 1 cup applesauce. (If using apple butter, this step is not necessary.) Discard liquid.

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

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until mixture is smooth, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add applesauce and grated apples. Beat until just blended (batter will look curdled). Add dry ingredients. Beat on low just until combined. Stir in walnuts, if using.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Smooth top. Bake until a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Transfer pan to rack. Cool 5 minutes. Turn cake out onto rack and cool completely.

Before serving, dust with confectioners’ sugar.



Categories: Recipes

Tags: , , , , ,

1 reply

  1. Happy to find you. Enjoyed your 10TV segments from the North Market. I will come back and visit as I always liked your ideas and recipes. Thank you!

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