Monday, March 26, 2012
brown sugar bundt cake.
Brown sugar is another of those warm, comforting flavours that you can always count on. In here, it's proudly showcased in a recipe I picked up from Dorie's wonderful book, Baking: From My Home to Yours. I think that book is one of the best ones I've ever read. Not only does it contain recipes that give you that urge to make every single thing(!) and they deliver as well! I'm rarely disappointed and it's a total dejavu here.
The recipe has a slight alternative, which is the inclusion of ground nuts to complement the brown sugar flavour. If you do so, you have to add a bit of almond extract. I didn't feel like adding the nuts but I decided to throw in the extract. My advice: Listen to Dorie. She knows what she's doing. The extra almond scent didn't throw off the balance of the cake, but it would be better without since I didn't mix in the ground nuts.
The only thing I can fault it for is being a wee bit sweet. It's still manageable, but if you're one of those who prefer less sweetness, you might want to reduce the sugar by 1/4.
Brown Sugar Bundt Cake
adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours
makes 12 servings
Dorie suggests wrapping the cake well and leaving it on the counter to ripen the flavours for a day before serving.
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup ground hazelnuts or walnuts (or 1/4 cup more all-purpose flour)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract (if you're using the ground nuts)
1 cup buttermilk
2 medium pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4 inch dice
1/2 cup moist plump prunes, snipped into 1/4 inch pieces or 1/2 cup moist, plump raisins
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour a 9 to 10 inch (12 cup) bundt pan. Don't place the pan on a bking sheet.
Whisk together the flour, nuts, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and almond extract, if using. Stir in the flour and buttermilk alternately, the flour in 3 additions and the buttermilk in two. Stir in the pears and prunes until evenly distributed. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
Bake for 60 to 65 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out with some moist crumbs attached. Transfer the cake to a rack to cool for 10 minutes before unmolding, then cool to room temperature on the rack.
When you are ready to serve, dust the top of the cake with confectioners' sugar.