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"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Let Them Eat Cake

February 15 was my birthday.  I spent it at home with the kids, having a quiet day.  I made some soup, because I wanted to, and I made my own birthday cake, also because I wanted to.

Some folks on Facebook liked the photos of the cake and asked for the recipe, so I asked my not-a-mother-in-law if I could share it since she gave it to me, and one hates to publish a family thing without permission.  She was enthusiastically for my sharing, so here it is:
The players:

For the cake:
One bundt pan, regular size, and possibly another one with the miniature forms or at least a brownie type pan.  I have the bundt pan that my not-a-mother-in-law gave me when she learned I don't have one, and it's maybe a little older than I am.  It's metal, and heavy, and I love it.  She also gave me the pan for mini-bundts, which makes six small cakes of a sunflower design.

One can of baker's Joy.  Accept no substitutes.  Seriously - I've tried other products and have been most disappointed with the results.  It's okay if you like something else better and it works for you, but I'm sticking with my Baker's Joy.

One teaspoon of each of the following - coconut extract, rum extract, butter extract, lemon extract, vanilla extract, almond extract

2 sticks of butter.  Yes, I said butter.  Do it.  You'll thank me.

1/2 cup shortening (I use those handy Crisco sticks.  One half stick is one half cup, easy peasy).

3 cups sugar.  I know.  I KNOW!

5 eggs, well beaten.  I do mean well.  As in fluffy, aerated, ouch my wrist hurts from whisking these bad boys.

3 cups all purpose flour.

1/2 teaspoon baking powder.

1 cup milk.  I use whole because this clearly isn't health food.

For the glaze:

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon of each of the flavorings

 Aaaaand action!

Pre-heat the oven to 325 f.

To save some time and effort, I like to measure out the flavorings in advance, into two ramekins.  Interesting fact, the mix of flavors is clear until I add the lemon, then it clouds up.  Weird.  I'm sure there's science involved.

This is much easier if you have a stand type mixer with a whisk attachment.  I love my KitchenAid.

Cream the butter and shorteningtogether until well mixed.  Add the sugar and beat until fluffy.  While all this is going on, whisk the eggs in another bowl.  You want them to lighten in hue, about lemon colored.

Add the eggs to the bowl and mix until well incorporated.  Once they're a mostly mixed in I turn it up to medium speed.

Combine the flour and baking powder.  I just mix mine in a measuring cup.

Add to the bowl, alternating with the milk, beating at low speed until well incorporated.

Add in the combined flavorings, again mixing at low speed until incorporated.  Now turn the mixer to medium/medium high and walk away for a few minutes.  Yes.  Do it.

This is where I spray the everloving heck out of the bundt pan.  I hose that baby down.  Every nook and cranny is well sprayed, the whole interior is suddenly frosty white, no kidding there's not a speck of the non-stick lining to be seen.  I ain't kidding around with this thing.  I give the same treatment to three of the mini-bundts.  If you're using a brownie pan for the extra (and there will be extra), hose it down, too.

Now go drink a glass of water or something.

If you walked away from the batter and let the beater do its job for a few minutes (I've let mine go for as much as 15 minutes before), you will have a pale, silken batter that smells delightful.  Spoon it into your bundt pan.  I usually fill my pan 1/2 to 2/3.  The rest of the batter goes into the mini-bundts or the brownie pan.

Place both in the oven for 1 hour, 15 minutes or until done.  Mine take almost the whole time.

About 30 minutes before the cakes come out, make the glaze by combining the water, sugar, and flavorings in a sauce pan and heating to a boil, stirring often until the sugar is completely melted.

If it's done before the cakes, just turn off the burner and let it sit.

The mini-bundts are usually done about 15 minutes before the big one, so I pull them out first.  You can leave them unglazed, or spoon some glaze on the bottoms, wait ten minutes, and carefully pull them from the pans and put 'em on a plate.  Spoon more glaze onto the top if desired.

If you used a brownie pan, just spoon a little glaze on the top and leave it alone.

When the large cake is ready, pull it out and spoon about half the remaining glaze onto the bottom.  Let it soak in, and let the cake cool for about ten minutes.

Plate the cake* and evenly distribute the remaining glaze from the pot around the top.  Let it cool completely, then devour it.  Or, you know, save some for company or whatever.

I will not make this cake unless I know other people will help eat it, because I WILL eat the whole danged thing.

*Seems like lots of folks have their own method for de-panning this kind of cake.  Mine is to place the plate over the pan, centered, and carefully flip it.  I say a little prayer and lift the pan, and if the gods are kind and the the fairies feel like picking on someone else that day, it comes up without a fuss, leaving behind a beautiful cake of beautifulness.


Momlady said...

Your description of how to do it is fun. Wish I liked almond extract flavor. Maybe there could be a 5 flavor cake?

Holly said...

Thank you so much Kyd!!!!

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