Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Maple Walnut Bundt Cake

I have a new obsession with bundt cakes, and by new I mean I bought my first bundt pan yesterday, whipped this cake up and have been trolling the internets and every cookbook in the house for bundt cake recipes ever since.  I am planning on making a lemon one tonight in fact.  I really cannot figure out what exactly it is that draws me to these, it could be that you don't have to decorate them at all, which as you may or may not know decorating cakes and such is NOT my forte by any stretch of the imagination (I struggled with making one of those bunny cakes at Easter, you know the kind that everyone and their grandmother can make, although in my defense it was gluten free and thus an unusual texture).  There is also the fact that they tend to be on the denser side which I prefer and how particular I am about my cake to  frosting ratio which isn't a problem as most of these cakes just call for a glaze or a dusting of powdered sugar.  Or maybe it's the pans, which I have decided to start collecting along with cake stands (I want this one and this one for starters).  They also have a delightfully retro feel to them.

Start by making the nutty filling.  Flour, butter, cinnamon, walnuts (or pecans, which is what the recipe calls for, but we had a big bag of walnuts in the pantry)....

...and of course, maple syrup.  It is a bit hard to tell the scale in this picture, but it is in fact a half gallon jug of the stuff, hand delivered from New Hampshire.  
Then cream some butter and sugar together, pretty standard.  Next, in a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients together, also pretty standard.

Now here is where it gets a bit fiddly.  You add a single tablespoon of the the flour mixture and beat it in, then add an egg, then another single tablespoon of flour mixture then the other egg.  I have no idea why 2 tablespoons of flour make enough of a difference to merit the explanation required, but there you have it, this cake is delicious so I won't argue.  Then you add the rest of the flour and then the sour cream.  

You will end up with a dough that definitely cant be poured into the pan, but will instead need to be manhandled a bit to get it to obey.  

The recipe makes a big deal about making a rim up around the edges of the pan thus creating a dent all around the ring for the filling to go in and making sure it doesn't leak out.  Either I did a much better job of sealing my filling in than I thought I was or it isn't that big of a deal.  Anyways, you end up with half the dough on the bottom, a ring of the filling in the middle and then top it off with the rest of the dough, doing your best to cover over all the filling.

Bake until done and then let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before flipping it out.

Maple Walnut Bundt Cake (from Nigella Kitchen by Nigella Lawson)
1/2 cup flour
2T butter, softened
1t cinnamon
1 1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped (or pecans)
1/2 cup maple syrup

2 cups flour
1t baking powder
1t baking soda
9T butter, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream

10 cup bundt pan

Preheat oven to 350 and grease pan well, you can use pam with flour in it, but I use crisco on a paper towel and then shake some flour around in the pan.

Make the filling, mix the butter and flour together with a fork until it looks like a crumb topping, then mix the rest of the ingredients in with the fork until blended.

Then mix the flour, baking powder and baking soda in bowl and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar, then add 1T of the flour mixture, then one egg, then one more tablespoon of the flour then the other other egg.  Continue to add the flour mixture, beating as you go.  When that is mixed in, add the sour cream.

Spoon just over half the batter into the bundt pan, spreading it up the sides a bit to make a rim.  You want the gooey filling sealed in.

Spoon the filling into the dent in the cake batter, then cover with the rest of the batter.  Bake for 40 minutes, but check around 30.  Be careful not to be fooled by the filling, it will stick to the cake tester, you want to see if the cake bit is sticking to the tester.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before flipping it out.

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