This week's TWD recipe was Marbled Mocha-Walnut Bundt Cake. Another bundt cake? You know what this means:
Liz vs. Her Bundt Pan: Ultimate Death Match VI: Bake-Off Boogaloo
Remember last week when I made that Coconut Tea Cake in the bundt pan, and I whined about how my "nonstick" bundt pan was no such thing? Well, dear Leslie suggested that I coat it with shortening, then nonstick cooking spray, then flour. Aha, I thought to myself, not one, not two, but THREE elements that prohibit stickiness! This plan cannot fail!
Any guesses as to what happened next?
Bundt pan: 6 (or 7, I've lost count by now) Liz: 0
Look at it there, smirking at me with its stupid smirky bundt face.
Now, I'm no bundt technician. I didn't major in Bundt Studies in college (choosing instead the only slightly more helpful American Studies, ah, the liberal arts! Producing bitter temp workers by the thousands) but I am sort of a ninja when it comes to covering up my kitchen mistakes. So I got crafty with a soft plastic knife, and ever so delicately massaged the remaining cake back together in an approximation of its original shape.
I had originally made a chocolate sauce to serve alongside the cake, but once I saw the sorry state of this bundt, I knew there needed to be a more drastic cover-up. Fortunately, the sauce I made was Sherry Yard's 10-Year Chocolate Sauce*, which actually works moderately well as a poured icing, so I heated it until it was very liquid and poured it over the cake. Success! No one would ever know what horrors lurk beneath.
*Please make this sauce. It is outrageous. A wonderful texture, and a great tangy taste (I used sour cream in place of creme fraiche.) It was a bit thick to pour, but if the cream was increased by a few tbsps it'd be perfect. Or you could omit the cream to thicken it and have an awesome spreadable frosting. Love.
A word of strategy if you're ever in the same situation: put the cake on a cardboard round! It was way too unstable to handle the glazing and transferring to a serving platter, so I scooted a round underneath it and trimmed it at an angle so the cake hung slightly over the edge. You can't even tell from the pictures. See, what'd I tell you? Ninja.
To complete the deception, I piled the bundt high with fresh farmer's market strawberries and candied walnuts. I actually put a shot glass in the center of the cake and then just put berries on top for the photo, so there weren't strawberries piled all the way down into the center. It's an illusion. Also, I'm not sure why I'm suddenly compelled to unburden all of my deep dark baking and photographing secrets. Maybe I shouldn't have had that Truthiness Tonic at lunch.
I didn't make the mocha version, mine was just a chocolate-vanilla cake. And I got a little crazy adding the chocolate, so the marbling suffered a little bit. Next time I'll keep more batter plain, and exercise more restraint with the swirlin' knife. We had this cake for Easter dessert, along with the rest of the chocolate sauce, fresh strawberries, the candied nuts, and my very favorite homemade vanilla-honey ice cream (recipe under the cut).
We both loved this cake, but I think it really helped that it was covered with chocolate frosting and sauce, and served with so many extras. On its own it seemed a little plain and unexciting, but it got by with a little help from its friends.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have a bundt pan I need to go karate chop.
Vanilla-Honey Ice Cream
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup honey
2-1/4 cups half-and-half cream
3 eggs, beaten
1-1/2 cup heavy cream
1 TBSP teaspoon vanilla extract
Break the eggs into a medium-sized bowl and lightly whisk them.
In a saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together the sugar and half-and-half. When the mixture begins to simmer, remove from heat, and whisk half of the mixture into the eggs. Whisk quickly so that the eggs do not scramble. Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan, and stir in the heavy cream.
Continue cooking over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. (I always use a thermometer--175 degrees F is the magic number.) Remove from heat, and whisk in vanilla. Pour into a bowl, cover the top with cling-wrap, and refrigerate until completely cool.
Pour cooled mixture into an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Notes: You can omit the honey and use 1.5 cups of granulated sugar. For a stronger vanilla flavor, use 1 vanilla pod, scraped, and reduce the vanilla extract.
Also, this makes a DELICIOUS cinnamon ice cream! Simmer the half and half with 1-2 cinnamon sticks, and/or add ground cinnamon at the end with the vanilla. So. Good.