Thursday, November 15, 2007

Feel Like Bundtnin' It Up!

Happy Bundt Day, dear friends! In honor of the glorious occasion, I hosted a Big Bundt Appreciation Bake-off. (Suggested listening to get you in the celebratory spirit: "Feel Like Funkin' It Up" by the Rebirth Brass Band.)

And while I had but three entries (a bit sad, isn't it?), I'm simply thrilled with the Bundt love that came my way. (Besides, a little Bundt goes a long way -- it took four days and about twenty people to polish off my Hickory Nut Bundt Cake.) Thank you to Dave, Andrea, and Anne. And to all those who had every good intention of making a Bundt cake but just didn't get around to it: Bundt Day isn't over! In fact, Bundt Day is every day of the year you feel like bringing a big golden crest of love and joy into the lives of your nearest and dearest! And so, on to the entries...

I've learned that Bundt cakes have a peculiar power to reach across generations.

It took the combined efforts of three generations to produce the entry from Ann of Redacted Recipes. Ann's mother dipped into her trusty recipe box and suggested "Barbara Teague's Hummingbird Cake," a pineapple, banana, and nut confection that is delightfully retro and so Southern, y'all. (Btw, I loved Ann's simple but effective Bundt-appropriate update: replacing a citrus glaze with the traditional cream cheese frosting.) Ann's daughter helped her capture the throwback feel in a photo that could be torn right out of a Nixon-era cookbook. Now, you may know that I have a major case of VCA (Vintage Cookbook Addiction), so this was right up my alley!

Faced with a beckoning Bundt pan, Andrea in Brooklyn also dialed "M" for Mother. She adapted a recipe that her grandmother passed down to her mother, and cleverly dubbed the creation "Pirate's Bundt-y" (10 bonus points for the whimsical name). Infused with orange juice and three types of liquers, it had me dreaming of sun-drenched tropical beaches and the brown pools of Johnny Depp's eyes. Great art direction in the photo! (Recipe below.)

And our third contestant passed the love of the Bundt on to a younger generation. David at Luna Pier Cook baked a Sour Cream and Apple Bundt Sort-of-Cake with his son, who's celebrating a birthday today (happy 15th, Adam!). They had a minor mishap of the sort that, honestly, happens to me about once a month. Without baking soda and baking powder, their cake made a graceful pirouette and turned into a torte.

And what a glorious torte it was! It looks moist and dense and simply delicious with that fat dollop of fresh-whipped cream on top. I think the best lesson any young cook can learn is to roll with the punches, in the kitchen and in life, and learn to enjoy your mistakes because they lead to innovation and yumminess never before explored -- and when in doubt: throw some whipped cream on it!

Unfortunately, I had to choose a winner. I decided upon Ann and her Hummingbird Cake because it was a lovely representation of Bundt past and Bundt future. Congratulations! So what'll it be, Ann: apple butter or balsamic ketchup?

Andrea's Pirate Bundt-y

Items to be mixed and put into Bundt pan:
Yellow Cake Mix, Vanilla Pudding Mix, 1/2 cup Vegetable oil, 4 eggs, 4 jiggers orange juice, 1 jigger vodka, 4 jigger of St. Maarten Liqueurs (I carefully selected Spice, Mango, and Almond flavors)

Glaze to be drizzled on top of warm Pirate's Bundt-y:
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, 1 jigger orange juice, 1 jigger Vodka, 1 jigger liqueur.

Cook's note: If one doesn't know what a jigger is, one might want to ask their grandmother.



Ann said...

I won?! YAY! Hey, first out of three is still first, right? :-)

And I get a prize, too! I think it'll have to be the apple butter. I loves me some homemade apple butter!

Thanks for organizing, this, Nora... it was fun to do.

Nora Leah said...

Thanks for participating, Ann! Apple butter coming right up. I'll email you for address.

Nora Leah said...

I forgot to add that Lydia, a friend from St. Louis, had rave reviews about the Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake with Buttermilk Icing on Epicurious. She wrote:
"The unexpected shape of a Bundt cake makes a nice centerpiece at the end of a fine meal. Pumpkin is a traditional flavor of this season and especially delicious if made from a real pie pumpkin. I baked and pureed one for $1.99 -- which has made 4 pies and now a cake! Truly a frugal feast for the folks!"

Mandy said...

hey Nora, I have every intention to join but have mistaken the deadline as today! Sorry that I miss the fun.