Saturday, August 20, 2011
Cake Slice Bakes Last Cake from Cake Keepers
The Cake Slice Bakers have been baking for a while from Lauren Chattman's Cake Keeper Cakes cookbook, mostly with good to great results. Now we are getting to the end of this cookbook and thinking about the next one.
The August recipe that was chosen by the group is Hungarian Coffee Cake, a type of Monkey Bread. Balls of muffin-like dough are rolled in cinnamon-sugar and put into a Bundt cake pan, interlaced with walnuts, raisins, (and in my case shredded Gravenstein apples). August is Gravenstein apple time, and the apple flavor goes so well with cinnamon and raisins and walnuts that it seemed like a match made in gustatory heaven.
As I often do, I made some changes to the recipe. My raisins were a bit dry so I soaked them in 1/4 cup warm rum for 15 minutes. I saved the rum I drained off the raisins and added it to the butter/brown sugar mixture...why waste good rum? The cake batter seemed bland so I added 2 tablespoons of sugar, about 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg and I added a beaten egg to the buttermilk. I also used my food processor to make the cake dough, which worked well since the butter was totally frozen. I had planned to make this cake earlier in the week and had left the butter in the freezer, already cut into small pieces.
The resulting cake was delicious! Everyone wanted seconds. I loved the way the topping shone and it was a sweet counterpoint to the less sweet cake. Because of the added egg, the cake was moist and similar to a muffin instead of being like a scone. I loved the flavor combo of walnuts/apple/rum-raisin/cinnamon, like a hint of autumn in summer.
If I make this again I'll probably bake it in two loaf pans instead of the Bundt pan. That way I can freeze on loaf for later enjoyment.
Do visit the other Cake Slice Bakers to see their versions of this cake that makes your home smell like cinnamon buns. The recipe below includes the changes I made. Come back at this time next month for a surprise!
Hungarian Coffee Cake
(a variation of a recipe from Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled (unsalted is called for but I used salted and it was great)
3/4 cup light brown sugar
rum drained from raisins (see below)
Whisk together the melted butter, light brown sugar and rum. Set aside.
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup rum
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup shredded tart apple
Combine raisins and rum in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave at full power 15 seconds. Set aside for 15 minutes, then drain, reserving the liquid to add to the topping mixture (see above).
In a zip-lock bag combine the 1/2 cup granulated sugar and the cinnamon. Set aside.
Cut the 9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) into small pieces and put into a bowl, then into the freezer while doing the next steps of the recipe.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a nonstick 12 cup Bundt pan and set aside.
Place the flour, the 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar still left, the baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg in the bowl of a large food processor or electric mixer. Use knife blade in food processor or whisk attachment in electric mixer to combine the dry ingredients.
Add the chilled butter pieces to the dry ingredients. In the food processor pulse to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse meal. In the electric mixer mix on low speed until the mixture resembles coarse meal. For both, add the buttermilk and the egg.
In the food processor pulse to blend the liquid and dry ingredients into a dough, stopping when dough comes together. In the electric mixer bowl, stir the liquid into the dry ingredients until a dough forms.
Scoop up small balls of dough (I used my fingers and sort of pinched off pieces the size of a walnut). Place the dough balls into the bag with the cinnamon sugar mixture and shake the bag to coat the balls.
Placed the coated balls into the prepared pan, sprinkling the walnuts, raisins and apple shreds over them as you go. Once all the dough balls, nuts, raisins, apple shreds and any leftover cinnamon-sugar mixture have gone into the pan, pour the melted butter mixture over it all. Rotate the pan briskly to settle the topping.
Bake until the cake is firm and well risen and the caramel is melted, about 35 - 40 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert onto a serving platter and serve immediately. Store uneaten cake (if any) in a cake keeper or wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for 1 day.