Tag Archives: cakes

I LIKE BIG BUNDTS (AND I CANNOT LIE)

Right now, the traditional bundt is my favorite cake shape. I love the clean lines and the perfectly symmetrical shape. I love how it slices into a fat, round wedge, and I love how well it holds a draped glaze or icing. At Marlow & Sons, we have a few recipes that work nicely with the bundt shape and volume — fresh ginger and creme fraiche; sesame seed and orange blossom water; spiced pumpkin and chopped dark chocolate; and homemade goat’s milk caramel, or cajeta, pound cake. Bundt cakes feel plentiful, unpretentious, classic, and simple. Exactly what I want all my cakes to taste like.

There are so many beautiful bundt molds out there, vintage shapes especially (like Nordic Ware, well-known for manufacturing the molds back in the 1960s and 70s). At work, we use one similar to this, but I like the smooth lines of this ceramic mold, too.

Tomorrow is National Bundt Day, so it’s a great time to invest in a beautiful pan!

SUMMER BAKING

Consider this a recipe dump for all things regarding baked goods. At a recent St. Jean bbq at work, I may have gone slightly overboard, featuring:

This cardamom-scented upside-down strawberry cake from Joy the Baker…

This (quite lopsided) raspberry-rhubarb galette from Lottie + Doof…

This stupendously rich chocolate cake with raspberry compote from David Lebovitz, via Cucina Nicolina…

And this lemon cake from Vitae Curriculum, with my own lemon curd recipe (use lots of yolks, no sugar, and more zest than you think you need).

And with leftover lemon cake batter and leftover chocolate ganache, I made a pan of cupcakes, too. And finally, a bit of homemade whipped cream, made by whipping a cup of heavy cream with a few tablespoons of sugar.

APPLE CAKE, VANISHING FAST

This airy, sweet apple cake — adapted from the Smitten Kitchen recipe — has a nearly perfect, loose, buttery crumb. The cake is laced with ribbons of cinnamon sugar and dotted with chunks of diced apple, and topped with icing sugar + diced walnuts. It is perfect for breakfast or after dinner. It is great as a snack, eaten over the sink, hand cupping the falling crumbs. And, it is blissfully simple to assemble. This cake disappeared in two days. I made another version for the Depanneur Le Pick Up yesterday, this time soaking the apples in sticky, tart homemade raspberry jam before tossing into the batter.

orchestra of bubbles

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nom nom nom. nom. cooking is one of my passions – slow braises, high heat stir fries, complicated savory roasts, rich soups from scratch, uneccessarily complicated salads … you name it. baking, however, has never really appealed to me. all the precise measuring, weighing, following directions (who DOES that?), seems more like math. i love cooking for its spontaneity, flexibility, its ability to bend obligingly to my whims and random digressions. i never was good at following at a regimen. i rarely follow recipes verbatim but prefer to use them as a starting point for something that feels more like ‘mine.’ [translation = whatever happens to already be in my fridge or looks good in the market.] this cake, however, may have changed my culinary destiny. pillowy, lighter than air buttermilk cake is topped with farmers market strawberries and store-bought blueberries, creating a sugar-spun confection that is just as good for breakfast with strong coffee as it is after a night summer supper. decadent and supple and one of the best starts to summer that i can think of. [recipe from gourmet mag via within the corner]

p.s. you may notice a large, spherical object in the larger cake. what is that you say? a grape tomato. that’s right. a tomato. it snuck into the batter, i think when i was doing a quick herb de provence vegetable roast on the rack above. i guess i still have more bakery learning to do.  :sighs: