I love to cook a wide variety of things, casseroles, side dishes, appetizers and all kinds of Chinese, Italian and Mexican foods. What I cannot seem to do is bake. And by baking I mean bakery goods like cakes, cookies, pies, etc.
I can follow a recipe exactly, but for some reason, it never comes out tasting right. I’ve been told its because you need exact measurements to bake properly and I’m more of a dash-of-this-and-that type of cook. So, if I have to bake anything, it usually has to come in a mix.
But I keep trying.
I’ve been seeing a recipe cropping up every once in a while on my Facebook feed. It looked delicious and at some point I saved it, but I’ve never tried to make it. Today is the day! I began preparing for this a couple days ago since I had none of the normal baking ingredients or a bundt pan. I told my family what I was attempting, but they know well-enough by now that its a 50/50 chance what I bake will even be edible.
I managed to remember to put the butter out to soften early enough. I was off to a great
start! I got the pan…and my shirt…greased and floured. I mixed all the batter ingredients, with a mixer and managed to keep most of it in the bowl instead of on the mixer, microwave, coffee-maker…and walls. You really should need a license to operate one of those things. And I got it all into my bundt pan without any major disasters.
The baking time seemed a bit longer than usual. I anticipated finding a blackened rock, but it came out fluffy and smelling…well like a cake should actually smell!
So far so good. The instructions said to wait until it was completely cooled before the
next step, so I went and took a nap. I cannot stress how vital this step was in my cake-making process. Feeling refreshed, I finished the final steps and set it aside to let the glaze cool and begin making dinner. I ate too much for supper and was worried I wouldn’t be in any condition to taste my experiment, but I went ahead and flipped the cake out of the pan, dusted it with some powdered sugar (though it really didn’t need any more sweetening), and cut a thin slice.
Success! It tasted like cake…like good cake! And the tunnels full of glaze was like finding hidden treasure. It was very dense.* I’m not sure if it was supposed to be that way, but it still had a good flavor. The verdict from the guinea pig…the Hillbilly…was two raised eyebrows, which I’ve learned to interpret as 1) Surprise, its edible! and 2) It was actually great. He even grabbed a slice for breakfast the next morning, which is high praise indeed!
I did learn a valuable piece of information when making “poke” cakes…don’t poke too deep or the glaze will pool at the bottom between cake and pan. Makes it very difficult for it to pop out when you flip it over onto a cake plate. And by “very difficult” I mean that I could market this stuff as a new organic super-glue and make a fortune.
Before I get to the recipe, I have some really wonderful news! I’ve asked a few friends to guest post here and share some of their recipes and they’ve all agreed. One is an actual chef (she has her own blog and also makes real, like produced-in-a-studio and everything, cooking videos). She specializes in both healthy foods and California-Cambodian cuisine. Another of my friends is a real-deal dessert queen (unlike me) and is sure to have something tasty in store for us. Be on the lookout for them over the next couple months…there may even be a few more as surprise posters if others agree too.
Kentucky Butter Cake
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 Tbsp. Vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix all ingredients for the cake in a large mixing bowl. Pour into a greased and floured bundt cake pan. Bake for 70 minutes and let cool completely in the pan. Using a skewer or straw, poke holes all around the cake.
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. water
2 tsp. vanilla
Mix all the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan on medium-low heat, stirring continuously, until sugar dissolves. Pour glaze into all the holes and over the top of the cake.
Let the glaze cool completely. Place a cake plate over the top of the bundt cake pan and flip. Top with powdered sugar, fruit glaze, caramel or chocolate syrup as preferred.
*After consulting the experts (read: Googling), I found the solution to the denseness problem. Mix all ingredients except the flour on medium-low speed. Turn the mixer down to low and add the flour in small portions. Do not increase the speed. The More You Know!