Tuesday, August 12, 2008
For more than seven years, I've been considered a college graduate. I have been under the impression that my diploma meant the end of homework. But then my hubby signed me up for this baking blog (see Title) and they require homework in exchange for friendship! He said it would be good for me, but dang! if I don't hate imposed authority, responsibility, and requirements!! (My immature side is coming out, isn't it?) Honestly, I think he just wants me to bake more...I noticed how he thumbed right to the apple pie section and began discussing his birthday dessert requests (his birthday is still more than 4 months away).
So, I sucked it up and chose these cute little mini bundt cakes. The official recipe is "Milk Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes" on page 188 of Dorie Greenspan's book Baking, From My Home to Yours. The mini bundt cake pan leaped for joy as I pulled it out of the back of my cupboard, bypassing my usual pans. It was getting its third use since I received it as a wedding gift almost a decade ago!
Just for the record, I omitted the nuts to avoid killing one of my dinner guests last night. And I substituted buttermilk for the whole milk---which is legal according to the "Playing Around" section of the recipe. Everything went well until I tried to spoon the very thick batter into those pesky bundt shapes. How does one cleanly and evenly distribute batter into six crazy forms? The book offered no advice for this.
I checked on the mini cakes during their baking and was a little panicked to see them roundly rising up the middle of the forms, but staying flatter around the edges. Also, there didn't seem to be enough batter to reach full mini-bundt potential. Would I have to trim them off to get them to sit flat on the plate? They were already smaller than anticipated and it would be an awful shame to reduce them further. There was a small moment of panic as I inverted the baked cakes onto the rack, but I had evidently buttered the pan sufficiently.
Onto the so-called glaze...what could be easier than melting a little chocolate in the microwave and adding a mere 2 tsp of corn syrup? The picture shows luscious, shiny, glaze perfectly dripping over the edges of the cakes. Chalk it up to user-error or whatever you want, but my "glaze" was stiff and dull. Annoyed, I spread it over the tops of my cakes (more like forced it to sit there). Maybe it would still taste good.
Now for the test...I served an unknown recipe to my dinner guests. I told them not to spare me, be honest. One of them actually turned his cake over to avoid the "frosting"--not a good sign. My 3 year old ate all of the whipped cream surrounding the cake and then ran off to play after one small bite. Personally, I thought the flavor was nice and chocolately, but the texture was dense and a bit dry. Thank goodness for the whipped cream!
So, Dorie, I'm oh for 1...only 9,000 more to try.