Raw, adjective: 1. uncooked, as articles of food: a raw carrot.



Bundt Cake Saturday!

Morning: quiet
Mood: quiet
Music: quiet

(Do you sense a theme here?)

It's January and the weekend's rolled around and the Christmas tree hit the pavement a few days ago and the pine needles are still sticking around in the carpet and along the walls to remind us the holidays once were here. And somehow that feels incomprehensible, because with January comes this turn to minimalism and white and silence and simplicity. And I dig it.

So this morning we're continuing that trend with a simple and basic recipe that I think will end up being classically delish. Cousin Derek's Christmas present - a recipe book full of great new ideas - was the source for this morning's gateau (thanks, coz!). It combines the familiar with the new, and I like its - aw, hell, let's just overuse the word - simplicity. So let's make a

VANILLA HAZELNUT POUND CAKE

Have done so much baking with walnuts and pecans and none as of yet with hazelnuts, as much as I love their flavor in coffee and chocolates. So I went searching for some yesterday - and some six grocery shops later - Trader Joe's finally hooked me up with a serious bag of large hazelnuts. Didn't realize they're so hard to find; I struck out at all the biggies (Safeway, etc.). So cheers to TJ's for being on top of it.

INGREDIENTS

1 package vanilla cake mix
1 package instant vanilla pudding
4 eggs
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water (which I forgot - whoops)
1/2 tsp. hazelnut extract
1 cup chopped hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; grease and flour your bundt pan. In a large bowl combine cake mix, pudding, eggs, yogurt, oil, water and hazelnut extract. Beat for 2 minutes at medium speed. Fold in hazelnuts until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 45-50 min. or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before inverting and removing cake from pan.

While sitting here typing I realized I just completely forgot to add the water. Whoops. I don't think it should have a huge effect. I couldn't find hazelnut extract ANYWHERE, so I substituted Torani Hazelnut syrup (the kind you see at coffee shops) - 4 tbs., which I'm hoping will make up for the forgotten water. We'll see.

Really simple presentation: I made a quick hazelnut/vanilla glaze (combining powdered sugar, hazelnut syrup, a little water, and a little vanilla), whisked that, and drizzled it over the top. Sprinkle with toasted hazelnuts and you are good to go.

Happy January.

(Break your resolutions yet?)

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