Raw, adjective: 10. not diluted, as alcoholic spirits: raw whiskey.



Bundt Cake Saturday!

Morning: auspicious
Mood: renewed
Music: Silversun Pickups

And good morning.  This would be the first official one in spring, by the way.  I feel very ready for the world to unfold into spring right now.  Buds opening, days lengthening, hems shrinking, that sort of thing.  The sunshine of late has only helped that mood.

So in honor of St. Patty's Day earlier this week, I figured I should find some green-ish novelty recipe.  We're getting on in this little baking project - some 9 months in - which means I've exhausted most of the basic recipes you're going to run across.  Last summer we did pistachio, which seems like the obvious choice for a green cake; this week I found a few recipes for a creme de menthe, but their absurd not-of-nature green colors kind of turned me off.  Finally I stumbled across a recipe awash in liqueur, a tactic that thus far has served me well.  So in honor of St. Patty's Day (as well as Toni and Jim's fifth - fifth! - anniversary today, as well as M & M's twin birthdays earlier this week), let's dig into a 

BAILEY'S IRISH CREAM BUNDT CAKE

Mmm, Bailey's.  I wrote a few killer grad school papers one semester a few years back fueled solely by Bailey's on the rocks and trail mix in the wee hours of the morning.  Needless to say, they were brilliant (obvs!).  So I'm convinced that Bailey's and I have a nice symbiotic relationship, notwithstanding the whole disgusting nasty-cream-dairy-liqueur factor.

This recipe is actually really easy, leaving the Bailey's in the spotlight as main attraction.  I did have to take a stroll down Polk St. yesterday to pick up another bottle; luckily, there's plenty left over for sipping after actually making the cake.  (I can't say Fred and Ginger above have anything at all to do with this recipe; I actually just love that dancing action shot, and the creamy black-white aesthetic of the whole thing.  So there's your "cream" reference.  And as for the flower at right, it's a gardenia. My favorite. Preferably in water. Dig it.)  Ok, moving right along:

INGREDIENTS

1 Pkg. Yellow cake mix
4 oz. chocolate pudding mix, instant
3/4 cup Oil
1/8 cup water
1/4 cup Vodka
3/8 cup Bailey's Irish Cream
4 eggs
1/2 bag Nestle mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; grease and flour your bundt pan.  Combine cake mix, pudding mix, oil, water, vodka, liqueur and eggs in bowl.  Beat until smooth.  Fold in a cup or so of mini chocolate chips.  Pour into pan. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until done.  Let cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes; then remove from pan and cool completely.

Easy, huh?  The kitchen smelled delish as the cake baked.  I pulled the finished bundt out of the oven and ran to yoga.  By the time I'd returned, it was cool and ready to glaze.  Make a simple glaze out of Bailey's and 1+ cups of confectioner's sugar; whisk and thicken until it reaches your favored consistency, and then drizzle over the cake.  I finished it off by sprinkling a few mini chocolate chips over the top.

Next time I might add a little water to this recipe; the outside feels a little dry, but I think the inside is probably moist and fine.  Make sure to refill your rocks glass every 15 minutes for an extra dreamy Saturday morning baking extravaganza.  (And then go to yoga for a really, uh, "loose" class.  Good luck with the balancing.)

And then raise a toast to all the people you love spread out over this wide country celebrating special birthdays and anniversaries this week.  Xoxo.

Recipe courtesy azcakerecipes.com

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