Raw, adjective: 10. not diluted, as alcoholic spirits: raw whiskey.
Bundt Cake Saturday! (On Tuesday)
Music: Johnny Cash
And here we are on the back end of September. WTF. Don't know how that happened.
This morning I rolled down the hill on my way to acupuncture and the City was wet and fresh and quiet and tired. Our September summer is hitting, and it's a perfect day to sit outside and lose yourself in a book.
I know you really care, but I've been sick with this weird sinus thing for like a week now, and lemme tell you, I'm sick of being a mouth-breather, I'm sick of falling over woozy in yoga from not being able to breathe through my nose, and I'm sick of people asking me behind the bar if I'm sick or not while I stick my fingers in their martinis to load them up on olives. Erghh. Sick. I gave my acupuncturist no small assignment this morning: to clear out all this inconvenient phlegm and help me breathe again; the result was a panoply of needles in places I've never seen them before: the sides of my nostrils, the soft skin next to my thumb, the tips of my feet. Wild. I spent the rest of the morning watching the magic unfold, the mucus waterfalls running into my new book and my old cup of Peet's and the sunny bench tucked away in a secret place on Opera Plaza. Chinese medicine rocks. Gluten does not. Gluten = sinus crap. No more gluten for me. No more puffy faced allergies. That's it.
Anyway, tangent. (I think the phlegm has gone to my brain?) The preceding few days have all been opera-soundtracked. San Francisco's annual Opera in the Park concert was Sunday, so naturally, I needed to whip up a cake for this favorite live music event of the year. Little's better than Sharon Meadow on a sunny day, kickin' it with hordes of opera fans who listen, rapt, sprawled in their low lawn chairs and wearing party hats surrounded by smoked salmon feasts and champagne buckets. Good company, good wine, good music, good food, good times.
And whaddya know; I found out yesterday that my quickie little raffle ticket from Sunday won me the Grand Prize: two stellar tickets to the opera, champagne at intermission, and dinner at Absinthe before. Sweet!
Anyway, shut up, Rach. Cake. Melissa shared this cupcake recipe with me after Henna shared it with her. I guess that makes three of us for whom it's worked well? I honestly thought it'd be kind of disgusting; I needed a last-minute recipe, though, and it was easy and available, so this was it for the weekend, two cakes in one; one for Saturday, one for Sunday. And maybe it was the low expectations, but the whole thing turned out to be surprisingly delicious - good enough to break my week-long gluten-free run for a taste. But let's cut the crap and get on with making a
MARGARITA BUNDT CAKE
Yeah, ew? But not. We even had most of the ingredients here in the liquor cabinet, so it all came together swimmingly. I added the pudding and the key lime yogurt to my recipe, and changed a few things up, but the resulting recipe is fairly consistent with the one Melissa and Henna sent along.
9 oz Margarita mix (such as Mrs. T's or Bacardi)
3 oz tequila
3/4 oz Grand Marnier
1 white cake mix
1 package instant vanilla pudding
6 oz. key lime pie yogurt
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp lime juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees; grease and flour your bundt pan. Mix together the margarita mix, tequila, and Grand Marnier in a large glass bowl. Set this aside. In another large bowl, blend the cake mix, pudding, yogurt, eggs, vegetable oil, lime juice, and 1 1/4 cup of the margarita mixture. Beat with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes or until well-blended. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven and cool for 10 minutes in pan. Invert pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
Next you're going to make the Lime Buttercream icing. It's a rich, clever recipe, but a little out of control. You'll note that there's an obscene amount of butter involved. Try not to let that ruin you on this. Beat together:
3 cups confectioner's sugar
1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/8 tsp salt
1 Tbsp lime juice
Honestly, I just dumped a lot of shit in until it looked and tasted fairly right. Add more lime juice than called for; it makes for a tangy, salty, buttery-sweet flavor. I made a batch big enough to ice both cakes, which is where the obscene amount of butter came into play; just trust your intuition and play with the balance until it's the consistency you like. And try not to think about the fat content.
Spread that shit all over your cooled cake. I added a few fresh raspberries on top, and they made all the difference, both in flavor and in presentation. Finally, as I ran out the door, I pulled a few dying bluebells and mauve-colored blooms of unknown origin from the bouquet on the coffee table, stuck them in the frosting, and called it good.
Both cakes were moist, and limey, and interesting, and surprisingly not disgusting. They tasted even better after sitting in the warm half-sunlight at the park on Sunday. (Or maybe it was the wine, but whatever.)
Stash that recipe away for Cinco de Mayo next year. It'd make a great addition to a backyard barbeque or a margarita party. Just go easy on the butter. And make sure there's enough tequila and Grand Marnier to mix a few margaritas while you're baking it.
Recipe courtesy (in part) bakespace.com