Raw, noun: 13. unrefined sugar, oil, etc.
Bundt Cake Saturday! (Late.)
Music: Leonard Cohen
Ok, folks! Friday morning back at the ranch, and we are in business. After a week of doldrums, the sun finally made an appearance again yesterday, and I'll be damned if it didn't make all the difference. Two vinyasa classes and some seriously sore quads later, your highly-caffeinated hostess has dialed up some new tunes, finished addressing the last of this year's bizarro photo-shopped Christmas cards, wrapped the East Coast presents to be shipped off in a few, and started in on the second pot.
I love coffee. And mornings.
SO let's get in on some of this belated bundt action. Last year I kind of hit the seasonal recipes hard, all egg nog and streusel and whatnot, so this year it's felt a little "been there, done that," which is why I was so pleasantly surprised to run across this delicious
HONEY-SPICED CHAI BUNDT CAKE
Um, hello, yes. One of my recent favorites, and easy to manipulate if you want to make it more/less interesting, too. I found the recipe here and modified it a bit to suit my liking:
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups packed light brown sugar
1 small pkg instant vanilla pudding
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¾ cups brewed chai tea, cooled
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup honey
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees; grease and flour your bundt pan. Combine flour, brown sugar, pudding, baking soda, salt, tea, buttermilk, honey, butter, vanilla and eggs in a large bowl. Using a mixer at low speed, beat 1 minute or until just blended. (Add raisins or nuts at this point if you'd like.) Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 45 to 50 minutes, until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in a pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then invert and cool completely.
Not hard, right? Feel free to fold in raisins, nuts, or even crystallized ginger (new favorite ingredient) if you'd like. I kept it fairly simple and the cake still turned out so nicely. Don't hesitate to make your tea strong; I brewed three bags of chai and added a dash of nutmeg and ginger and the spice balance was just right.
Also: throw a few pecans in the oven on a baking sheet for just 5 minutes or so to toast them while the cake cools. You can use them later as a garnish.
Frosting is easy: either make your own cream cheese frosting (adding a little honey this time around and heating it on the stovetop to make it spreadable), or if you're feeling less "overachiever" and more "let's get this shit done," pick up a container at the grocery, heat it a bit to soften it, add some honey, and pretend you made it. Drizzle the warm-ish frosting over the cake and add a few chopped toasted pecans to finish if you'd like. I added some chopped crystallized ginger along with the pecans and clipped the last few surviving orchids from my table to decorate.
Really quite good. And now I've got a helluva lot of honey sitting in my cabinet waiting to be loved. So you might see more where this came from.
Recipe courtesy American Profile (!)