Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Bundt Pan Paranoia

If there is one cake that makes me nervous, it's the bundt. Not because the cake won't taste good; it will (usually). I get nervous because the pan the cake is baked in has so many frickin' grooves that if you don't grease and flour every nook and cranny, when you go to invert the cake onto the serving tray, it might fight back. There is nothing worse than a perfectly good cake stuck in a bundt pan. I've experienced this, and cried over this, one too many times. You can't take a knife and cut the cake loose. Who owns a special knife that slides down the sides of the bundt in the exact design of the ornate pan? No one. And so it goes, time after time: bundt pan paranoia.

But as a truly determined baker, I will not let the bundt pan win. I've recently mastered the art of greasing and flouring the pan. I take a pastry brush, dip it into my shortening, and grease that sucker of a pan until it shines from every angle. Then I spoon flour into the pan and shake it around until it covers all surfaces. Not only does the flour assist in getting the cake to come out, but it also tells you if you've greased the pan well. If flour doesn't stick somewhere, you've missed greasing a spot. Touch-ups may be required.

This time around, I made a Lemon-Glazed Buttermilk Bundt Cake by Lou Pappas in her Coffeecakes cookbook. A coworker had given me some meyer lemons and I'd be foolish to let them go to waste. The cake was very easy to make and the batter was beautiful and thick, a signal to me that the final baked good was going to be A-OK.

Once out of the oven, it looked great, in a light golden hue. It tasted great, too.

But best of all, I won the battle against the pan. It came out in one giant piece!

Victory is mine!


Anonymous said...

The cake is amazing - Eating a baked treat this good requires silent focus so you can really enjoy all the flavors and textures... okay back to work now! Thanks Marni!

Anonymous said...

What a Fantastic bundt cake! I loved how it had just the right amount of (real) lemon flavoring, which was a perfect accompaniment to the slightly crunchy almond texture. C'est parfait!

Missy Y said...

Well I didn't actually eat any because I am trying to be good today. But I can attest to how perfect it looked! That is until the whole office attacked it and made it a mess of only crumbs.

Jays said...

Okay, Marni, will you please make Robert take a slice home for me of whatever you bake next? You're killing me!!!

By the way, I've been getting really good results using the Pam with Flour baking spray. Not as shmancy as your method, but it's fast!

Jim McCarthy said...

Deborah, "The Cake" was a bundt cake, which explains its failure.

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