Thursday, July 23, 2009

This is not light at all

Neapolitan Bundt Cake
The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book Copyright 2008

3 cups (15 ounces) flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 ¼ sticks unsalted butter, cut into chunks and softened
2 cups (14 ounces) sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
1/3 cup chocolate syrup
2 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
½ cup strawberry jam I used 1/4 cup since I skipped the glaze
3 drops red food coloring
1 recipe chocolate glaze (they provide their own recipe with chocolate, heavy cream, corn syrup, etc but I just used melted chocolate and butter)

This is an abridged version of their recipe. I didn't have time to type out their entire novel. If anything is unclear, let me know.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan.
2. Whisk the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda together in a bowl. Whisk the buttermilk, vanilla and lemon juice together in a separate bowl.
3. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar together with an electric mixture until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, until combined.
4. Reduce the mixer to low and add one-third of the flour mixture, followed by half the buttermilk mixture. Repeat with half of the remaining flour mixture and the rest of the buttermilk mixture. Add the remaining flour until just incorporated.
5. Divide the batter evenly between 3 bowls. Whisk the chocolate syrup and cocoa together and add that to one bowl of batter and combine. Add ¼ cup of the strawberry jam to another bowl of batter and combine. Add the plain batter to the pan, followed by the strawberry and then the chocolate (in that order).
6. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, until cake tester comes out clean.
7. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto cooling rack. Let cool completely then melt ¼ cup of the strawberry jam until pourable and brush that over the cake. I did do the glaze. Drizzle with a chocolate glaze. Let glaze set before cutting and serving.

I saw this book in the library and I was so excited. My America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook is one of my top cookbooks. This baking edition does not disappoint however, I am still watching what I eat so I picked out this recipe for the guys at work.

At first I wasn't too impressed. It stuck to the pan (not the recipe's fault - they suggest coating the pan with a paste of flour and butter which I will try next time. I used the flour/oil spray.) I skipped the strawberry glaze which would have pumped up the strawberry flavor which was lacking. I just thought it would make the cake too sticky. It was okay looking - not as pretty as I thought it would be.

I tasted a little the next day and I thought it was much better. I don't know if it needed to sit or if I just needed to step back from it. Still not a lot of strawberry flavor but still a good piece of cake - good texture, good chocolate flavor. I managed to track down Dutch-processed cocoa powder for this which I do think makes a difference.

This cake keeps well (without me eating it too, it lasts a lot longer!)

This is one of those recipes that was delicious but not special enough to say I'd make again. A baking recipe has to be extremely special for me to say I would make it again since there are just so many recipes and I can't bake every day. This recipe uses a lot of bowls too. It would have to be superspecial for me to dirty that many bowls again.

Question of the Day: You're handed a container of Neapolitan ice cream. Do you take all three flavors or do you only try to scoop out certain flavors? I will admit I usually eat the chocolate and vanilla first and then the strawberry because the brands I've had usually put the chocolate in the middle and I think it should be the vanilla. I tend to avoid fruit and chocolate (even though I don't exactly dislike the combo -obviously since I chose to make this cake).


Donna-FFW said...

It certainly looks pretty. I love their recipes also. I own both of the books and enjoy them. Nice choice for your co-workers.

Mrs. L said...

Love the question, I would be eating the vanilla first. Then later the chocolate. And then if I was really hungry for ice cream the strawberry. I've never found a Neapolitan ice cream that I've liked all three flavors.

Anonymous said...

I would eat it all, in this order, with the mildest first and the most flavorful last. Vanilla, Strawberry and then Chocolate.

But personally, I'd much rather have ice cream that's one flavor.


Anonymous said...

Oops! I forgot the exact question. I would scoop out all the flavors.