Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Sugared Coconut Rum Bundt Cake

Bundt cake again. I love them.

Before we went to Miami for our recent holiday, Percy came home one day from work one evening and told me that he was hosting a meeting for a group of planners and needed me to make a cake for it.

I'll not lie to you: my first thought was why on Earth did that cursed careers advisor tell me to study Japanese when I was fifteen and not instruct me to focus on gaining employment in local government? I mean, not once, not even a single time in any job I have ever had has anybody brought home made cake to a meeting for me and my colleagues to eat, or to be honest, referred to the action of holding a meeting as 'hosting'. I felt very hard done to, I must say.

Still, I put aside my immense sadness and asked why I had to bake a cake that I wasn't even going to get a slice of, for loads of people I had never even met. And I'll tell you what, the answer was a good one.

'Well, you don't have to if you don't have time. But it's an after work meeting which people from other authorities are coming to, we're holding it in our own time on Friday night and there isn't a budget for catering or to cover anyone's travel costs. I bought some tea and coffee but wanted to put on a bit of food. Your cakes are better than anything in the shops. I really care about the project and I want to make a good impression.'

I know you all think I have a heart of stone. But it really got me. I'm married to one of those people who loves what they do and thinks it's worth doing things to the best of your ability. I'd have made ten cakes if he'd wanted!

Also, I must say that I love the fact that my sugar and butter-fuelled baking obsession has now reached what might be labelled a useful skill set. I can use it to do favours for people. Which is a very nice feeling indeed. (They don't know it's all the work of the KitchenAid!)

So. Flattered by P's praise and flushed with the recent Lemon Bliss Bundt Cake success, I tweaked the recipe and came up with this, the Sugared Coconut Rum Bundt Cake. It's rather amazing. I know that for a fact because I did actually find a small piece made its way home to me after all. Wrapped in a rather fifties looking peach coloured paper napkin. He wasn't lying about there not being a budget!

This cake is buttery, rich and moist. The coconut adds texture, and with the rum glaze, makes it one of the most satisfyingly tropical tasting recipes I have ever experienced. Well worth having a go.


Sugared Coconut Rum Bundt Cake

You will need:

225g unsalted butter, softened
400g sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
300g plain flour
225ml milk
100g dessicated coconut

60ml white rum (I used Malibu. Yum.)
150g sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a 25cm tube pan, or a 2.4 litre capacity bundt-style pan. Nordic Ware bundts are all this size, so if you have one of them, you're good to go.
  2. Cream together the butter, sugar, and salt.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating really well after each addition. It helps prevent curdling if they are at room temperature, though since I keep eggs outside of the fridge, mine always are.
  4. Mix the baking powder with the flour. Add this dry mix alternately with the milk, in thirds, starting and ending with flour. Mix until smooth. Stir in the dessicated coconut.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.
  6. Bake the cake for about an hour, or until a cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  7. While the cake is baking, make the glaze by stirring together the rum and sugar. 
  8. Remove the cake from the oven, and set it on a rack. After 10 minutes, run a knife around the edge of the tin to loosen the cake, and turn the it out onto the rack.
  9. Poke the hot cake all over with a cake tester or toothpick to create holes for the glaze to sink into.
  10. Stir the glaze, and immediately brush it on the hot cake a little at a time, continuing until all the glaze is used.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Lemon Bliss Bundt Cake

 The glaze makes my eyes glaze over... Beautiful. Edible. Perfect.

For once, I have so many things waiting to be posted on here that I can hardly bear it. I am super tempted to post out of order as the birthday cake I made for Perce yesterday is just so ridiculously lovely to look at that I feel very strongly the need to show it to you all, but I am going to refrain. If you can't wait, Instagram is your friend. Spoiler: it's pumpkin.

I was on holiday until just the other day in Miami (and surrounds, though sadly I didn't make it to The Everglades, thanks to the US shutdown). I have to say, up front, though I probably will save details for coming posts, that it was probably the best few weeks I have had all year. Right up until we left, I didn't particularly want to go, which might not be the most positive way into this, but it's the truth.

I had zero interest in Florida and felt that once again I was being pushed into going somewhere that Percy wanted to visit. I figured it would just be beaches and people who have better bodies than I do.

Note that I said bodies and not swimwear. I have hot neon orange short shorts with gold toggles (amazing) and pineapple emblazoned black equally short shorts to choose from. I must thank my sister for making sure I bought both pairs of them and thus making that choice possible. (She likes to shop.)

But yes, sadly, I don't consider myself to be hot enough for South Beach. It's OK though, since as a married man, there's only one person I need to impress and I can do that with cake back home in Britain*.

The thing I can't do with cake at home is recreate the gorgeous Art Deco buildings of SoBe (I've gone native). I think that, weather, ceviche and well made martinis aside, it was the Art Deco that appealed to me the most in Miami. I wasn't expecting it. Truly, to walk around Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue, and peek into the different hotel lobbies, is to take a stroll though a land of fantasy, glamour and pastels. It is unforgettable. You just have to ignore some of the bar touts and music during happy hour.

I wish I had taken more photos.

This is getting too long. I shall be back soon with more.

*This is an appropriate statement: this bundt is baked in the tin I bought on honeymoon with the plan to use it every wedding anniversary. This is the second time I have used it for that purpose. (Though it gets used a lot more often than that!)

Lemon Bliss Bundt Cake (adapted from King Arthur Flour)

You will need:

225g unsalted butter, softened
400g sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
350g plain flour
225ml milk
finely grated zest of 2 lemons

freshly squeezed lemon juice from the 2 lemons
150g sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a 25cm tube pan, or a 2.4 litre capacity bundt-style pan. Nordic Ware bundts are all this size, so if you have one of them, you're good to go.
  2. Cream together the butter, sugar, and salt.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating really well after each addition. It helps prevent curdling if they are at room temperature, though since I keep eggs outside of the fridge, mine always are.
  4. Mix the baking powder with the flour. Add this dry mix alternately with the milk, in thirds, starting and ending with flour. Mix until smooth. Stir in the grated lemon zest.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.
  6. Bake the cake for about an hour, or until a cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  7. While the cake is baking, make the glaze by stirring together the lemon juice and sugar. 
  8. Remove the cake from the oven, and set it on a rack. After 10 minutes, run a knife around the edge of the tin to loosen the cake, and turn the it out onto the rack.
  9. Poke the hot cake all over with a cake tester or toothpick to create holes for the glaze to sink into.
  10. Stir the glaze, and immediately brush it on the hot cake a little at a time, continuing until all the glaze is used.
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