Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Butterscotch Cake and a Diamond Pan

So ...

I have this Bundt pan problem. Like … I like them a little too much. When I saw the “Diamond Cut pan on the King Arthur Flour site, I had to get it. And I had to bake with it, like right away. Luckily, I got a lemon cake mix with the pan, so it was in the oven before the boxes were in the trash.

Yes, I’m serious.

And then, of course, I had to make a from-scratch recipe after that. Because that's how I roll.

Rather than inventing or adapting a cake, I decided to pull out Bundt Classics, published by Nordic Ware. I figured their recipes would be as close to foolproof as possible.

The "Gather Round Pound Cake" sounded pretty good. It was a pretty simple cake, flavored with butterscotch. The cake used 6 ounces of melted butterscotch chips, but the bag I had was 11 ounces. Next time, I might try adding the chips to the batter as well as having the melted chips. Sounds good, right?

But the first time, I went with the recipe pretty much as-is. I'm not sure why this is called "Gather Round" and I thought it wasn't quite as dense as a typical pound cake, but that could have something to do with me being at high altitude.

The only real change I made to this was to measure the baking soda and baking powder just a little light, to adjust for the altitude, and I added a wee bit more salt, since I always use unsalted butter for baking

But I’m going to rename it anyway.

Butterscotch Bundt Cake
Adapted from Bundt Classics by Nordic Ware

6 ounces butterscotch chips
2 tablespoons instant coffee
1/4 cup hot water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks, 1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened
4 eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat the oven to 325 degrees and prepare the Bundt pan. I always use a baking spray that includes flour.

Put the butterscotch chips, coffee, and water in a microwavable container. I used a measuring cup. Heat in 30-second increments, stirring or whisking each time, until the chips are melted. Try not to get it too hot – just hot enough to melt the chips, since you’ll need to wait for it to cool.

Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, or with your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Combine the butterscotch mixture and buttermilk (this will help cool the butterscotch if it’s still slightly warm). Add this to the butter mixture, and beat until combined. I added it in a couple additions so it wouldn’t slosh too much.

Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Add this to the wet mixture and beat until combined.

Note: most cake recipes would tell you to add the wet and dry ingredients alternately, instead of all the wet and then all the dry. That might be a better and less sloppy method. I’ll try it next time.

Fill the pan 3/4 full of batter. If you’re using a smaller Bundt pan, don’t over-fill it, just make a few cupcakes  from the excess batter.

Bake the cake at 325 for about an hour, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The cupcakes will bake in less time. Figure about 25 minutes or so.

Let the cake cool for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and let cool completely. Dust the cake with powdered sugar, if desired.