Once again I’ve lost my way a bit with my blogging. I have all these posts in draft on my laptop but that’s as far as they’ve gone during the last month. A lot has happened in the past month. I’ve been on a trip to visit my brother, sister in law and their gorgeous family including my four month old niece who completely stole my heart. Auntie Sam was in her element and as my niece is very similar in temperament to my own daughter, it really did take me back to twenty years ago when my brother became an Uncle to my daughter. What special times. With all this in my mind I chose to bake a Canadian inspired cake for the last Clandestine Cake Club event I went to. This was a few days before I was due to jet off over to Alberta but the theme was Around The World In 80 Cakes Although there weren’t 80 cakes there, there were definitely a delicious array of cakes representing lots of different countries.
I chose to bake a recipe from Nigella Lawson’s book “Kitchen” which is a maple and pecan nut bundt cake. Although I’m a huge Nigella fan and I bake lots of her recipes, it’s been a while since I baked from Kitchen. It’s such a huge book too, wouldn’t like to drop that on my feet or I’d be in agony. It was also a great excuse to get out one of my bundt pans off the shelf and to use it again. My Crown Bundt pan also has a Canadian connection as I bought it last year on my first visit to Canada. We went shopping and I got carried away in Williams Sonoma. But it was worth it. The pan was half the cost of UK prices! Nigella uses the Fleur de Lys Bundt pan in her recipe and says: ” The reason I chose this particular shape for this cake was that it seemed to show it’s nutty, gooey stuffing off to maximum effect once sliced,”
The bundt cake has a separate maple pecan filling which is swirled into the vanilla batter once in the cake tin and looks really pretty when the cake is cut into. So, as Nigella says you really need a tin which looks great when it’s cut up into slices.
I baked the cake the night before Cake Club as I was working a full week. It had to be done in the evening once we’d had tea. I normally love baking but it had been the first day back at work after the summer holidays. I’d had a lot of running around and standing on my feet to do so the last thing I wanted to do was to stand up in my kitchen baking. But at least it was the first episode of the latest series of The Great British Bake Off! So I set up my Ipad in the kitchen and watched it as I was weighing out, mixing and chopping nuts up. I soon forgot my legs and feet ached and immersed myself in my hobby.
I always grease my bundt pans with Wilton Cake Release. Once this was done, I pre-heated my fan oven and set myself going with the filling part to the cake. For this I mixed flour, soft unsalted butter, ground cinnamon, chopped pecan nuts and some maple syrup. This formed a slightly more fudgy version than a crumble topping. When this was done I put it aside and made up the rest of the cake mix.
In another mixing bowl I weighed out plain flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Though it took me 5 minutes to find my pot of bicarb as it had somehow managed to hide itself behind everything else in the cupboard.
In yet another bowl (lots of washing up tonight!) I creamed together butter and caster sugar using my hand held mixer. Following this I put in 2 eggs and then in went the flour mixture. Finally, I folded in some sour cream before putting about half the mixture into the bundt pan. The pecan mixture went in next followed by the remaining cake mixture.
The cake baked for about 40 minutes or so. I kept on checking it through the oven door and it seemed to be fine after the allotted 40 minutes. I always panic that the bundts are going to fall apart or not come out of the tin.
Sheer relief! A few crumbs had stuck inside the tin but not enough to worry about and the cake slid out effortlessly. I let it cool down on the rack in the kitchen while I cleared up. When it was cool, I dusted it with icing sugar and hoped that the cake would be ok in it’s box in my car boot while I was at work the following day. Thankfully, even though I drove over loads of speed humps going to the venue in Leeds, the cake was intact!
I really love going to cake club events. I’ve made loads of friends through cake club and we regularly meet up for a chin wag and a catch up over cake and coffee. I can’t wait for the next one in October which is to be a Hallowe’en themed one. Better get my thinking cap on!
Love Sam xx