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Friday, March 25, 2016

RECIPE: Chocolate-Almond Bundt Cake with Strawberry Sauce

One of my favorite cakes is my mother's bundt cake. The batter has two parts; rum-cocoa and almond which are marbled together so each slice has a bit of both. The best part is how it is served. Strawberries are pureed with a little sugar to make a mouthwatering sauce. It's poured generously over each serving then topped with fresh whipped cream. Oh, man, it's good. And simple! So let's get to it, shall we?

INGREDIENTS

DRY
3 1/2 cups flour
1 TB baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

WET
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp pure almond extract
4 eggs, beaten at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk

COCOA MIXTURE 
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp rum extract

ICING
1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 TB fresh lemon juice

STRAWBERRY SAUCE
2 cups fresh strawberries (or frozen, thawed)
1/2 cup sugar (or more if needed)

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT
1 bundt cake pan, buttered and floured




Preheat oven to 350˚

MAKE THE BATTER
In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. I use a large whisk to thoroughly sift everything together. Set aside. Next, if you have a stand mixer use the whisk attachment and mix on high the butter, sugar and almond extract until light and fluffy. Or just use a hand mixer. It's important to have room temperature butter (even the eggs) so you can really whip in some air. Makes for a lighter crumb. Then add the beaten eggs to the butter mixture in fourths, mixing thoroughly. Lastly, add, alternating in fourths, the milk first then the flour mixture until completely incorporated.

Divide the batter in to two bowls. In a small bowl sift together the cocoa and sugar. Add the cocoa mixture to a bowl of batter along with the rum extract and mix thoroughly. Now begin filling the bundt pan by alternating large spoonfuls of each flavor until filled. Then take a knife and make slashes down into the mixture to give it a marbling effect.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in pan for about 20 minutes on cooling rack. Invert on a plate and let cool completely before glazing. In the mean time...

MAKE THE STRAWBERRY SAUCE
Clean and hull about 2 cups of fresh strawberries. Thawed, frozen strawberries are fine, too. Place the berries in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Add about 1/3 - 1/2 cup of sugar and blend again until incorporated. Taste for sweetness. This can be prepared ahead of time.

MAKE THE GLAZE
In a small bowl mix together 1 cup of icing sugar and about 2 TB freshly squeezed lemon juice. Glaze shouldn't be too runny so err on the thicker side. This can be prepared ahead of time. When cake is cooled drizzle glaze over top. You can use a pastry brush or use a squeeze bottle like I do. Whatever you do just make sure it's coated evenly.  Let the glaze dry for about 15 - 20 minutes before serving. To serve cut a slice and lay it on a plate. Pour over the strawberry sauce and dollop with some fresh, lightly sweetened whipped cream. Enjoy!