As you may or may not have noticed, I've barely used any of the fabulous cooking tools I received for the wedding. Since we FINALLY had a weekend at home, I invited my friend Ashleigh over to eat so I could actually earn these gifts!
For dessert, I decided to make this showstopper: Burnt Sugar Bundt Cake, from the fabulous "Baked Explorations" cookbook that I received from my friends Pat and Carmel.
This cake is a rich one, full of everything you shouldn't eat. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. The first step is to make the eponymous burnt sugar, which requires 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of heavy cream, a tablespoon and a half of lemon juice and 3/4 cup of coconut milk.
Place the sugar in a saucepan and heat it on medium heat, continuously stirring. When it's turned a caramel color, move it off the heat and pour in a steady stream of cream, stirring the whole time. This is harder than it looks.
The sugar clumps and hardens pretty fast, so when the cream is added, move it back to the heat and stir until most of the clumps have melted down and you've got the cream fully mixed in. Pour the burnt sugar into a heatproof measuring cup.
Add the coconut milk and lemon juice, then whisk it until fully mixed. Divide the liquid into half, pouring the other half into another container. Reserve that.
Cut 2 1/2 sticks of butter into 1-inch cubes and add 2 cups of sugar, then beat in the bowl of a standing mixer until fluffy. Add four eggs, one at a time, then scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for 10 more seconds.
Add vanilla, and then create a mixture of 3 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt, all whisked together. Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with half of the burnt sugar liquid, but finishing with the flour mixture. Beat until mixed.
Pour the batter in a bundt pan spritzed liberally with cooking spray. Pop it in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes (it was 50 minutes for me). It'll be done when you can put a knife in the center of the cake and it comes out clean.
While your cake is baking, it's time to make the icing. You'll need 1/2 cup of butter (I cut mine into cubes), 2 tablespoons of dark rum, 2 1/3 cups of confectioners sugar and the remaining burnt sugar liquid.
The recipe said to put all of those ingredients in a food processor and pulse, but I don't have one, so I used my blender.
It worked okay, it seemed, but I ended up with a glaze, rather than an icing.
I was pretty disappointed, but it still tasted good. I'm not sure where it went wrong...perhaps too much burnt sugar liquid?
The last step is optional, but I think it kind of makes the cake. To create a burnt sugar glass, place a 1/2 cup of granulated sugar in a saucepan and add enough water to make it look like wet sand.
Place the saucepan on an eye on high heat and watch it bubble until it turns to the color of amber (ha!) and take it off the heat.
Pour the liquid on a silpat lining a baking sheet (very exciting Christmas gift!) and let it cool.
When completely cool, break the solid liquid into glass shards (I used a kitchen meat mallet).
And use the shards to decorate your cake!
This cake is rich and buttery, with hints of everything sinful: rum and burnt sugar and BUTTER. The shards give it a slight creme brulee flavor, too. In short, it's delicious, and like no other cake you've had before. Sean has been devouring it, and Ashleigh had seconds, so I think it's a hit.