When you hear Pound Cakes from Heaven what do you think the cake will taste like, and don’t say heavenly. If you think light with a tender crumb you’re right. If you think that the cake will have a melt in your mouth quality you’re right again. This is another fabulous recipe from the Southern Living Cake Book and for the life of me, I don’t know why I waited so long to bake it.
If you think that Saffron Bundtlets with White Chocolate Glaze sound a bit exotic, you’re right. To break out of my predictable baking mold this recipe fit the bill. And thanks to my daughter and former daughter in law, I have saffron.
Said to be one of the most expensive spices in the world, the taste of saffron is hard to describe. Imagine something that is subtle, pungent with a hint of floral and honey at the same time. Be that as it may, the unique taste alerts you to the fact that this is something that is a special treat. However, there is one aspect that is evident and that’s it’s color. The deep burnished yellow color in the mini bundts is striking.
The original recipe found at Call Me Cupcake called for dark rum for steeping the saffron and sugar. I didn’t have dark rum on hand so I used scotch. In addition, the inspiration cake baked in a 4 cup bundt pan. Of all the pans, I have, none are 4 cup so I used a bundtlet pan. I allowed my saffron/sugar/scotch mixture to sit overnight rather than the one hour suggested in the recipe.
Should I make this again, I would use a mortar and pestle to grind the saffron and sugar together. It’s such a small amount that using my mini food processor didn’t yield the results I was after, nor did my herb grinder. Nonetheless, my mixture worked like a charm.
- ¼ tsp saffron
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 TBS scotch
- 1¾ sticks butter
- ⅔ cup coconut milk
- 1⅔ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 ¼ cups sugar
- 2 oz white chocolate, finely chopped
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- pinch of salt
- ¼ tsp vanilla
- Grind the saffron with 1 tsp sugar and put in a small jar with the scotch.
- Cover the jar with a lid or plastic wrap and leave it at room temperature for at least one hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare bundtlet pans for non-stick baking.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan then add the coconut milk and saffron mixture and set aside.
- Next, stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl then set it aside also.
- You may use an electric mixer or beat together by hand, the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the butter mixture and stir until combined, then add the dry ingredients and stir until batter is smooth.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake on the bottom rack of the oven for 40-45 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
- For the glaze, put the finely chopped chocolate in a small bowl.
- Heat the coconut milk in a saucepan until hot, but not boiling.
- Pour the hot coconut milk over the chocolate and let stand for 30-45 seconds.
- Stir with a small spoon or spatula until chocolate is melted and glaze is smooth.
- Add the salt and vanilla then drizzle over bundtlets.
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There was serious baking going on in the Sweet Sensations household over the weekend. Several cakes were needed to accompany my DIY Cake Stands. One half finished project completed and a couple more to go. You’ll get a glimpse of the stands with the cakes over here but for full details check out my post on Around My Table, my other blog.
This wasn’t one of my hook me up creations, but it played out better in my head then in reality. My heart and my taste buds were set on using the strawberries I had on hand so a Strawberry Cake was in order. Strawberry Cake with a Cream Cheese filling. Sounds good so far, right? Right. Next step find a recipe, preferably one with a Cream Cheese filling. Well that didn’t happen after 30 minutes on the web and I didn’t feel like blowing the dust off my cookbooks. That means it’s mix and match time folks. My requirements were that it be from scratch. Once again I was playing spin the wheel on the recipe board. Here is where I landed, A Dash of Sass . All of the requirements weren’t there but I decided to tweak it and make it work. I nixed the red food coloring because Charisse is allergic to red dye and even though she’d probably only take a bite or two, I wanted it to be as natural as possible. The cream cheese filling came form Cooks.com Now that I had a recipe, I wrestled with the decision about whether to make a layer cake, or cupcakes.
My original intention was to inaugurate my mini spring form pans. To much trouble I concluded, next idea. How about baking it in a larger spring form pan? Nope didn’t feel like wrapping it in foil. Yes, that was an extremely lazy attitude, I’ll own up to it. Either of the afore mentioned would’ve been much less work than using my 6 cup mini bundt pan, flower pan, and muffin tin. That was not the smartest baking or time saving move. The time it took me to individually grease the mini bundt and the flower pan could have been spent reading through the entire post. That way I wouldn’t have learned from Kate’s trial and error.
After making the strawberry puree and assembling the rest of the ingredients I had a vague recollection of Kate’s dilemma with the flour. Head over to her blog and read it. The recipe called for self-rising flour, I was using all-purpose. Now I had to find out how to convert all-purpose to self-rising, or did I even have to? Oh boy why didn’t I just make another cream cheese pound cake and call it a day. Back on the web I go to find out what to do about the flour.
I’ve kept you reading long enough and I won’t get into all the floury details. I’ll just tell you that it turned out well. The cake wasn’t vibrant red in color, nor was it heavy on the strawberry taste. The cheesecake filling was good, but didn’t send my taste buds into over drive. It was a good cake not a great cake. You’ll notice I glazed the bundts and even sprinkled a little chopped white chocolate on top of them. The cupcakes begged for a poof of white buttercream frosting and half a strawberry. The whole process took way to much time and it was a lesson learned. I will make this again, and I will nail it, doggone it! One shiny spot in the whole experience was that Charisse had to go to work that day. That means most of the cake was leaving the house. My niece popped in for a visit and I sent some home with her. My scale thanked me for that.
I also want to thank Anne over at From My Sweet Heart for sharing with me the Cute Little Chef award. Please head over to her lovely site, and bring a napkin with you. There’ll be lots of drool. Enjoy your weekend!
Two days ago it was 95 degrees, it felt like we were in the dog days of summer. Today, we barely made it to 60 degrees and a light jacket is needed. So long summer, hello to fickle Michigan weather. Cool and damp doesn’t equate to light and airy desserts, or maybe it’s just me. I just wasn’t in the mood for it. Since it felt like fall I decided to whip up something fall-ish. Maple-Java Mini Bundts with Maple-Java Butter Sauce. Say that five times fast.
I found the recipe at recipegoldmine.com, and if you haven’t been there you’re missing on tons of good stuff. The only drawback is that their recipes don’t have pictures. Now that food blogging is in my blood it’s hard to get into a recipe without pictures, but I make an exception for this site. My mini bundt pan yields 6 yummy treats which means leftovers are kept to a minimum. And the timing was perfect; Charisse had to work and she took them to work. I keep thinking by now some of her co-workers should be my personal training clients, because they’ve had their fair share and more of Sweet Sensations.
The mini bundts were baked, sauced and ready to eat in about an hour and a half. Which means you can whip up a batch at the last minute if company is coming, or you’re bored, or if Mother Nature is playing nasty tricks with the weather. If you’re into different types of syrup like they have at I-hop you could easily change the flavor. Serve them as dessert, or a breakfast or brunch treat. Naturally I made some changes.
Instead of all the spices listed I used ½ tsp of cinnamon and ¼ tsp of nutmeg.
No espresso powder on hand so I subbed with strong brewed coffee.
My sour cream froze in the fridge, but the plain yogurt worked liked a charm.
For the sauce, again I used the coffee, orange juice instead of bourbon and I opted out of the walnuts.
Maple Java Mini Bundts
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp each ground cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves
8 TBS butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 ½ TBS Medaglia D’Oro Instant Espresso, dissolved in
1 tsp boiling water, cooled
¾ cup sour cream
Heat oven to 350°. Butter and flour eight 8-ounce Bundt pans. Combine all-purpose and whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices in a large bowl. Stir with a whisk to blend. In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar using an electric mixer at medium speed until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Add espresso coffee and maple syrup and blend thoroughly. At low speed, beat in flour mixture and sour cream alternately. Spoon equal amounts of batter into prepared Bundt pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted into the cakes comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then invert cakes out of the pans and continue to cool.
Maple Java Butter Sauce
1 cup maple syrup
4 tablespoons butter
2 tsp Medaglia D’Oro Instant Espresso dissolved in 2 tsp boiling water, cooled
2 TBS bourbon
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
Combine maple syrup and butter in a small saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the espresso and bourbon. Brush each cake with some of the sauce. Add walnuts to the remaining sauce. When ready to serve, reheat sauce just until warm and pour a spoonful over each Bundt cake.
NOTE: One 8- to 9-inch Bundt pan can be used instead of individual 8-ounce pans. Bake the large Bundt cake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into cake comes out clean.
Around Christmas time I bought a cute pan that has six individual flower shapes. It’s a heavy pan and for some reason I kept putting off using it, along with my mini bundt pan. The mini bundt pan I used once and then pushed it to the back of the cupboard. Maybe it was too close to making cupcakes which I resisted like the plague until a couple of months ago. After all individual servings are supposed to be perfect for portion control right? That’s just like the theory of eating from smaller plates to exercise portion control. Yeah all that can work, but it still takes some behavior modification to keep you from going back for more with your small plate. At any rate, I’m using my pans. I have others that are collecting dust and I plan on bringing them out of hibernation also. What sense does it make to have nice stuff and not use it.
The next dilemma was what to bake. One thing was certain, it had to hold up in the heavy pans and it had to be on the healthier side. (I’m really trying here guys). Initially I wanted to use my mangoes that are super ripe, but I’ve found a yummy cake that will require a trip to the store to buy a few more things. I searched for about two hours and bookmarked a goo-gaggle of recipes that I’ll probably never make, but as foodies you understand how we can get totally lost in a recipe search. After all that searching I fell back on my tried and true Cream Cheese Pound Cake. I added orange extract along with the vanilla paste and a lime glaze. Pucker up Buttercup!!
Cream Cheese Pound Cake
1 (8oz) pkg 1/3 less fat cream cheese
¾ cup butter, softened
¾ cup Smart Balance Oil Blend
1 ½ cup sugar
1 ½ cup Splenda for Baking
3 cups all purposed flour, sifted
2 TBS cake enhancer from King Arthur
3 whole eggs
4 egg whites
1 TBS vanilla paste
1 tsp orange extract
Preheat the oven to 325°. Prepare mini pans or a 12 cup Bundt pan with grease and flour or non stick spray. In large bowl, cream butter, Smart Balance Oil, and cream cheese until smooth. Then add sugar and Splenda until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add whole eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add half of egg whites, mixing well and then add other half of egg whites and vanilla and orange extract. Sift the flour and cake enhancer. Then slowly add the flour/enhancer mixture about a cup at a time, scraping the bowl down after each addition. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 22-25 minutes for mini pans; one hour 15 min if using larger Bundt pan. Cakes are done when toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, and or they start to pull away from the sides of the pan. This is a large recipe and I made three batches of mini pound cakes. The cooking time indicated is for each batch.
Because my pans are kinda cute, I used a very light and thin glaze to play up the shape of the pan. Just a simple mixture of 2 cups powdered sugar, 1 TBS each of lemon and key lime juice and a dash of vanilla. Add water 1 TBS at a time until glaze reaches a consistency where it can be brushed on. And there you have cute mini cakes, healthier than there traditional cousins, and mighty tasty. The challenge is have one a day, or serve it on a teeny tiny plate. HA!!!