2011/02/26

Striking Gold... (Scandanavian Gold Cake)

Although, they didn't realize it at the time, my parents got me one of the items on my wish list for Christmas - a new bundt pan.  My old one was a cheapie that I had picked up at Wally-world or someplace like that in a past life.  And it was sad.  And it just didn't make me happy.  Plus, a big girl needs a big girl pan, right???


Which got me to thinking about the evolution of my kitchen wares...  And what a process it's been.  And how where I am in life has affected my purchases.  I know that this is kind of  deep thinking for 6 AM on a Saturday morning; but, hey - the ability to deep think in peace is one of the reasons I like to be up long before the next stirrings occur on a weekend morning!   Feel free to skip to the end & the cake recipe if this is too maudlin...


My first set of kitchen wares would have come my way in my early 20's.  I was so young.  So naive.  And didn't really know how to make anything more than chocolate chip cookies and ramen noodles with Dinty Moore Beef Stew.  Seriously.  I am not sure how we all made it through those days.  Life was about extreme frugality.  Making ones way with what was handed to you.  Getting ones feet on the ground.  Growing up.   Survival.   


Then came the changeover years.  Like many things in my world, the kitchen wares were a whole lot little beat up.  Worse for the wear.  Not what they once were.  Change was afoot.  My kitchen wares stayed behind in the old life and new ones took their place.  This time, things showed up with a purpose.  They weren't bestowed upon me.  I hand picked every item.  Only what I needed would join me in my new life.  By now, I could make a pretty mean red sauce and feeding the girls entailed more than opening up a package of Hamburger Helper.  I was a little braver - both in life and in the kitchen. 


Which takes me to today.  And a bundt pan.  And a point in my life where it is not always about the needful.  While the needful still exists, life can also be about perfecting.  Refining.  Seeking the "Holy Grail".  Taking things to the next level.  Pushing even further beyond my comfort zone.  Feeling a little more put together - a lot sturdier.  A better product all around. 


So, there you go mom...  One Christmas present turned all philisophical like. 

Who knew that bundt pans were an analogy for life!  And they also are good for making great cake...

This cake is a lovely afternoon treat and is the first recipe that I tried out on my new toy.  It's moist crumb and sweet nuttiness go perfectly with an afternoon cup of tea.  A little berry puree on top and I am in heaven!

KAF's Scandinavian Gold Cake Recipe
Adapted from KingArthurFlour.com

Cake

1 cup butter
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup almond flour
1 1/2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
6 large eggs, room temperature


Glaze
2  1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2  tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease & flour a 12-cup bundt-style pan.  (I used a 10-cup pan with good results)

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until it's soft. Add the sugar, salt, baking powder and flavorings. Beat them together until well-blended.

Add the flours and mix (mixture will be crumbly). Add the eggs one at a time, being sure to scrape down the sides/ bottom of the bowl after each addition. The batter will become fluffy after the third or fourth egg has been added.

Scrape the batter into the pan, level with a spatula.  Bake the cake for ~1 hour (or longer), until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean -  the edges will pull away from the pan.

Remove the cake from the oven, and place it on a rack to cool. Turn it out of the pan after about 10 minutes to cool completely.

Glaze: Mix all of the glaze ingredients together, adding a bit of water if needed to make it spreadable.  (I like to glaze while the cake is still slightly warm)

Use a spatula to spread it over the top of the cake. Let the glaze set for a few minutes before serving.   I prefer the cake slightly warm w/ berry puree. 

13 comments:

  1. I lust after your bundt pan. It has come to this. We are retiring from the USAF and moving to our next, as yet undecided location. Who knows what sized kitchen it will have. So I am weeded out my pots and pans. At almost 50, almost completely an empty nest how much do we need? I may need that pan.

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  2. Wow! That looks wonderful! I've had a real Bundt pan on my wish list for a while, too - you may have just inspired me to go out & get one!

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  3. Gorgeous pan & cake! My DD (The Lacrosse Lass :)) loves almond-flavored cakes so I will have to make this for her. Thanks for posting the recipe!

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  4. Such a pretty bundt pan and cake! Isn't it wonderful how we can reflect on how things have changed in our lives and how we have envolved? Great post, Cher.

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  5. @ All - thanks! I love new toys like this. Better than jewelry or a new purse, I tell you.
    @ Rosemary - I hear you. Whenever I move, I try to figure out what fits in my "new life". Good luck & I hope life takes you some where wonderful

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  6. That glaze looks absolutely delicious! Congrats on the new bundt pan!

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  7. You bundt pan is stunning!
    Love your post! You've captured the essence of growing up beautifully!

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  8. Cher, oh, my gosh! Your cake looks superb...lovely crumb with the perfect glaze. I'd love a slice before bed~

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  9. The cake looks delish! I love bundt cakes so much! I left you the stylish blogger award on my blog. You can see the award at http://www.ryanbakes.com/2011/03/stylish-blogger-award.html

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  10. Why not get philosophical about your kitchenware? It's the basis of the cooking you love! I adore almond cakes, and this looks wonderful. I'd like a slice for breakfast :)

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  11. This is a gorgeous cake. I know you want to credit its beauty to your new pan, but I suspect the cook is the one who should be given kudos. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  12. Now THAT'S a bundt pan!! Thanks for the recipe. That cake looks so perfect, I can't wait to try it. I think it might be a lovely Easter brunch cake. Or maybe I need to make it sooner than that...

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  13. This bundt cake looks quite beautiful. I was looking at several in Michael's the other day. I should have bought one! I think I will go back because a bundt cake is great for a big group. Thanks!

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