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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Worth It

I haven't really been eating a lot of cake lately.  I discovered that there's a direct correlation between my weight and how many desserts I eat, so I've been laying off the sweets.  It's amazing how much easier it is to be thin if you forgo dessert.

But every once in a while, dessert beckons.  I try to makes those treats really worth the calories, and this generally involves making them myself.  There isn't really a bakery in these parts that makes anything delectable enough to entice me, but I know a good recipe when I see one.  This bundt cake just had my name written all over it.

As those of you who have been reading the blog for some time know, I love a good plain cake.  I don't need a lot of bells and whistles, but rather I love a cake that relies on good, fresh ingredients.
I'm a big fan of the multi-purpose cake, and this buttermilk bundt cake fits the bill perfectly.  It's perfect for dessert but also equally as delicious for a weekend brunch.

So, although I've been very virtuous when it comes to desserts, this is one that's totally worth it.

Recipe:  Buttermilk Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze
Food and Wine, August, 2014


For the cake:

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

For the glaze:

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted
Pinch of fine salt


Preheat the oven to 
325°. Generously butter a 10-inch Bundt pan and dust with flour. In a medium bowl, whisk the 3 1/2 cups of flour with the salt 
and baking soda.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the 1 1/2 sticks of butter with the shortening at medium-high speed until smooth. Add the granulated sugar and 
beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. At medium speed, beat in the eggs 1 at a time until just incorporated, then beat in the vanilla; scrape down the side of the bowl. Beat in the dry ingredients and buttermilk in 3 alternating batches, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. At low speed, beat in the lemon juice. 

Scrape the batter into the prepared 
Bundt pan and use a spatula to smooth 
the surface. Bake in the middle of the oven 
for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking, until 
a toothpick inserted in the center of the 
cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool on 
a rack for 30 minutes, then turn it out on 
a platter or cake stand to cool completely.

In a medium bowl, whisk the confectioners’ sugar with 
the lemon zest, lemon juice, butter and 
salt until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over
the top of the cake, letting it drip down 
the sides. Let stand for 20 minutes 
until the glaze is set. Cut the cake into wedges and serve.

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