Sunday, May 11, 2008

Go for the bundt

After years of wishing I had one, about six months ago I finally bought a bundt pan. This is something of a pattern for me. I lust after a certain piece of kitchen equipment – a spice grinder or a microplane grater – something that might cost only $10 or $20. Finally I buy it and wonder what the hell took me so long. (Next on my list are Silpats.) I really can’t explain my reluctance to actually purchase these things or why they seem so unattainable. Sometimes I feel like I’m still 12 years old and saving my pennies, like I don’t have permission to actually buy something not 100% necessary. But, that’s another story…probably for some future therapist.

Anyways, back to the bundts. After finally buying the pan, these cakes have become one of my favorite new desserts. To me, they are the ultimate combination of convenience and class – the epitome of how smart choices can make cooking at home less lengthy and intimidating. Layer cakes are fantastic, truly special treats. But, they can be time-consuming and nerve-wracking (for me) to decorate. Little crumbs always get caught up in my frosting, no matter how much I brush the cakes. But in a bundt cake, the shape of the pan renders the cake automatically impressive to look at, and the deep golden color of the exterior (that just happens! without any work involved!) is nothing short of miraculous.

Yesterday I made the Classic Banana Bundt Cake from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours. The cake is sensational – deeply moist with a lush banana flavor. It took only about 15 minutes to prepare and looks gorgeous even without icing. Dave and Rosa went back for seconds; I contemplated thirds.

So when you want to get the most dessert bang for your time and effort buck, think Bundt.

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