Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Helen's Sour Cream Bundt Cake

Here it is, November 15, National Bundt Day, and she's been at it again.

the "she": Mary, the Food Librarian
the "it": 30 Days of Bundt Cakes

For three years running she has celebrated National Bundt Day by baking a different bundt cake for each of the 30 days leading up to November 15. Nothing makes Mary happier than a good bundt cake; in fact her theme for her baking spree is "I Like Big Bundts." Mary has hinted that this is her last year of bundtish extravaganza, but somehow I see the tradition continuing.

In a much more modest form of celebration, each year I have joined Mary by baking one bundt cake and posting it on November 15. Last year I baked an apple triple ginger streusel bundt cake, which you can see here, and my bundt from two years ago was a spiced cake made with blackberry jam, which I posted here.

For 2011 I wanted to bake an unusual and cool bundt cake. I needed to look no farther than the blog Whitehaven, an interiors blog of my friend Helen and her business partner who have an interior design business. For Whitehaven's one year blogiversary, Helen posted the recipe for this cake. Voila! This would be my contribution to National Bundt Day.

Helen is one of the members of my wonderful book group, and I actually baked the cake for a book group dinner hosted by Helen and her husband - she got a kick out of someone else baking her cake and serving it at her house!

- Scroll down to the bottom of this post for the recipe, or click over to Whitehaven's blog for the cake recipe and lots of beautiful design posts. My favorite: the House of the Week feature - it's always fun to see which house near or far is highlighted each week.

- The method for mixing this cake is somewhat unusual. The egg yolks are added to the batter first and the whites are separately beaten and folded into the batter at the end. I used some fabulous huge duck eggs from my farm box.

- Did you know that the bundt pan is an American descendant of European kugelhopf pans? I used 10-cup kugelhopf pan. I found out that this is a seriously big cake - it rises a lot as it bakes, even if you think you might have over-folded the batter. Mine rose above the rim of the pan but luckily it did not overflow. I'm guessing that a 12-cup pan would probably be perfect.

- As it bakes, the cake makes the most wonderful crunchy sugary crust.

the verdict:

This is a perfect special-occasion cake, striking in appearance with a light texture and delicate flavor from the vanilla and lemon juice. The cake is close-crumbed and moist, and looks a bit like a pound cake, but it is not a bit dense or heavy. In fact, it is almost fluffy inside. I'm guessing that the tight crumb comes from the slow oven.

Mary will post a round up on her blog of all those who celebrate National Bundt Day, so check her blog for that post in late November; there are sure to be some great recipes. In the meantime, you can find Mary's previous bundt posts:

2011 I Like Big Bundts (30 different Bundt cakes)

and her Bundt Cake page, which includes, among other things:

2010 I Like Big Bundts (30 different Bundt cakes)
2010 Round up of Bundts (86 people made Bundts for National Bundt Day)

2009 I Like Big Bundts (30 different Bundt cakes)
2009 Round up of Bundts (41 people made Bundt cakes to celebrate National Bundt Day)

Also, here's a blog post by cake goddess Rose Levy Beranbaum's about bundt cake pans, complete with some pretty terrific bundt cake tips.

Happy National Bundt Day!

the recipe:

Helen's Sour Cream Cake

2 sticks butter
3 cups sugar
6 eggs, separated
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup sour cream
3 cups plain sifted flour
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla

Cream butter and sugar.

Add egg yolks, one a time, beating well after each addition.

Mix soda into sour cream.

Add flour to butter, sugar, egg mixture, alternating with sour cream then add flavoring.

Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites.

Pour into well greased and floured 12-cup bundt pan. Bake one and a half hours (90 minutes) at 300 degrees.


TeaLady said...

What a stunning bundt cake. I wish I had had time to participate this year. Your bundt looks/sounds delicious.

cocoa and coconut said...

I really love the way you have plated this cake. The berries on the side make the bundt cake just pop. If you know what I mean? Gorgeous!

Kayte said...

This is truly beautiful...I don't use my Kugelhopf pan nearly enough, should make this cake in it very soon. I love the berries parked alongside...you know me, this is a PERFECT DESSERT!!!

Di said...

Gorgeous bundt, Nancy! =) I haven't used my kugelhopf pan in a while; I'll have to see what I can find to make in it. I have another bundt cake that uses that method of folding in the whipped egg whites at the end--it's a pumpkin ginger pound cake from Fine Cooking.

mike509 said...

You're a master with the bundts Nancy! Had to sit this one out.... In Denver with no bundt pan! Love this! Looks like you get more lift with the beaten egg whites. Will get this recipe since I like simple, flavorful bundts without a lot of fuss!

Sara said...

Gorgeous cake - I love your bundt pan, it makes for such a pretty shape! :)