Sunday, September 2, 2018

Limoncello Bundt Cake

There are many cake recipes out there, but there is one type of cake that stands in a class all of its own - the bundt cake. These type of cakes are more dense and much more flavorful than any layer or sheet cake. Based on that, the bundt cake is prepared and served (quite often) without any icing or glaze.

Recently, our house was gifted with a bottle of a special lemon liqueur that hailed from Italy, Limoncello cream. As we know, all things lemon basically equate to summertime. Since the temperature is starting to wane down, I decided that this Limoncello bundt cake would be the perfect way to say goodbye to the season of long hot days. Summer was fun, but now it is time to bid it farewell until after another spring season.

This bundt cake has 1/4 cup of lemon zest, which gives it a nice clean taste. Also, the flavor of the Limoncello exists as a subtle undertone in every bite. The structure and texture reflects that of the classic standard-moist and with a tight, tender crumb. Now on to the will need a 10 cup capacity bundt pan in order to make this cake.

Limoncello Bundt Cake
adapted from Nordicware 

1/4 cup limoncello
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup of buttermilk
4 eggs
2 egg yolks
4 oz melted white chocolate
1/4 cup lemon zest
1 cup butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 cups flour
1/4 cup bread crumbs (or more for dusting pan)
2 tbs vegetable shortening

1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbs Limoncello

Start by preparing the bundt pan for baking. Melt the 2 tablespoons of shortening in the microwave. Then, using a silicon brush, brush the interior of the pan. Make sure all the surfaces are well coated. Empty the bread crumbs into the pan and rotate to coat the interior with the crumbs. Once fully coated, set the pan aside.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Also, prepare a cooling rack by placing over a parchment lined baking sheet.

Fill the bowl of a stand mixer with the 2 1/4 cups of sugar and the butter. Cream together on medium speed, stopping at intervals to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue to beat the mixture until the consistency reaches a fluffy stage-which should take about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and combine. After that, each egg and egg yolk is to be blended into the mixture, one at a time. Once all the eggs are incorporated, blend in the lemon zest and white chocolate. Set aside.

Using a small bowl, whisk together the Limoncello and the buttermilk. Take out another bowl (medium size) and place a sieve over the top. Fill the sieve with the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Sift the ingredients together, filling the medium size bowl.

Fold 1/3 of the sifted ingredients into the butter/sugar batter. Then, mix in 1/2 of the buttermilk/Limoncello blend. Repeat the process-beginning and ending with the sifted ingredients. Empty the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

Place filled pan in the oven and bake until tester comes out clean, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set on the prepared cooling rack. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 20 minutes. Then invert the cake pan onto the rack, releasing the cake. The cake should cool for about 15 minutes before drizzling the glaze on top.

For the icing glaze, fill a saucepan with the water and sugar. Place over medium high heat. Stir the mixture until the sugar has dissolved into the water. Remove from heat and whisk in the Limoncello. Drizzle the syrup over the warm cake.

Tips and notes:
1. Make sure your refrigerated ingredients have warmed up to room temperature (yes, this does include the buttermilk)

2. The bread crumb coating creates a nice toasty surface to the cake and insures that it falls out of the pan with no sticking issues. Also, if you are making any type of bundt cake with chocolate, dusting with cocoa is another option. Should you not want a toasty surface for the cake, generously spray the pan with a non stick spray that includes flour.

3. This cake is good sliced and served with cream and fresh fruit.

4. I used a white chocolate bar for the chocolate, but you are welcome to use chips. If using the chips, the melted chocolate can cool some prior to adding to the batter. The bar chocolate, due to its tendency to seize up quickly, should be mixed into the batter as soon as it is melted. 
                                          **2 YEARS AGO: Bali Hai Pie**