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Finally, finally I am beginning to emerge from the fug of illness. Just in time to witness the end of Bake Off (*sob*, but at least a worthy winner was crowned) and to celebrate my birthday. Ah birthdays. Once a source of so much joy, now yet another reminder of the relentless march towards wrinkles and twinsets. Not that I’m that old really, positively sprightly compared to some mothers I know, but now most decidedly on the wrong side of 30 as it were.

Still, at least it’s an excuse to bake something (like I need one!). I  had been toying with the idea of a chocolate mousse cake, but then this bundt recipe caught my eye in the paper last week. In truth, I think it may have been the spun sugar topping (not recreated here I confess) that hooked me in, but I have had a bundt tin lurking in my baking cupboard for some time, giving me the fear, plus it looked easier to carve up and hand out at baby-gym.  And with the liberal application of magic cake release stuff, it even came out of the tin in one glorious piece. Must be birthday magic.

Recipe taken from the Guardian Cook 19.10.13

Ingredients:

Burnt Sugar Liquid
115g granulated sugar
125ml double cream
Up to 190ml coconut milk
1½ tbsp fresh lemon juice
 
Cake
350g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
280g unsalted butter cut into 3cm cubes, at room temperature
100g granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
150ml Burnt sugar liquid (see above)
 
Icing
110g unsalted butter
2 tbsp dark rum
300g icing sugar
150ml Burnt sugar liquid (see above)

 

Method

Begin with the burnt sugar liquid. Slowly melt the sugar in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. When the sugar turns a dark caramel colour (about 5mins, but keep a careful watch as you don’t want it to burn), remove the pan from the heat.

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Next, slowly and carefully stream in the cream while stirring. It is important you do this slowly as it will bubble up; if you’ve ever made honeycomb it’s a bit like the bit where you add the bicarbonate of soda. Don’t worry if the mixture starts to clump as you will be returning the pan to the heat and stirring until completely combined. Then continue to cook for another two minutes, stirring all the while.

Transfer the burnt caramel mixture to a heatproof measuring cup and add enough coconut milk to make 300ml liquid. Add the lemon juice. Whisk to combine, and set aside. The recipe says to divide the mixture in half, but frankly this seems to me to be creating unnecessary washing up as it’s easy to tell from the measuring cup when you have used half of the liquid.

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On with the bundt cake. Pre-heat the oven to 160C/325F/gas mark 3. Butter and flour the inside of a 25cm bundt pan, knocking out the excess flour.

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In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt, then set aside. aside.

In another large bowl, or free-standing mixer, beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add the vanilla and beat again.

Combine the flour mixture with the sugar and egg mixture and then add half of the burnt sugar liquid in three stages; beating after each addition. Pour the batter into the prepared tin.

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Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a skewer or small sharp knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the tin to a wire rack to cool completely. Gently loosen the sides of the cake from the tin and turn it out on to the rack.

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For the icing, put the butter, rum, icing sugar, and remaining portion of burnt sugar liquid in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until the icing is shiny and smooth.

To assemble the cake, use a spatula to spread the icing over the crown of the bundt in a thick layer and serve.

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I also sprinkled some decorations on top; well it was my birthday.

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The cake will allegedly keep in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to 3 days. I have no way of verifying this, however.