apple – carrot – chocolate chip bundt cake

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bakers note: I could actually re-name this cake the olivier dumas cake … he’s requested, and I’ve made it for him, 5 times in 4 weeks.  That’s right.  Twice in one week.  Talk about loving a cake!

There is nothing fancy about this cake.

Nope.  Nothing fancy at all.

But sometimes … you don’t need fancy.  You just want tasty.  And this cake sure is tasty. 

Frankly … this cake is deliciously moist and ridiculously addictive (see bakers note above).

Apple – carrot – chocolate chip bundt cake is absolutely fabulous.  And you should make it immediately.

The idea came from combining three of my favourite things: carrots, apples and chocolate chips.  I love a good carrot cake, and I’m pretty addicted to my friend Robin’s mother’s apple chocolate chip spice cake… it was time to combine both and make this.

I am brilliant.

Oh … and because it’s a bundt cake and not a layer cake … no frosting necessary.  All the *hard work* is done before you pop the cake pan into the oven.  All that’s left is for you to sit back, relax, allow the smell of freshly baked cake to permeate throughout your home … and then pull it out.

I promise you won’t regret adding this to your list of desserts … or breakfast foods … it goes well, as either, or.

If you really don’t like that it’s not *dressed up* … you can dust it with a little icing sugar.  But honestly … I just leave it.  This cake can stand up on its own.  It’s that good. 

apple – carrot – chocolate chip bundt cake

ingredients:

1 ½ c. packed dark brown sugar

1 ¼ c. sunflower oil

1 tsp vanilla

3 eggs

2 1/3 c. flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp cloves

½ tsp salt

10 oz (about 3 large) carrots, peeled and grated

5 – 6 oz (about 2 large) apples, peeled and grated

2/3 c. chocolate chips

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This is the part I always do first … grate the carrots and then the apples.  You can see from the recipe above that when you combine both ingredients, it’ll feel like you’re adding way too much … but you’re not.  You almost want the batter to be completely *overwhelmed* by these ingredients.  That’s the secret to baking the most perfectly moist bundt cake.

EVER.

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Heat your oven to 350 F.  Spray your bundt pan with non-stick spray and set aside.

In the bowl of your stand-mixer, combine the brown sugar, oil and vanilla.  Using your paddle attachment, beat the ingredients at medium speed for about 3 minutes.  You want it to get mixed really well.  Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.

Add the eggs, one at a time, then continue to beat at medium speed for a further 5 minutes. You’re batter will be quite fluffy.  Fluffy batter is a good thing.

Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice and salt together in a bowl.

Turn off the mixer, scrape the sides with a spatula; then pour all the dry ingredients into the wet batter.  Mix at a low-speed (I keep my mixer at *stir*).  The flour will get incorporated.  This shouldn’t take more than a minute (at most).  Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula.  Then add the grated carrots and grated apples.  Stir (I use my mixer for this part too).  Finally … toss in the chocolate chips and stir.

Done.

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Bake the cake for 50 minutes.  I usually check it at 40 minutes … and then stick it back in for another 10 minutes. 

Perfection every single time.

Allow to cool on a wire rack.  Then turn it out and serve on a pretty plate.

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If you’re a member of my family … you definitely can’t eat just one slice …

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higgledy-piggledy cranberry-orange cake

Or better known as a cranberry – orange upside down cake :0)

No matter what you call this … it’s AWESOME.  Actually … it’s FANTASTICALLY DELIGHTFUL!!!!

Yes … writing it all in uppercase letters will hopefully convince everyone to try this cake for the holidays.  It’ll be a great addition to your holiday spread … the tart cranberries and the sweet orange … with that brown sugar caramel glaze … mother of pearl.  This one is a keeper.

I first made it a couple of weeks ago … we were celebrating my uncle’s birthday and quite a few people came into town … my mother, her sister, her brother, my brother, my cousin (a grand total of 12 people around the table) … it was a Dumas family reunion of sorts … and one thing the Dumas Clan loves … is dessert.

My grandmother always baked up the perfect dessert … so I’ve taken it upon myself to keep her memory alive and come up with something I think she would like.

This is one of those recipes.

And the best part … it is quick and easy.  Simple really.

I promise.

After all … if you tuned into ctv ottawa morning live yesterday you would have seen me whip up the batter with Kurt Stoodley in about 5 minutes … ok … for reasons of accuracy … it does take longer than 5 minutes … but this is still a quick and easy one.

Even Kurt felt confident enough to whip this up at Christmas.  And to be honest … I hadn’t fully committed to making this recipe yesterday until about 60 minutes before I had to be in the studio … and I was able to make it, bake it, transport it, and serve it in just under 75 minutes.

Not bad.  And it makes for a pretty funny story.

I’ve made this as both a regular 9 – inch round cake and as a bundt cake (it resembles a holiday wreath) … both work really well.  The bundt is great because it doesn’t need as much baking time … and I needed to get that cake in and out of the oven as quickly as possible yesterday!

bakers note … if using a regular round pan … don’t use your  spring form pan … that’s not such a great idea … the caramel will likely leak out of the bottom and cause a mess in your oven.  We learned that lesson when I made that mistake for my uncle’s dinner.   :0)

higgledy-piggledy cranberry – orange cake

ingredients:

topping

1/4 c. butter
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 package cranberries, fresh or frozen (don’t thaw if using frozen ones)

batter

1/2 c. butter, room temperature
3/4 c. sugar
1 orange, zest and juice, use the entire orange.
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c. buttermilk

Pre-heat your oven to 350 F.  Spray your pan with non-stick spray and set aside.

Make your topping.

In a pan over low heat, melt the butter.  Remove from heat and add the brown sugar.  Stir the brown sugar – butter until you get that wet sand texture.

Spread the brown sugar mixture along the base of the pan and then spread the cranberries on top of that.

In the bowl of your stand – mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Add the orange zest, eggs and orange juice and beat again until everything is incorporated.

Add half of the dry ingredients to the mix, beat until just incorporated.

Add all the buttermilk.

Once slightly incorporated, add the rest of the dry ingredients and beat everything together (always at a slow speed once you start adding flour to your batter).

That’s it.  Spoon the batter over the cranberries, take a spatula to smooth it out and then bake.

If it’s a bundt pan it should take between 40 – 45 minutes.  If it’s a regular round pan it should be closer to 60 minutes.  I always check a little before, just to make sure.  You want the batter to be firm but bounce when you touch it with your finger.

Allow to cool in the pan for 15 – 20 minutes on a wire rack.

Run a knife around the outside of the cake and then invert it on a serving plate.  I find that sometimes not all the cranberries come off – I just take them off the bottom of the pan and place them back on top of the cake.

Then dig in and enjoy.

I don’t think I’ve ever had so many requests for a recipe …  or for a cake.  I’ll be making this one again tomorrow and over the weekend.  It’s a real winner!