We have done a lot of leaf-peeping this fall. More than any year I can remember, and I am so thankful that we have been able to get out of the city so much. This time leading up to the holidays is always hectic with seasonal work and preparing to take some time off at the end of the year - so that, combined with the fact that our entire neighborhood has turned into a dirty and dusty construction zone has really inspired us to get the heck out of town. Being able to spend lots of time in the cool, clean air and fall colors has been totally revitalizing, and being able to let Arlo run around in the grass and teaching him how to fetch has been so, so fun!
Despite all that good fresh air, and good fall produce - I have been in a bit of a cooking and baking rut. I think it's because I have been doing a lot of recipe development for work and when I am cooking non-dinner food all day (and doing dishes) the last thing I want to do is cook more... This means that I have been buying a lot of produce with good intentions to cook it, but the truth is a lot of it ends up in the compost. BUT the good news is that fall cookbooks have been arriving in my mailbox on the the reg and flipping through them is giving me some major inspiration just in time for Thanksgiving.
This gorgeous seasonal bundt is from Sarah Keiffer's brand new Vanilla Bean Baking Book that comes out tomorrow!! Sarah has always been a source of baking inspiration for me, and her new book is an incredible resource totally packed-full of baking basics and treats with fun twists. Like many of you, my cookbook shelf is groaning under the weight of many, many baking books but this book is truly special. I had the good fortune to test a handful of recipes from this book and they are all stellar. Especially the chocolate chip cookies with crispy edges and yellow cake with chocolate and burnt-honey buttercream.
Bundt cakes are my fave and I'll use any excuse to break out my favorite Nordic ware pan. This one is a classic, dense and covered in gorgeous glaze, but not too sweet thanks to a generous amount of tart fresh cranberries. Its the kind of thing you can make for dessert, but end up eating for breakfast or lunch or every meal until it is gone or you beg one of your friends to take it out of your house. I sung the praises of cranberries for fall and winter baking in my book and I am so glad to see that Sarah loves them too, but I can also see myself swapping in blueberries or raspberries in the summer. I can also see myself baking all the way through this book. Congrats, Sarah!!
And one more thing, US Friends - You all better be voting tomorrow. If you don't know where your polling place is, just head on over to Google and they will direct you to the right spot. VOTE!
ORANGE-CRANBERRY BUNDT CAKE
FROM THE VANILLA BEAN BAKING BOOK by sarah KNIFER
Everyone needs a recipe for a good, all-purpose Bundt cake. I’ve made it here with orange and cranberries, but there is much room for your own interpretation. You can substitute any other small berry for the cranberries, and lemon for the orange. It’s perfect for a casual morning get-together, an elegant brunch, or afternoon snacking all by your lonesome. I make the cake the evening before serving to let the flavors fully develop. makes 8 to 12 servings
3 cups (426 g) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound (3 sticks, 226 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/4 cups (446 g) sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
5 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 heaping cups (227 g) cranberries, fresh or frozen
Confectioners’ Sugar Glaze (see below)
Adjust the oven rack to the lower middle position. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a 10-inch tube pan or Bundt pan.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Add the sugar and orange zest, and beat together on medium until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and Grand Marnier and mix on low to combine. Add one-third of the flour mixture and mix on low to combine. Add the orange juice and lemon juice and mix on low to combine. Add half the remaining flour and then the heavy cream, beating on low after each addition to incorporate. Add the remaining flour and mix on low until just combined. Add the cranberries and stir with a spatula to combine.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 60 to 75 minutes, until a wooden skewer or toothpick inserted into the center comes out with the slightest bit of crumb.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 25 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Top the cooled cake with the Confectioners’ Sugar Glaze (recipe below) and let set before slicing.
CONFECTIONERS’ SUGAR GLAZE
1 1/2 cups (170 g) confectioners’ sugar
2 to 4 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons milk, vanilla, and salt. Add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, to thin the icing to a preferred consistency. For a pure white icing, omit the vanilla.
Reprinted by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Sarah Kieffer, 2016.