I’ve done my fair share of battle in the kitchen, including unintentional flambes, blenders that blew their tops (and contents) and oven timers that were set to a different plant’s rotations. But none of these experiences prepared me for what I imagined would be a scene of domestic Sunday bliss — the baking of an apple bundt.
For the uninitiated, a bundt is a particularly decorative pan used for baking cakes. You bake the cake upside down, invert it and, hey presto, you have a fab looking fleur de lis or cathedral styled cake that is confectionary perfection when topped with a light dusting of icing sugar.
Perhaps I was a little too ambitious for a Sunday morning. The baking session started with a few dozen date-bran muffins (awesome) and was supposed to end with the debut of one of our wedding gifts, the much-anticipated (by me) bundt cake. After all, what could be a better idea than making any cake look even more delectable by baking it in this baroque-styled pan? And how different could that be from the many successfully baked cake I have under my belt?
Hah, I should have known better. But hey, can more than 50 million bundt owners be wrong?
I consulted our cookbooks, but narry a bundt recipe was to be found. I considered using one of my cake recipes, but then decided not to opt for a substitution and find a genuine bundt recipe. The apple bundt cake on Epicurious sounded perfect.
Following the recipe religiously, I noted to myself that this was the first cake recipe I’d made that used vegetable oil instead of butter. I also noted the interesting elastic consistency as I spooned in the batter layer. I noted happily that the batter and apple mixture fitted perfectly into the bundt pan, settling about an inch below the rim, leaving plenty of room for expansion. I popped it in and settled myself to cleaning up and relaxing with a few fresh muffins.
Some time later, through an internal smog, Jay called out that something seemed to be burning. Consulting the oven window I discovered a bundt posessed. The batter in the pan had expanded like the pancake mix in that children’s story; it was belching forth giant blobs of sticky batter and apple chunks all over the oven. The blobs that had landed first were turning black and issuing forth the aforementioned smoke. Emergency!
It was us versus one bundt with an attitude. The clean-up required a) removal of angry, volcanic-like bundt pan, b) removing piles of blobs that had adhered to various surfaces of the oven c) scraping the outsides of the bundt pan (encrusted), d) spooning out 2 cups of bundt batter and e) lining the over with tin foil. We replaced the bundt in the oven and hovered, our extractor fan running full tilt along with open windows and air conditioners in an attempt to clear the smog.
Not 10 minutes later, the bundt was doing a slightly less impressive eruption. And so the next half hour progressed, relays of exchanging boiling batter smattered tin foil.
Finally, the bundt settled down… and then it settled…down. What the? Now, a few minutes from finally done, it’s bottom side perfectly resembles a gently concaved crater. Sigh… well the proof is in the bundt. But after tasting a piece that fell off it, I proclaim it inedible and tasting mostly of that wierd cake ingredient: oil. Jay says he thinks it might not taste that bad. I think he’s just being nice.