Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Youngest Hawthorne Requests Coffee Cake.

Every now and then Youngest Hawthorne makes a special request.
Today it was for some kind of coffee cake.
I happened to have blueberries and strawberries on hand,
so I got the fixin's and I'm ready to bake.

I decided to make mini-bundt cakes.  Original bundt cakes are a centuries-old European cake, called bundkuchen, thought to have come from Germany, Austria, and Hungary.  The characterizing feature of a bundt cake is the shape of the cake, not the recipe.  The sides are grooved or fluted, sometimes in quite complicated designs, and there is a central tube or chimney in the center.  This allows more of the mixture touching the surface of the pan which helps provide faster cooking and more even heat distribution.  Although the bundt cakes themselves are generations old, the signature pan they're baked in is a modern invention. 

In the late 1940s, the Minneapolis-based Hadassah Society wanted to create traditional kugelhopf, which was a dense, ring-shaped cake and the cakes they remembered growing up with.  Rose Joshua and Fannie Schanfield of the Minneapolis chapter of Hadassah lamented the quality of light and fluffy American-style cakes and longed for the rich, dense cakes of their European childhood.  This required a special type of pan.  The ladies met with H. David Dalquist, owner of Minnesota's Nordic Ware company, and Rose brought her mother's ceramic kugelhopf pan which became a prototype for the bundt pan.  The kugelhopf pan had a chimney in the center that allowed heat to penetrate the batter from all sides.  This way the heavier batter could be baked without leaving uncooked batter in the center.  Dahlquist modified the design of the kugelhopf pan and cast 12 pans in 1950 especially for these Jewish women.  Originally, Dalquist's invention was called a bund pan (German for "bond" or "alliance), but Dalquist later added the t, perhaps to distance himself and his product from the German-American Bund, a pro-Nazi group.

The real sales push came in 1966 at the 17th annual Pillsbury Bake-Off.  A bundt cake called the "Tunnel of Fudge," baked by Ella Helfrich, won second place.  Dalquist was immediately innundated with orders, producing 30,000 bundt pans a day.

And in case you were wondering, National Bundt Day is November 15.

Now that you know more than you probably wanted to about bundt pans, lets make a bundt coffee cake.
 Blueberry and Strawberry Coffee Cake With Glaze
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 TB lemon zest
1 TB lemon juice
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup blueberries and sliced strawberries

Heat oven to 325°.
Cream butter and sugar.
Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
Add in zest and juice.
Mix flour, soda, and salt.
Add dry mixture alternately with buttermilk,
beating until incorporated.
Toss blueberries and strawberries with a little flour to coat.
Gently fold fruit into batter.
Pour batter into 6 greased mini-Bundt pans.
Bake 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool in pan one hour.

Make glaze:
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
Mix all until smooth.
Prick cakes with a skewer then spoon glaze over top.

 Tossing the berries in flour helps keep them suspended
in the batter and not sink to the bottom.
 Gently fold the berries into the batter.

 Smooth tops.

 And bake.
Let cool in pan.

 Aren't these pretty?

These are wonderfully moist cakes.
 Skewer the cakes.

 And brush with lemon glaze, letting it soak inside.

Youngest Hawthorne just informed me that these aren't coffee cakes.
"What are they?"
"They're blueberry and lemon cakes and they're really good,
but they aren't coffee cakes.

Back to the drawing board.
I know what he wants.
A traditional coffee cake with streusel.

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