Monday, 13 February 2012

St Valentine ...and other excuses

St. Valentine's Day, a good excuse to bake a cake.

I have been eating healthily and trying to avoid indulgences, especially as Oct - Jan is a very indulgent yuletide in our household and I must admit, I did over do it over the festive season.

This is not good and so I have been making amends these last 2 months. How quickly February has arrived!

I have been married 37 years and have never cared for Valentine's Day, but I do love any occasion to bake a marble cake. This one is moist and easy. The bundt heart tin means the decorating is done without any extra effort during baking and the slicing is gorgeous too.

I'm very keen on Bundt tins, but they do require care when greasing - if you get that bit right, the cake will slide from the tin cleanly and beautifully.

To do it right you need warm butter. If your butter is not soft to touch, run hot water through the tin so that it heats up. Dry thoroughly and while still warm smear the butter into every dip and crease. If you use spray oil it can taste bitter and if you dust with flour it can leave white patches over the finished cake. Getting the oiling right is really important.

For my three flavours I opt for cherry, chocolate rum and vanilla. For the cherry I added a good dollop of tart cherry conserve and a teaspoon of red food colouring. For the chocolate I added 2 tablespoons of quality cocoa and 2 tablespoons rum. You can't taste the rum once baked, it simply adds a depth to the chocolate flavour. The vanilla is lovely. I always use a good vanilla extract and the zest of a lemon, so the vanilla or plain part of the cake has more lift. The sourcream makes this cake moist.
250 grams butter
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
3 large eggs
2 cups self raising flour

1st bowl
2 tablespoons cherry jam
1teaspoon red food colouring

2nd bowl
2 tablespoons cocoa
2 tablespoons rum

Preheat oven to 180c fan forced. Grease tin. Beat eggs, sugar and vanilla together until thick and pale. Add eggs, one at a time. Add flour and sour cream until just combined. Separate mixture into 3 bowls to add colour and flavour (cherry and chocolate).

Spoon into cake tin. With a tin that has slice sections this small, spoon in with a teaspoon to achieve the marble look. Otherwise, if you ladle in with a large spoon you won't see the marbling as clearly. Run skewer through mixture to marble the colours. 

Bake for 60mins in a 180c fan forced oven or until a skewer comes out clean.

With a bundt tin, you need to alter recipes by 10-15 minutes as these tins often bake faster.

Test from 45mins onwards.

When ready, I place a large plate over the cake pan for 5 minutes- this traps the moisture in the cake and helps the cake slide out of the tin easily. Very easy and delicious.

I love it when the cake slides out effortlessly. Then simply dust with sugar.
Of course you could drizzle with melted chocolate or coat with a ganache (very effective with this cake tin shape) but I have gone the simple way.

I used a large spoon to mixture in my 3 colours and as the slices are small due to the cake tin shape, the marble effect isn't as clear as it would be in a normal tin. Use a teaspoon to add the mixture in turns if you want a visual marble look. Personally I love the changing flavours per slice as below!

Three things I love today
good coffee in the morning
a spotlessly clean kitchen
ingredients for dinner in the pantry (and no shopping required)

My Paducah order from November still has not arrived. The replacement order I made with another supplier is arriving any day. Today I hope...

This means that my Mystery BOM is behind schedule as it is due to be launched on Wednesday.
It's likely now that the BOM start date will have to be delayed.
It's simply too important to rush.

It's frustrating and I have been quite annoyed about it all last week. However, I started the fabric process in November and I don't reasonably think I could have expected to still be waiting for it in February!!

I will let you know when the fabric arrives. I have very strong feelings about this Mystery BOM and with my samples down (beautiful!!) and the patterns painstakingly drawn, I'm simply not prepared to do or start any part of it with less than 100%

Updates soon...I hope!


  1. Great looking cake, though I shall remain strong and not make one!
    I have never had a parcel go astray from Paducah (and luckily have never had to pay duty on one from them, though by writing this down I have probably put a curse on that bonus). I am looking forward to seeing what you have planned. You do realise once the new fabrics arrive, the first parcel shall arrive the very next day.....

  2. That looks delicious. If I have a bit of time today, I'm going to make him too.
    Greetings Ria.

  3. Don't worry about the delay, Esther. Just remember that you are very generously giving this to us for free! And if what you had chosen is the perfect fabric, stick with it.

    Thanks for the cake recipe. It looks delicious.

  4. I am sure it is not a problem for any one of us to wait for the next BOM. I know how important this is for you to have nothing less than 100%. Your cake is beautiful but I have to refrain from goodies to get some weight off. I will set the recipe aside for another day. Hugs Bunny

  5. This is a beautiful cake- I've never seen a pan like this.

  6. I might have to make one of these cakes this valentines day. Although I guess I'll have to go without the heart bundt pan. Thank you for the recipe.

  7. Ohhhhhhhh Esther that looks so scrumptious. I will have a go at making it today for a surprise for Rod. I woke up to a dozen long stemmed roses this morning. He really surprised me. Hugs

  8. Ester - thanks for the lovely cake recipe and pictures -- and we're sure the BOM is well worth the wait.

    Happy Valentine's Day.

  9. Thanks for sharing your cake recipe, sounds divine.

    Not a problem to wait for your BOM until you have everything you need. That order from Paducah is beginning to sound like it is lost in the mail system. I have never had an order from them go missing but I did have an order go missing from another US vendor and after a few months they started checking at their end. It turned out that the post office that they were using had a higher than normal incidnece of missing packages being reported. After a series of investigations it was discovered that one of the new employees was stealing. What a mess.

  10. They all look so delicious! Wow, I might even put a day in to bake just to take a taste.


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