Press "Enter" to skip to content

Fireworks bundt cake: Confessions of a very amateur baker

“My bundt hole’s too big,” I said. I was alone in my kitchen. My inner Beavis laughed out loud.

This was supposed to be an “easy, colorful July 4 recipe.” That’s what I’d jotted on our editorial list of stories for the week, anyway. Not quite as simple as the patriotic berry trifle I made for this column a few years ago (heck, you don’t even need an oven for that one), but it is close.

To be fair, the cake part of the Food Network’s Fireworks Bundt Cake was, in fact, cake. As in easy. Fluffy and fortified with sour cream and buttermilk, it stuck in the pan just a little here and there, but these small imperfections didn’t worry me.

Cute, edible props are a win for holiday recipes no matter what, but they can be great for camouflaging imperfections, too. (Amy Drew Thompson/Orlando Sentinel)
Cute, edible props are a win for holiday recipes no matter what, but they can be great for camouflaging imperfections, too. (Amy Drew Thompson/Orlando Sentinel)

Because I had fireworks in the form of some gorgeous rock candy props. I had red, white and blue sprinkles. I even had a few nice strawberries I’d forbidden anyone from eating as a standby garnish. A nice opaque glaze would provide a smooth, white draping blanket that would make all these American colors pop. I was counting on it.

What I wasn’t counting on was a cavernous bundt hole. Or a glaze so ghostly it’d be better suited for my Halloween column (where things don’t always go as planned, either).

I’ve seen the food stylist hacks. Dish-soap bubbles on coffee to make it look rich with creamy foam. Lipstick on strawberries too white near the stems. Dyed mashed potatoes as a stand-in for ice cream so you can shoot without worry of melting. It’s all brilliant. But rather than busting out the Elmer’s glue for a flawless, fool-you glaze, I’m doing what I always do: Telling you what really happened.

Like when most of my pumpkin cheesecake bars hit the floor before their close-up.

My dog, simultaneously judging me while hoping he can have some. If you need the glass, too, you could always make taking one a part of the fun! (Amy Drew Thompson/Orlando Sentinel)
My dog simultaneously judging me while hoping he can have some. If you need the glass, too, you could always make taking one a part of the fun! (Amy Drew Thompson/Orlando Sentinel)

I don’t know what went wrong with the glaze, to be honest. The cake had cooled overnight and I was careful to follow the directions, but even so, I must have added a smidge too much water.

The wide crater? There was really no illusion-free fix. At their intact length, the rock candy angles were all wrong. Thirty degrees at best, their sticks choked the space quickly, preventing that pretty, bouquet-like presentation in the Food Network image from coming together. Even at different lengths, there was no suitable arrangement. Not without a votive holder, which is what I eventually used, in combination with placements of shorter sticks between glass and cake, to achieve my facsimile.

Not quite as pathetic as something from “Nailed It!” but decent. And, you know, sometimes — even with recipes way out of my league like Christina Tosi’s confetti cake — I do pretty OK.

I am neither a pro baker nor a food photographer. I am exactly who this recipe is for. And though it probably doesn’t need pointing out, you could make this design idea even easier by replicating the look with a store-bought cake mix if you’re really pressed for time. For holidays, especially when you’re hosting or attending a July 4 gathering at the last minute, it’s just nice to have something festive to set on the table or hand your host when you arrive.

And it doesn’t suck to have a story that goes with it, especially if the cake isn’t everything it could be.

Want to reach out? Find me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @amydroo or on the OSFoodie Instagram account @orlando.foodie. Email: amthompson@orlandosentinel.com. For more foodie fun, join the Let’s Eat, Orlando Facebook group.

Ghostly glaze or not, it's still cute. (Amy Drew Thompson/Orlando Sentinel)
Ghostly glaze or not, it’s still cute. (Amy Drew Thompson/Orlando Sentinel)

Fireworks Bundt Cake

Recipe courtesy Food Network (foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/fireworks-bundt-cake-3762601)

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

For the glaze:

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Red, white and blue nonpareils, for topping
  • Red, white and blue rock candy sticks, for decorating

Directions

  1. Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 10- to 12-cup bundt pan, making sure to get in all the crevices; dust with flour and tap out the excess. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
  2. Beat the butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then beat in the sour cream and vanilla. (The batter may look curdled.) Reduce the mixer speed to medium low and add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk; beat until combined.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool 15 minutes in the pan; loosen the edge of the cake with a knife and invert onto the rack to cool completely.
  4. Make the glaze: Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and 1 tablespoon water in a bowl; add a splash more water if the glaze is too thick. Spoon over the cake, letting it drip down the sides. Decorate with nonpareils. Let stand until set, 5 to 10 minutes. Put rock candy sticks in the center of the cake.


Source: Berkshire mont

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply