The Buttermilk Bundt cake is done and cooling, and I have a few tricks to share. Other than the tricks of middling food photography and an inability to bring he Tumblr app to heel vis a vis photo placement (text, photo, text, photo, text! Why is that hard? Dag).
I am devoted to mise en place, especially for baking. That’s not my trick, clearly, but I rely on it as I become a better baker. Also, that seltzer water was mine, it’s not for the cake. Nota bene. Also also, I didn’t have vegetable shortening so I just subbed in butter and hoped for the best.
But! There’s a hint to a trick in that photo. This cake called for juice of a lemon (3 TB), but says nothing about the zest. Buttermilk and lemon are pretty good friends, though, and I have Certain Needs, so what I did was to take the zest and rub it into the sugar intended for use in the cake. It smells like a lemon drop and I definitely picked this up from another lemon cake recipe. It really sings.
Not a trick but a source: Penzey’s for yer double strength vanilla. Picky Robin is picky.
Trick not pictured: crack all the eggs into a coffee mug so you can pour them in for the one-at-a-time addition required. Each yolk carries enough white in with it to make this work, and it’s so much easier than cracking eggs over the bowl. Which I’m pretty notoriously bad at.
Now a real trick, from a spice cake recipe. Backstory first: it’s my firm belief that there is only one suitable way to prep a baking pan. Generous butter, dusted with flour, tapped around evenly, excess dumped out. Baking spray is an abomination and silicon bakeware is a fiction. I have strong feelings. Anyway, for some Bundt cakes, I like to butter and then *sugar* the pan! with big rough crystals of turbinado sugar. It makes a glittery, sweet, even caramelized crackle on a cake that might otherwise look plain. Especially if one doesn’t have enough powdered sugar in the house, ahem-hem, to make a glaze. Ahem.
So that’s what I did. Recipe by the book, mostly, but for two tricks with the sugar. It baked to done (clean skewer) in ten minutes shorter than listed. I’ma go turn it out on a rack and cut it open before it is cooled, because I am very impatient and it smells amazing.