There are some things that are worth the wait, where if you exert some self-control, you’ll be rewarded tenfold.
This is the secret superpower of the humble bundt cake. It’s a dessert that’s perfect to enjoy for breakfast the next morning, again as an afternoon snack and so on, until the entire ring disappears in measured slivers.
Bundt cake can be a dramatic centerpiece for entertaining, its center piled high with freshly whipped cream, platter garnished with cascades of seasonal fruit dotted with sprigs of mint.
The lack of frosting and shabby-chic aesthetic make it a showstopper that even a beginner can master. But while bundt cake doesn’t require any extra flash, a thin coating of sweet glaze and a splash of brandy never hurt anybody.
Pears and brandy go together like chocolate and peanut butter. They’re wonderful on their own, but together they transform into a force of nature.
Keep at room temperature covered with a cake dome or tented with aluminum foil, and as the days go on, the flavors of this cake will meld to make each piece more enjoyable than the last. It won’t begin to stale for several days, but truthfully, the odds of being able to keep your hands off it that long aren’t very good.
- 1 cup white sugar, plus 3 tablespoons
- 2 cups shredded Bosc pears
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cardamom
- ½ teaspoon clove
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon brandy
- 4 eggs
- 1½ cups canola oil
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 10-inch bundt pan well with cooking spray or melted butter. Add 3 tablespoons sugar to pan. Rotate pan and shake gently to coat. Lightly tap out excess sugar.
Peel and grate pears. Use hands to squeeze juice from pears into bowl. Reserve pear juice for glaze.
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
In mixing bowl, toss shredded pears, 1 cup white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and brandy until well combined and sandy. Add eggsm and whisk thoroughly. Slowly add oil while continuing to mix. Add reserved dry ingredients, and mix into smooth batter.
Pour batter into prepared pan, Gently tap pan on counter to remove any air pockets. Bake in center of oven for about 50 minutes, or until wooden skewer inserted into cake comes out clean. Remove from oven onto cooling rack. Let sit for 10 minutes. Place platter or sheet pan over top of cake. Carefully invert platter and cake pan, then slowly lift pan from cake. Let cool completely. Serves 12.
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons reserved pear liquid
- 1 teaspoon brandy
Sift powdered sugar into bowl. Whisk in pear juice and brandy. Use additional pear juice as needed until thin glaze forms. Pour over cake, and allow to harden at room temperature before serving.
Domaine Zind-Humbrecht 2015 Hengst Grand Cru Gewurztraminer (Alsace); $80, 94 points. The honeyed ripe fruit flavors of this off-dry wine will match the sweetness of the cake and play well with the spices. The wine’s zesty acidity keeps all the sugar in check.