A few months ago I had the pleasure of interviewing Warren Brown and chatting about his new cookbook. He is such an encouraging person with the sort of enthusiasm I don’t often find in many people. I was very excited when we talked about his newest book, the United Cakes of America: Recipes Celebrating Every State, which showcases each states specialty cake.
When it landed on my doorstep, I was thrilled beyond belief: after a few weeks of not really baking, I was ready to get into the kitchen and show my stuff. First off, I went through the book and looked at each recipe. Then I bookmarked the ones that I most wanted to try immediately, followed by making a list of ingredients I would need for the task.
As a pastry chef and avid baker, I do generally have most of the ingredients one would need lying around, but it’s good to make sure you have fresh milk, eggs and well, when you bake a lot you go through sugar pretty fast!
It was hard to choose where to start first, but I went for Bundt cake. I made minis using my angel food cake pans, and I added fresh cherries. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly. Not only is this cake delicious, it is good when used to bribe your friendly neighborhood bartender when he spots you a drink cause you're broke!
3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 sticks butter
2 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons sugar
Preheat oven to 335 F after making sure rack is in the center. Spray or brush either a 12 cup bundt pan or mini pans as you wish. I used 4 mini angel food cake pans and 3 loaf pans.
whisk dry ingredients together in one bowl, the wet ingredients in another bowl and set aside. cream butter and sugar for about 5 minutes then add eggs one at a time, scraping the sides down.
alternate the dry and wet ingredients, scrape down the sides and use your spatula to make sure the sides are combined in. Scoop into prepped pan(s) and bake approx. 50 minutes for large cake, 30 miniutes for minis. Cool 5 minutes, invert and cool.
Glaze or leave plain. Or drizzle with chocolate!
I added a 1/4 cup of cherries but next time I will add a 1/2 cup of cherries and some lime zest, just because that sounds good to me. I also think you could add lemon and anise for another delicious set of flavors!
Stayed tuned, because next up is....Whoopie Pies!