To ring in the New Year, my 9-year old and I baked all-day-long. Most of the appetizers were our usual favorites: Mom’s Baked Brie, Crescent-Wrapped Beef Franks. But, we both wanted to bake the Walnut Apricot Bundt Cake recipe we found in The New York Times. Apparently ring-shaped foods are symbolic of good luck– the rings symbolize the year’s coming full circle, and eternity.
Lucky for us, we had all of the ingredients on hand (even buttermilk) so we could immediately satisfy our baking desires. Interestingly enough, we realized the cake doesn’t use any sugar but rather honey. And, we decided to substitute regular unbleached white flour versus the whole wheat flour from the recipe.
We took turns dividing tackling the recipe.
My son always gets to crack the eggs and work with the liquids and I always get stuck handling the dry ingredients. From many kitchen fumbles I’ve learned that baking is an exact science. Every measurement needs to be near perfect or the end product could get completely altered. So, we were very methodical with each step.
My son works the mixer like a pro now. As we watched the dry ingredients combine with the liquid, we talked in a trance-like state, going over our self-prescribed resolutions for the New Year.
I love those stolen moments of time with him, and cherish every minute.
Forty-five minutes later, we had a beautiful Bundt cake ready New Year’s day; it’s sweet enough to be eaten for dessert but, we opted to devour it for breakfast.
Enjoy and Happy New Year.
Walnut Apricot Bundt Cake
from The New York Times, Wednesday, December 31, 2014
- 1/2 cup dried apricots
- boiling water
- 1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, melted
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 3/4 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup chopped walnuts
- Place apricots in a bowl and pour on boiling water to cover. Let steep 10 minutes. Drain apricots, reserve soaking water. Measure out 1/2 cup and set aside. Cut apricots into 1/4-inch pieces.
- While apricots steep, heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the Bundt pan. Sift together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda into a large bowl.
- In another large bowl, beat together eggs, buttermilk, reserved soaking water from the apricots, melted butter, honey and vanilla.
- Mix dry ingredients at low speed for 30 seconds. Then add liquids and beat for 1 minute until thoroughly combined. Stop machine, scrape bottom of bowl with spatula to bring up any unmixed flour and bat for another minute on low speed. The mixture should be thick and soupy. Stir in apricots and walnuts.
- Scrape batter into prepared Bundt pan and place in oven. Bake for 45 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees and bake for another 25-35 minutes until cake is nicely browned and toothpick comes out clean when inserted.
- Remove from oven and let stand 10-15 to cool.