It's Chardonnay week!
That's my sad attempt to make a connection between sexy wine cake and rich and flavorful vegetable lasagna, both of which I made this past weekend. And both of which are out of this world amazing.
I'll post the lasagna later this week, but first can I get a round of applause? I successfully made my first moist and delicious cake from scratch! I attribute my success to the some of the ingredients I used: cake flour, pudding, and wine (of course!).
But I'm not joking when I say this recipe blew my mind. It's a white Bundt cake that uses a half cup of chardonnay right in the mix, which gives the sweetness a little bite. Then, after you cook it, you pour a chardonnay glaze onto the pan and let it seep into the cake, infusing it with more flavor and creating a nice sheen on the outside. Yum!
The recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, 100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know by Cindi Leive. I've posted several recipes from there already (fried chicken, peppermint bark, chocolate and beer cupcakes with irish cream frosting), and I keep being pleasantly surprised by the recipes in her book. This cake in particular was called "Impress his family chardonnay cake," and when I brought it to Kevin's house for dinner I think I succeeded in impressing them. 🙂
You will need:
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature (plus more for buttering the pan)
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3.5 oz package regular or instant vanilla pudding mix
- 1/2 cup chardonnay (or another medium or full-bodied white wine, such as Chablis or Viognier)
- 1 cup whole milk, warmed in the microwave for 20 seconds
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups cake flour or all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
For the glaze:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 chardonnay
Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease and flour a Bundt pan or a 9-by-9-inch pan, shaking off excess flour. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, eggs, pudding mix, chardonnay, milk, and vanilla until well mixed. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. If it looks a little lumpy due to clumps of butter (like mine), that's ok. Don't over mix it trying to get it smooth.
Scrape the batter into the pan and bake for 50 minutes, or until the edges of the cake are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
While the cake is baking, make the glaze: in a medium saucepan, combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, or until it reduces down.
When the cake is done baking, pierce it several times with a skewer or carving fork. Immediately pour the hot glaze onto the pan and let stand for 15-20 minutes, or until the cake has absorbed the glaze.
Carefully turn over the Bundt pan onto a plate and tap the edges. The cake should glide out easily, assuming the glaze hasn't seeped onto the inside of the pan and glued the cake down, which is what happened to mine.
Despite half of the cake not coming out of the pan, this was the most successful cake I have ever made. I seem to have a lot of problems getting the right texture and moisture in my baked goods, but this turned out phenomenally. The flavor was bright and sweet, and like the beer and bailey's cupcakes, it has a very mature taste. Kevin's family devoured it before someone even brought forks to the table, ripping it apart with their hands and complimenting me on the consistency and flavor. I'd say it was a great success!
It also works great as a coffee cake, so if there are leftovers (which there might not be!) you can eat it for breakfast.
Although I consider any cake to be the perfect breakfast, honestly.