It is my turn to host!
Almost three years ago I had no idea what a food blog was, much less that there were ladies and gentlemen all across the world baking and writing about such things, and sharing and growing with each other over recipes. I'm not a chef or a great baker, but I do love to cook for my family so I decided to join in. Since we are just two days past Mother's Day, I want to thank my sweet mother (who passed away three years ago) for sharing her love of cooking with me.
My first Dorie recipe was a fruit galette. I remember still how delicious it was. I even remember the first comment I received on my blog. It was like an award to me! I still love reading all your comments, so thank you to those of you who regularly stop by to leave encouragement and stop for a second to say hello.
Now about Dorie. I love the way Dorie explains her recipes step by step. While some of the recipes in her book "appear" complicated, I think any novice could follow along and easily manage most of them. I have to say thank you to Dorie Greenspan for enriching my life with these wonderful recipes! My husband thanks her too. I have learned so much being in this group not only about baking, but also about online friendships.
Also, it is a great book to gift to a friend or family member. Baking From My Home to Yours - Dorie Greenspan.
Love bundt cake and love brown sugar so my pick was a no-brainer. Thank all of you in the group for baking along with me this week and I hope you enjoyed the cake. You can go to TuesdayswithDorie.wordpress.com to see what variations on this cake the other bakers used. I made this the first time several months ago and used pears, walnuts, and craisens. This time around I used toasted almonds, almond flavoring, pears and the craisens (instead of prunes).
I think it is a very versatile cake and would accommodate ingredient change easily. It would be delicious for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. Or, even a bedtime snack!
A Little Something… Sweet and she chose Maple Cornmeal Biscuits. I cannot wait to try those.
Brown Sugar Bundt Cake
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. ground hazelnuts or walnuts (or 1/4 c. more all-purpose flour)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 c. (packed) light brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. pure almond extract (only if you're using the ground nuts)
1 c. buttermilk, at room temperature
2 medium pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 c. moist, plump prunes, snipped into 1/4-inch pieces, or 1/2 c. moist, plump raisins (dark or golden)
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350º F. Butter a 9- to 10-inch (12 cup) Bundt pan, dust the inside with flour and tap out the excess. If your pan is not nonstick, dust the interior of the pan with flour, then tap out the excess. (If you've got a silicone Bundt pan, there's no need to butter or flour it.) Don't place the pan on a baking sheet - you want the oven's heat to circulate through the Bundt's inner tube.
Whisk together the flour, nuts, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and the almond extract, if you're using it. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately - add the flour in 3 additions and the buttermilk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients). Mix only until the ingredients are incorporated and scrape down the bowl as needed. With a rubber spatula, stir in the pears and prunes. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top with the spatula.
Bake for 60 to 65 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted deep into the center of the cake comes out clean. (If the cake looks as if it's browning too fast, cover the top loosely with a foil tent.) Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before unmolding, then cool to room temperature on the rack.
When you are ready to serve, dust the top of the cake with confectioners' sugar.
*Dorie's Note 1: Dorie suggests, if you have the time, to wrap the cake well and leave it on the counter to ripen the flavors for a day before serving.