After finally finishing watching Nigella Lawson’s new series, ‘Simply Nigella’, I was itching to make a bundt cake. Not just any bundt cake though, one that uses the really cool tin that Nigella uses for her trio of bundt cakes in her Christmas episode of ‘Simply Nigella’. I had seen this bundt tin around (sold exclusively at Williams Sonoma I think), and at $50 I initially thought maybe it was a little pricey to buy just because it looked cool. In the back of my mind however, I knew it was only a matter of time until I caved and purchased it. I just can’t help it when it comes to two things: Cake tins and cookbooks. I now have rather a few of both!
Then, I saw Williams Sonoma had a sale on their baking ware. Well, that was it. I caved and bought one of the bundt tins, plus a couple of mini bundt tin pans. Funnily enough, I had this conversation with one of my friends who also likes to bake, and she had also just caved and bought the bundt tin as well! This all culminated around the time Nigella was in Australia on her book tour, and both of us had gone to hear her speak at the Dymocks Literary Lunch (back in January this year).
I feel may we have been swept up in ‘Nigella fever’ so to speak, and thus Williams Sonoma did well out of both of us! I do doubt that either of us regret our inability to maintain our will power and not buy the cake tin, our cakes just look so pretty once they are baked in it!
For this particular bundt cake, I chose to adapt a recipe from Nigella’s book ‘Nigella Christmas’. The cake is flavoured only with vanilla and baked in a tin that, once dusted with icing sugar, looks like a cluster of snow capped mountains. I have added raspberries to my bundt, and made a rose syrup to drizzle over. I know you are probably thinking, ‘again with the rose?!’, but when you have been searching for edible flowers for as long as I have, once you find them, you buy them at every opportunity and adjust your baking plans accordingly! The cake would however, still be wonderful without the syrup if you didn’t feel like making it.
Ingredients for the Bundt Cake:
225g unsalted butter, softened
300g caster sugar
350g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
250ml plain fat-free yoghurt (I used Greek yoghurt)
3 tsp vanilla bean paste
200g raspberries (or loganberries), roughly chopped
icing sugar, for dusting
canola oil spray, for greasing
Ingredients for the Rose Syrup:
30g fresh rose petals
210g caster sugar
Start by making the rose syrup. Ensure the rose petals have been gently rinsed and dried. Combine the water and caster sugar in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Bring to the boil then allow to simmer for a few minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool until it is just warm.
Whilst the syrup is cooling, pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius, and grease a 2.5l capacity bundt tin with the canola oil spray, ensuring you get into the creases and corners. Place a large baking tray into the oven while it is preheating.
Once the syrup has cooled until it is just warm, add the rose petals. Try to submerge them as much as possible into the syrup. Leave to infuse.
In a large bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until they become light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time along with a tablespoon of flour, mixing well between each addition.
Once the eggs are well combined, add in the remaining flour, the bicarb soda, vanilla and yoghurt. Fold in all the ingredients until just combined. Add the raspberries and gently fold into the batter.
Evenly pour the batter into the prepared bundt tin, smoothing the top and gently tapping the tin onto a bench to ensure the batter has reached all the crevices of the tin. Place the bundt tin in the oven, sitting on top of the pre-heated baking tray. Bake for at least 45 minutes. Check the centre of the cake with a skewer to ensure the cake is baked through, leaving it in the oven for another 10-15 minutes if it is yet to cook through properly. Once the skewer comes out clean, the cake is ready.
Remove the cake from the oven, and allow to sit on a wire rack for about 15 minutes. Then carefully invert the cake onto a cooling rack to remove from the tin.
Allow the cake to cool completely before serving. Dust with icing sugar, and serve each slice with a drizzle of the Rose Syrup (and maybe some cream or ice cream!).
A note on the Rose Syrup: With the petals left in the rose syrup, it will only last a couple of days maximum. However, if you strain the syrup and remove the petals it will last at least a week in the fridge. To enhance the rose flavour once the petals have been removed, add a teaspoon of rosewater and mix.
Original recipe for the Bundt Cake can be found in ‘Nigella Christmas’ by Nigella Lawson (Chatto & Windus, 2008), p.198; or via Nigella’s website.
Original recipe for the Rose Syrup can be found on the blog Local is Lovely by Sophie Hansen.