I have put the Nordic Ware Holiday Bundt Tree Pan on my Christmas list for three years in a row and still year after year nobody got it for me! I understand that people feel that giving me a cake tin would be a bit like giving a child a dictionary for Christmas but the truth is I really only dream of cake related goods.
Finally this year after realising that once again I was almost certain not to get the much coveted Christmas tree bunt pan I decided to buy it for myself. I knew exactly what recipe I was planning to use too, Nigella's Spruced-Up Vanilla Cake.
The cake is exactly as the tile suggests and is spruced-up not only in appearance but also in taste and texture. The cake is unbelievably rich, dense and eggy. It is lovely but I personally tend to prefer a lighter cake, my mum on the other hand would knock me sideways to get at this bad boy.
The day after making this cake I toasted a slice as suggested by Nigella and oh my God!!!!
Heaven is a slice of Spruced-Up Vanilla Cake toasted! I will now definitely be making another one of these to slice up and toast for Christmas breakfast, well you may as well start as you mean to go on.
Nigella's Spruced-Up Vanilla Cake
Recipe adapted from Nigella's Christmas
225g/8oz soft butter, plus extra for greasing
300g/10½oz caster sugar
6 large free-range eggs
350g/10½oz plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
250ml/9oz low-fat natural yoghurt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
1-2 tbsp icing sugar, to taste
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Place a baking tray into the oven to heat.
Grease a 2.5 litre/4 pint 8fl oz bundt tin (fir tree-shaped, if possible) very liberally with butter or spray with a non-stick baking spray such as Wilton Bake Non-Stick Spray.
Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl with an electric mixer or wooden spoon until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking each one in with a tablespoon of the flour. Carefully fold in the remaining flour using a large metal spoon, then fold in the yoghurt and vanilla extract until well combined.
.Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and spread until level. Knock the base of the tin against the counter a few times to knock out any air bubbles and place the tin on the preheated baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 45-60 minutes, until well risen and golden-brown. After 45 minutes, push a metal skewer into the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is cooked.
Remove the cake from the oven and place onto a wire rack, without removing it from the tin. Leave to cool for 15 minutes.
Gently pull away the edges of the cake from the tin with your fingers, then carefully turn out the cake onto the wire rack. Leave to cool completely.
Once cool, sieve the icing sugar over the cake and serve.
It is definitely beginning to look a lot like Christmas at my house.
x x x