“IN THE CHERRY BLOSSOM’S SHADE THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A STRANGER.” Kobayashi Issa.
Well it is cherry blossom season here again in the nation’s capital! And while the Cherry Blossom Festival is officially underway, it certainly doesn’t feel like spring here yet. The highest temperature today is a breezy 53° and all I want to do is drink hot chocolate! But this is my first time participating in Bundt a Month. This group, founded by Anuradha of Baker Street and Lora of Cake Duchess, is made up of some amazing and creative bundt bakers. And when it was announced that cherry would be the theme, I felt like I had to represent!
I chose to bake a coconut based cake studded with sweet Oregon cherries and semi sweet chocolate chips. Top it off with a drizzle of chocolate cherry ganache and a sprinkling of coconut (tinted the color of cherry blossoms), and I feel like I am on a float in the middle of the parade!
I think I mention in so many of my posts, how much I love thrift store shopping. I find the most eclectic pieces to use in my food styling and photography. A couple of years ago, I happened to find a few odd pieces of china. The pattern is called “cherry blossom”. So I snagged the couple of plates and bowls they had. In a blogging community thread, someone had asked if anyone actually uses the “props” they feature in their photography. I do! I love setting a table with mismatched pieces. And eating my cheerios out of a pretty china bowl just sets my day off right!
Only 2 plates and 5 bowls. But I don’t think I paid more than $5 bucks for the lot!
But back to the cake! I find I am collecting bundt pans as shamelessly as I collect cupcake papers, cake stands and tea cups. And don’t even get me started on cookbooks. It’s an obsession, I tell ya! But here is the cake, naked, right out of the pan.
Let’s get baking . . . . .
Yields: 1 bundt cake
Level of Difficulty: Easy
COCONUT CHERRY CHIP BUNDT:
- 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 1/2 sticks of butter, softened
- 1 3/4 cups of sugar
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of coconut extract
- 3/4 cup of coconut milk
- 1/2 cup of whole milk
- 1 cup of chopped cherries
- 1/2 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips
Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F. Generously spray your bundt pan with baking spray (I used Pam for baking; otherwise grease and flour your pan, tapping out the excess flour).
Isn’t half the fun of making a bundt cake choosing what shape pan to use?!
I always start by combining my dry ingredients together. So in a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set the bowl aside. Now for the wet ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, whole milk, vanilla and coconut extracts; and set this bowl aside.
Slip the paddle attachment onto your electric mixer, and while on low, beat the butter until it is creamy. Continue beating on low, while you slowly add the sugar. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Then add your room temperature eggs, one at a time, and continue to mix until the last egg has been incorporated.
Now put everything together, beginning and ending with the flour. In 3 additions, add 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by 1/2 of the milk mixture, then 1/3 of the flour mixture, the rest of the milk mixture and then the remainder of the flour. Last of all, fold in the cherries and the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the bundt pan. It should be about 3/4 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Let the cake cool completely before inverting it onto your cake plate or stand.
The thing I love about bundt cakes is that they are usually pretty awesome all on their own. But how about some fudgey ganache?
I generally follow King Arthur’s Flour’s guideline for determining the thickness of the GANACHE I want to make. Here, I wanted a pretty thick ganache that would hold on to a few flakes of coconut that I tossed around in a bit of pink gel color.
CHOCOLATE CHERRY GANACHE:
- 1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup of heavy cream
- 1 Tablespoon of Kirsch liqueur (or juice from the cherries for non alcoholic cherry flavor)
- 1 Tablespoon of butter
- a pinch of salt
Place your chocolate chips into a glass bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the cream just to a boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate chips and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Then stir the cream and chocolate until it is smooth. Add the Kirsch or cherry juice, the butter and a pinch of salt. Stir this again until very smooth. It will thicken as it sits and cools. When it is at your desired consistency, pour over the top and sides of your cake. Sprinkle the top with coconut.
Slice and serve!
Wanting more cherry bundt love? Here are more recipes from my fellow Bundt a Month bakers:
Here’s how you can be a part of Bundt-a-Month:
Simple rule: Use cherries – and bake us a Bundt for March
Post it before April 30, 2013
Use the #BundtaMonth hashtag in your title. (For ex: title could read – #BundtaMonth: Cherry Bundt)
Add your entry to the Linky tool below
Link back to our announcement posts
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