I love hardware stores; always have. I remember the one near my childhood home, where we would accompany my parents as they bought supplies for whatever project was on the go. I loved the smell of the timber yard, the clunky look of the huge nuts and bolts, the cavernous space of the shed itself.
Now that I have my own house, I have good to reason to go in there for my own bits and bobs. Last week I went along to buy some large plastic tubs for green waste collection. I walked out with two new red buckets for the laundry, a super-long funnel for filling petrol into the lawn mower, a pot of lemon thyme, and ... a bundt cake tin! Yes, a cake tin, with all those glorious pleats, for only $5. I didn't need a cake tin, but at that price, it would have been rude not to buy it.
So what to make in it? Bundts are big tins, and to make the most of all those details, I knew I'd need a recipe that was specifically big enough to fill it.
I consulted Belinda Jeffery's 'Collected recipes' which I have out (and is long overdue) from the library, and found lots of bundt cakes, and went with something fairly plain, a lemon butter cake (it originally had blueberries but I fobbed them off).
It worked perfectly - I was so excited when the cake popped cleanly out, revealing all its design details, I let out a little squeal.
The wonderful thing is I believe I can use this as a 'template' recipe for my large tin. The cake wasn't excessively lemony (I would add even more next time). I could make it into an orange cake, or a fruit-studded cake, folding thru berries or chopped apple or rhubarb, or plump sultanas; the cake had a pleasing density that would support those additions. I could swap out the lemon and add a swig of vanilla. Or spice. Or - you get the idea.
What a good idea I bought a cake tin at a hardware store!
Lemon butter bundt cake
Adapted from Beinda Jeffery's 'Collected recipes'.
- Preheat your oven to 160 and prep your bundt tin by greasing with melted butter (use a pastry brush to get into all the folds) then flouring it (add a spoonful of plain flour, shake it about a bit, then shake out the excess).
- Sift 3 cups of plain flour into a large mixing bowl with 1/2 tspn salt and 1/2 tspn bicarb of soda (that's right - there is no actual baking powder, but it does rise!).
- Next, get your food processor out and whizz up 3 eggs with 2 cups of sugar, then 250 grams of soft butter til combined (I know, big quantities here, but it's a big cake).
- In a separate bowl, mix together 1 cup of buttermilk with the zest of 2 lemons and 3 tbspns of lemon juice (see my comments above about making it even lemonier next time, or changing the flavour altogether).
- Now add this to your food processor and whizz it all up again. Stir this into the flour.
- Spoon the batter into your bundt tin and bake for 1 and 1/4 hours or until a skewer comes out clean and the cake starts to shrink away from the sides (you may need to cover the top with foil with such a long baking time; I did). Leave to cool for at least 15 minutes, then turn out with a confident thump and a triumphant squeal to reveal all the pretty details.
- Enjoy warm as is, or with a good dollop of sour cream and stewed fruit, and definitely a good cup of tea.