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Friday, December 22, 2017

MINI EGGNOG BUNDT CAKES

I just bought myself a mini bundt cake pan and decided to try these for the holidays.  Of course, I put out some of my homebaked cookies, but since everyone gets their own personal cookie tin full of cookies, it's fun to try something new!
The recipe I used indicated it would make 8 bundt cakes.....yeah, no.  It made 16!  I put several in the freezer.   Oh, and see those little holly decorations.  I ran all over town trying to find some pre-made.  After the 5th store, I bought myself some green fondant and made my own, using the cinnamon decorations I already had in my pantry for the centers.  I know a bit neurotic, but I couldn't let go of the idea once I had it.

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temp
1 cup eggnog
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the salted caramel icing:
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup heavy cream
¼ tsp. sea salt, plus more for topping
3/4 - 1 cup powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS:

Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.  Butter and flour a mini bundt pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.

Using a stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy, about 30 seconds.  Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.

Combine the eggnog and vanilla in a measuring cup.

Add the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture in four additions, alternating with the eggnog, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.

*Spoon the butter into the bundt cups, filling about 3/4 of the way full.   Bake 20-25 minutes or until the cake is golden brown, springs back when lightly touched and the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan.  Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes, invert the pan onto a cooling rack.  

*this part is critical....my first batch overflowed.  It didn't mess up my oven but the batter came up and over the individual forms.  The cakes still came out of the pan okay, but I literally had to trim around the base of the cakes and open up the hole at the bottom.  On the second batch, I filled them closer to half full and they worked beautifully.

For the icing:
Combine butter, brown sugar and heavy cream (I used half and half since I find it hard to find heavy cream) in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Remove from the heat and transfer to the bowl.  Let cool slightly.  Add the salt and beat for 1-2 minutes.  Add 3/4 cup powdered sugar and beat for 2-3 minutes.  Add additional to reach the consistency you prefer.  I stuck with 3/4 cup and put it in the fridge for a few minutes and it worked great.    Spoon over each cake and sprinkle with additional sea salt.  

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