Thursday, February 25, 2016

Bourbon Blood Orange Mini Bundts - Gluten-Free (and regular, too)

It's not often that I bake, I don't really have much of a sweet tooth. Well, that and the gluten free stuff makes it more trouble than its worth...most of the time. Occasionally, I do get a craving that just won't stop. Usually chocolate is the culprit, but this time it was blood orange. 

Gluten free baking can be tricky, unless you start with a mix. Why reinvent the wheel and the delicate balance of just the right amount of ingredients when a good mix starts it off just right? If you're gluten free and haven't picked up a copy of The Cake  Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten-Free by Anne Byrn, DO IT NOW!!!!! I usually use Anne's recipes as a base for what I want to make and create from there. As I did this time.

Tart, sweet, richly decadent with demerara sugar, bourbon and sliced blood oranges that look like jewels and taste like candied oranges these cakes are simple to make. Even though I used a yellow cake base this time, I'm sure a deep, dark chocolate batter would be fantastic. Who doesn't like luscious chocolate and orange together?!

Depending on which variety of blood orange is in your market (I like Whole Foods for blood oranges), the season is either smack dab in the middle (Tarocco variety) or at the tail end (Moro variety). It's not always easy to find them, so when you spot a display of blood oranges, buy them. And make these!

Bourbon Blood Orange Mini Bundts

Makes 8 mini bundt cakes or large cupcakes

(These instructions use a gluten-free yellow cake mix which makes just one layer. If you use a regular cake mix which makes 2 layers, double all the ingredients except for the cake mix itself. It should make approximately 16 cakes instead of 8.) 

Sugar Mixture for bottoms of cakes:

  • 5 T butter
  • 3/4 C Demerara sugar
  • 2 T bourbon (I used Woodford Reserve)
  • 1 T Woodford Reserve Sassafras & Sorghum Bitters (or Angostura)
In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Then stir in the demerara sugar until everything is wet and well combined. Stir in bourbon and bitters and set aside.

  • 2-3 large blood oranges (if you can't find blood oranges, use navel oranges...they won't give quite as dramatic a look, but will be delicious nontheless) - cut 1 in half across the equator of the orange, then in half the other way. Cut very thin slices across the grain. Juice the second orange, reserving 1/4 C of juice. Set aside. (The extra orange is just in case you need more orange slices.)
  • 1 yellow gluten-free cake mix (15 oz) (I used Betty Crocker)
  • 1/2 a box of instant vanilla pudding (1/4 C)
  • 1/2 C sour cream or Greek yogurt (I used half of each)
  • 1 stick (1/2 C) melted butter
  • 1 t finely grated orange zest (blood orange)
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 T bourbon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a mixer bowl with an electric mixer, add the cake mix, 1/4 C instant vanilla pudding, 1/2 C sour cream or Greek yogurt (or half of each like I did), orange juice, orange zest, vanilla and bourbon. Mix on low until just incorporated, scrape down sides and mix again at medium for about 2 minutes. Batter will be thick.

Spray the mini bundt pans  (or large size muffin tins) with Pam. Divide the sugar mixture evenly among the tins, then arrange the orange slices around the bottoms. When all the bottoms are covered, evenly spoon the cake batter into the mini bundt pans or tins.

Bake for 23-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cakes.

Remove from oven. Take a rimmed cookie sheet and cover it with parchment paper. Turn them upside down over the mini bundt cakes and carefully flip the sheet over. Let them sit for a minute, then gently lift the edge of the mini bundt pan up. The cakes should come out easily.

You notice I used Woodford Reserve bourbon. Why? Because Kimber just won the Pittsburgh Woodford Reserve Manhattan Experience! Now she moves on to a fun and informative few days in Kentucky and the Woodford Reserve Distillery where she and the other regional champions will find out which six go on to compete in NYC for the national championship. Exciting!

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