(Also words that rhyme w/ bundt cake that I wish I had worked into the title somehow: pepper steak, milk snake, heartache, daybreak and disc break.)
Forgive your punch-drunk tired blogger over here- I was up with an inexplicably awake toddler almost all night. She wasn’t sick (though she had been earlier in the week, so not like I got great sleep stored up over the past few days either), but she’d had a nightmare and just couldn’t/wouldn’t go back to sleep. I finally just gave up and got her breakfast at 6am. I’m hella too old for that, lemme tell ya.
But! I’m now up and at them… and I have news!
Of course I forgot to get a picture of the plant before I picked them, but rest assured they looked like little orange Christmas balls. It’s a very cute plant, as well as a good producer.
2/3 cup calamondin puree (original called for 1/2 cup and 2 Tbsp)
1 package white cake mix
1 (1.5oz) package of orange jello (original called for 3oz package… messed that up when I was at the store)
1/3 cup milk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
(original called for lemon juice, I omitted it)
1/3 cup (original called for only 2 Tbsps)
1/3 cup orange juice (original called for 8 Tbsps, which is 1/2 cup so why not say that I wonder?)
1/3 cup raw sugar (original called for 2 cups powdered sugar)
(omitted the orange zest as I used so much puree here)
Oven to 350. Mix wet ingredients. Mix dry ingredients. Combine. Place in bundt pan and cook for 40 minutes.
First off, make the calamondin puree. This is the whole calamondin, flesh and peel, put through a food processor.
So the original recipe says she used about 40-50 “pieces” to make the puree… and I wasn’t clear on that, but thought it meant that she used that many calamondins. This… this was obviously wrong. I picked about 20 and had cut them all up before I realized that was going to make WAY more puree than I needed. Read your recipes thoroughly, you!
Another lesson to read those recipes thoroughly was about ingredients… and buying the right package of jello. The original called for a 3oz package, turns out that’s the big box- I got the small 1.4 oz. one.
And the jello almost sent this off the rails a different way too because I almost grabbed peach Jello since that was all that was stocked, in 3 different places, on the supermarket shelf. They didn’t have ANY orange Jello! At all! Nor any of the store brand either!
Thankfully the top shelf had Royal brand of gelatin, which I’d never heard of, but according to this way more interesting site than I expected it to be it’s been around since 1925 and was the biggest competitor to Jello, had a radio hour, and was endorsed by Howdy Doody. Something about Jellos branding I’ve never liked much, so I imma’ switchin’. (And they didn’t have a stupid peach option to almost get confused by, so another bonus there. Who the hell wants peach jello I ask you?)
Anyway, back to the cake- you add all wet ingredients together and mix separately, and then all dry ingredients together, and mix, and then you add the wet to the dry. When adding all the wet ingredients together (bunch of oil, eggs, milk, and citrus puree) I worried about the milk curdling… and it did seem to right when added, but all smoothed out by the time it was well mixed. The dry ingredients were just the gelatin and cake mix.
I added about a third of the wet ingredients to the dry, mixed thoroughly with a fork, and then added the rest of the wet ingredients. I then hit them with my hand mixer to finish mixing. Word on the street from my research is you want bundt cakes to have a firmer texture than regular cake so they stay together better during unmolding. I didn’t want to add too much air to the batter, so mixing was only what was required to fully blend.
I ended up using nonstick cooking spray with flour on the bundt pan before adding the batter…saw it in the baking aisle and decided super last minute to try it. I’d been really worried about getting the cake out of the pan, but it worked like a charm. (My aunt’s tip to use a thick walled bundt pan was also important here, I feel.) I banged the cake 4 times pretty dang hard on the counter to ensure there wouldn’t be any air bubbles on the top to mar the surface.
In it went into the 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.
While it was cooking I made the glaze, which was just some puree, sugar, and orange juice in a pot over medium heat for around 10 minutes. You still want it pretty watery, at least I did, so that it’d absorb into the cake.
Once the cake was done I put the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes and then carefully inverted onto a plate- came out in one piece with no sticking at all!
I strained and poured the glaze over the top (absorbed into the cake, so fast), and then topped with powdered sugar. We then absolutely devoured it.
With the rest of the puree and the solids I strained from the glaze I made a passable marmalade- but now I wish I’d left it to make another cake- because it’s looking to not make it 24 hours and I would have totally made another cake today. Live and learn.
I hope I’m not overselling it when I say its the best cake I’ve ever made. We have about 8 more fruit on the calamondin ripening now, and it will hopefully put out a spring flush as well. To make this recipe without calamondin’s (which don’t travel well due to their thin skin and so are seldom sold commercially) I’d use a mix of lemon and oranges as they are incredibly tart- almost lime like but with an orangey taste. Also- I really wondered what the gelatin would do to the cake consistency, but you don’t even get a hint of jello-feel in the cake texture.
And so- my bundt cake adventure went well. Add it to the list of things I’ll be doing for the next 40 years.
We had some freezing temps this week, and so plants have been moved into and out of the shed and house a few times, but this coming week will all be above freezing so they’re all back outside today. I’ve decided I don’t care if I get a key lime harvest this summer- so that tree is staying outside unless it’s legitimately freezing. I really need to prune it to make it more manageable because I’m not bringing a tree with a 5 foot canopy inside every time it gets below 40 degrees this year.
I got a crown on a back tooth a few weeks ago and SOMEONE REALLY SHOULD HAVE PREPARED ME FOR THAT! Holy cow was that traumatic and painful- not like getting a cavity filled at all- more like getting a tooth jackhammered down to a nub and then topped with an obviously fake one. And my tooth still hurts, 2 weeks later, but it’s much less than the live electrical wire pain it was the first few days. Hopefully the permanent crown I get next week will do the trick and get everything back to normal, as this current crown is just the temporary. And to think I had a period of time where I considered being a dentist.
Our neighborhood craft fair is coming up and the pashminas I got are not taking dye. At all. They SAID they were cotton and silk… but the dye doesn’t lie so they are probably acrylic. I’m now looking into painted fabric ideas because I have to figure something out pretty quickly here. There is just no way ice dying is going to be much of an option besides the 5 blue ones I have left over from the spring show. Will keep you posted!