Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Surprise: A Bundt Cake Saved the Day!

You wouldn't think with all of my Bundt cake ranting that I would so easily change my mind, but this weekend I ended up doing everything I swore I wouldn't do and was so happy I did.

Friday afternoon I was still looking for some good recipe ideas for the party on Saturday. I had one or two ideas, but then a coworker made a suggestion. She said her mother's chocolate pistachio cake was one of her favorite cakes in the whole world and was really easy. I told her to send me the recipe and I'd take a look.

The Recipe:
Mix 1 box yellow cake mix with...
1 package instant pistachio pudding
1 cup orange juice
4 eggs
1/2 cup oil
(My version also included a cup of mini chocolate chips)
Pour half of the batter into a 9x13" greased and floured BUNDT PAN.
To the remaining batter add...
3/4 cup Hershey's syrup.
Pour the chocolate batter on top of the plain batter and swirl with a knife to marble.
Bake at 350 for an hour.
(My version was topped with royal icing flavored with amaretto)

Yes. I made a Bundt cake. The cake was not inadequate in size. It filled the pan nicely for the most part. It may have fallen a little short, but it wasn't bad. Maybe the key to a good Bundt cake is to use a cake mix?

It's funny though. I usually can't stand using mixes. I love the satisfaction I get when I do it all myself. I will admit that my ego likes it when people are impressed that I made something from scratch. I gave my ego a rest and despite the fact that the cake wasn't totally homemade, it was a big hit at the party.

The story doesn't end at the party though. I ended up throwing a list-minute dinner party last night. I had been trying to get together with my father for his birthday, which is in early October, but no one seems to be available in the next few weeks. I decided to just have Dad and Beth over for dinner last night.

This month's issue of Food and Wine is centered on Italy and I have been dying to try some of the recipes in it. I am hoping this will be a preview of a trip to Italy I want to take next year. I made a "Tour of Italy" menu.

Dinner began in Sardinia with a Watermelon and Arugula Salad.

We spent the rest of the meal partially in Sicily with Orechette with Pistachio Pesto, which is the best pesto I have ever eaten. It was just so delicious and rich tasting.

With the pasta we had Pollo Diavola, a recipe from a trattoria in Umbria. It was very simple and tasty.

Dessert was the last of the pistachio cake, served with a scoop of ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup.

Sometimes I need to stop fighting against simplicity and just make things that are easy and tasty. Not every meal or dessert has to be a show-stopper.


Sue said...

That DOES sound like a showstopper meal, though. I really hope you bought the pistachios shelled, 'cause that's a huge amount to do yourself.

That salad is really intriquing. I have to try it.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Yes, they were shelled. Thank goodness for Trader Joe's. They have the best prices on shelled pistachios.