Monday, September 12, 2011

Kernel Season's Popcorn Pack Winner + Root Beer Bundt Cake

It's been a rough couple of days for The Weekend Gourmet...I've been sick with some kind of horrible stomach virus. I'll spare you the gory specifics since this is a cooking blog...and I don't want to ruin your collective appetites. Suffice to say that Diet Sprite and saltines can be a gourmet meal when you haven't eaten for a day and a half!! Now for some good news...time to reveal the winner of my Kernel Season's Popcorn Gift Pack. Per the random number generator, the winner is #10:

Becky from Baking and Cooking, A Tale of Two Loves

I'll be in touch to get your shipping information so Kernel Season's can get your fun prize pack out to you ASAP!! I hope you'll make a batch of my S'mores Popcorn Snack Mix and let me know what you think. It's so simple to make and really delish...

Before I was hit with the plague, I whipped up a tasty bundt cake to take to a Texans football watching party last night. I LOVE old-school bundt cakes...because they're easily portable, which makes them excellent to share at parties and potlucks. Michael loves root beer, so that was the main reason I baked this chocolate-root beer cake. It features root beer in both the cake and the glaze, so the flavor shines through. If you're not a root beer lover, it's a subtle root beer flavor profile. Conversely? If you really love root beer, a teaspoon of root beer extract would provide an additional flavor boost.

You can also consider making a bundt cake made with mead for those who prefer something a little stronger than root beer. The difference between mead and beer is in the fermentation process. In other words, if the fermentation source is honey, it’s mead. In contrast, you have beer when it’s a grain or fruit fermentation. You must be sure of the alcohol content with a mead-centric bundt cake if you’re snacking with others.

Root Beer Bundt Cake
adapted from Food Network Magazine
Step 1:  Preheat oven to 350. Add 2 cups root beer, 1.5 ounces chocolate (I used one Hershey's Special Dark bar), 1 stick butter, and 3/4 cup cocoa powder to a medium saucepan over med-high heat. Heat until the butter melts and whisk well to combine. Add 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup packed brown sugar and stir to combine until the sugars dissolve. Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl and sit aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
  Step 2:  Add three eggs and whisk well to combine. Then add 2 cups flour, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. allspice, and 1 tsp. nutmeg. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet until combined. The batter will look a little bit lumpy, so don't panic. 
Step 3:  Pour the batter into a non-stick bundt pan that's been spritzed with cooking spray and floured. Bake for 55 minutes, turning the pan around halfway through the baking time.  When the cake comes out of the oven, poke holes in it with a toothpick and pour 1/4 cup of root beer on top. I found a spoon made it easy to evenly drizzle this small amount of root beer evenly over the cake. 
Step 4:  Let the cake cool for 20 minutes, then remove from the pan. If you're like me, you do a happy dance when the cake doesn't stick and releases correctly! While the cake cools, make the glaze. Combine 1/4 cup root beer, 1 tsp. vanilla, and 2.5 cups powdered sugar until a glaze forms. It'll be thinner than icing, but not watery. When the cake has cooled, spoon the glaze evenly over the cake. 

The cake is very's definitely a chocolate cake, but you can taste the root beer in the glaze -- and the allspice and nutmeg play off the root beer very nicely.
The cake is really yummy...the glaze seeps into the cake overnight, making it even more moist! If you love root beer, you're going to want to make this cake ASAP!! 

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