Some time ago, shortly after I had a fit of binge buying in the cake pan category, I saw some charming little cakes pictured on Seven Spoons. The miniature applesauce cakes sounded delicious, and I was smitten with the shapes-like tiny plain tube cakes. I had seen sets of bitty bundt pans before, but I prefered the plain shape. I didn't find them anywhere, though, and this was probably a good thing, though at the time I didn't really think so. My finances needed a rest period, and I already had several new pans. Last weekend, strolling around the discounter, TJ Maxx, I spotted this Nordicware pan, on clearance-the only one among the more ordinary pans. So much for the rest for my finances, but hey, it was a bargain, right?
As my friends were coming to dinner-4 of them, so we would be five, I thought I'd make us individual babycakes in my new pans. This recipe is a jumble of two others- a Maida Heatter recipe for Texan Orange Cake and a Rose Levy Berenbaum recipe for Grand Marnier Cake, with a chocolate glaze. (My ability to refrain from my favorite chocolate/orange combo is limited as you can see. What could I do, one of my guests is allergic to almonds, which can be found in virtually all of my other cakes?) It also includes a substitution of my own, buttermilk, instead of yogurt- because I didn't like the look of my superannuated yogurt.
When I was turning over ideas after I got this pan, it was difficult to calculate, with most full sized cake recipes, how many babycakes a recipe might make. I was happy to discover, and you may like to know, that the following recipe makes exactly six, or one full Nordicware-type babycake pan. This is convenient, because it can be a bit tricky if your recipe does not come out even. If not, you must fill the empty bits with water to insure even baking. The treatment of the raisins is from the MH recipe, and seems particularly well suited to the small cakes, where whole raisins might feel disproportionate. It might also work for folks who ordinarily dislike raisins-especially those who -if you will excuse me-go in for "booger" comparisons.
To make this you will need:
golden raisins 3/4 cup
all purpose flour 2 1/2 cups
baking soda one tsp
butter, unsalted- room temperature, 1 stick (1/4 lb)
Grand Marnier 1 tbsp
light brown or "brownulated" sugar 2 cups
buttermilk 1 cup
finely grated orange rind of 2 oranges
bittersweet chocolate 6 oz chopped
cream 3/4 cup
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour a mini tube cake pan, of the sort that has 6 cakes on one connected sheet.
Chop raisins. Put them in a little bowl, and toss them with a few tablespoons of the flour, making sure all the raisin bits are coated.
Mix the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium sized bowl with a whisk, thoroughly.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the sugar, butter and G.M.. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. With the mixer on low, add alternately the flour mixture and the buttermilk, in thirds. Stop occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl with a wooden spoon. Once all is blended, stir/fold in the raisins and the rind. Divide evenly among the 6 cake forms, and smooth tops with the back of the spoon. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the cakes spring back when touched lightly.
Wait 5 minutes. Invert pan on cooling rack. Leave cakes upside down for a nice smooth top.
While you are waiting for the cakes to cool, make the glaze. Melt the chocolate and cream together in the microwave or on top of a double boiler. When cakes are cool, pour glaze over. Let glaze set up before you try to wrap or store the cakes. They will probably all be eaten right away anyhow. You could also do these as traditional cupcakes, in which case, I think they would perhaps do better with a ganache than the glaze.
Notice a wee glitch? Three peeled oranges left over. Well, I ate 'em. Waste not want not, and all that. Two one day, and one the next.