After our delicious Christmas dinner there was a little Grand Marnier left in the bottle and I really wanted to prolong the lovely Christmas feeling by baking something Christmassy. That's when I stumbled upon my bundt cake mold and started fantasizing about a bundt cake with Grand Marnier and macaroon flavours.
I happen to have a love-hate relationship with my bundt cake mold. I love it because of the beautiful shape and the festive look your bakes automatically get in it. I hate it because every bundt cake I’ve baked so far has not come out shaped as a beautiful party-cake but more or less shaped like a collapsed mountain ridge. But practice makes perfect so I decided to try again and to take every precautionary measure I could think of. First I buttered the mold well. After baking I let the cake cool completely inside the mold and in the end I took it out of the mold very carefully. Too bad. A collapsed mountain all over again. But I managed to cover it up cosmeticly with the rest of the cake that stayed inside the mold so it didn’t show. Maybe this is actually the reason behind the traditional exuberant decorating frostings of bundt cakes: you won’t be able to see the cracks after frosting!
The bundt cake has his roots in the Gugelhupf. The Gugelhupf is a hat-shaped cake that’s traditionally baked in the southern German speaking areas of Europe (Alsace, Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Austria, and Switzerland). ‘Gugel’ derives from the Middle High German word for hood and ‘hupf’ most likely derives from the Middle High German word for yeast (Hefe). In a more popular view ‘hupf’ derives from the current German word for jumping (hüpfen), because the risen cake seems to want to jump out of the mold. Many east European countries and regions have their own special Gugelhupf recipe. What most of these recipes have in common are a yeast dough with raisins, sweet cherries, almonds and liqueur.
A legend of the Three Wise Men explains the bundt cake form. After the Three Kings visited the little baby Jesus in Bethlehem they decided to visit the Alsace also – which of course makes total sense because after seeing Bethlehem you don’t want to miss out on the beauty of the Alsace. Out of gratitude about their very warm and gently welcome there they decided to bake a cake and used their turbans as baking molds. This bundt cake is therefore a perfect January bake for when you’re traveling from Bethlehem to the Alsace you definitely need at least a month. Right. Let’s bake!
Recipe Macaroon Bundt Cake with Orange Liqueur
Serves at least 15
10 almond flavoured macaroons
3 el Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur or if you want to bake an alcohol-free cake you can add orange syrup
200 gr soft butter or coconut oil
200 gr sugar
Pinch of salt
200 gr flour
2 tbsp orange marmalade (or apricot jam)
1. Preheat the oven at 160 degrees Celcius. Cut every macaroon into 4 pieces and sprinkle them with liqueur. Leave for about 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl mix the butter with the sugar and salt until it gets creamy (about 10 minutes). Add the eggs one at the time and mix until you have a smooth mixture.
3. Fold the flour into your egg mixture to get a batter. Fold in the marmalade and the macaroons with the liqueur.
4. Butter a bundt cake mold. Pour the batter in the mold and bake for about 75 minutes in the oven or until its golden brown and it wants to jump out of the mold. Let cool down for about 5 minutes and then try to get it out of the mold (in its entirety). Needless to say you will need all the patience and smoothness that you can manage!
Good luck and a lovely January with just that little bit of Christmas flavour to get out of the holidays for a whole year to come (auch!).