This one time my mom convinced me it wasn't lame for her adult daughter to tag along to her office party full of old friends, beef tenderloin, and those wonderful butter-and-cracker-topped casseroles I only eat on rare occasions. But then she mentioned that the dessert count on the potluck list was low. She assured me that someone would "pick something up." Pick something up? Do you know what that says to me? Someone would run by the grocery store bakery (God bless the grocery store bakery) and get one of those so-so pies or, worse yet, a fruity thing covered in that fake whipped cream.
For the sake of the party, I had to intervene. I recalled a chocolate chip-laden bundt I had been eying, printed the recipe, ran to the store, and lo and behold, by bedtime there was a homemade cake ready to be toted across town the next night.
Bundt cakes always make me think of the poor plain, conservative mother in My Big Fat Greek Wedding who brings one to the ever-lively Greek family party. Her bundt was lame next to all that wonderful Greek meat. But this bundt would not have more acceptable, for it is topped with a buttery, sugary pecan coating. And nuts are in baklava. And baklava is Greek. The word for nut probably even comes from Greek. Thus, this nutty bundt might have caused less awkward interaction between the soon-to-be in-laws. It might or might have still been served with a flower in the middle or have required a spray of Windex.
Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake
Southern Living, May 2010
2/3 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 (12-oz.) package semisweet chocolate mini-morsels
Garnishes: whipped cream, cherries
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together first 3 ingredients in a small bowl, using a fork. Sprinkle in a greased and floured 12-cup Bundt pan.
2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
3. Beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer 3 to 5 minutes or until fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition, stopping to scrape bowl as needed. Beat in chocolate mini-morsels. (Mixture will be thick.) Spoon batter into prepared pan.
4. Bake at 350° for 50 to 55 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 1 hour). Garnish, if desired.