Well my monkey bread is so called because it was made by my two wee monkeys. What a fun recipe for the kids to do. This recipe is Hungarian Coffee Cake also known as Monkey Bread from Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman. It is made by shaping the dough into small balls, rolling in cinnamon sugar then baking in a Bundt tin with sultanas and nuts and a caramel sauce. Mmmmm. The idea is to get a cake which pulls apart easily into individual balls. The boys made this themselves with only a little supervision from me (and reading the recipe for them of course!) and they really enjoyed doing it. We all loved the cake when it was done - beautiful cinnamon and caramel taste with lovely texture of the soft fruit and crunchy nuts. It came out of the oven looking like a normal bundt cake but when you tried to pull it apart, it broke easily into lumps of cake more or less ball-shaped.
For the topping-
1/2 cup (4oz/ 113g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup light brown sugar
For the cake -
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
9 tbsp (4.5 oz) unsalted butter, chilled (I tell you I will be glad to get back to a recipe book using metric weights - seriously who in their right mind would measure out butter using tablespoons???)
3 cups plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup plus 2 tbsp buttermilk, plus more if necessary
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup raisins
1. Make the topping: Whisk together the melted butter and light brown sugar. Set aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a non-stick 12-cup Bundt pan and dust with flour.
3. Combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a zipper-top bag. Cut the butter into 1/4-inch dice. Place the butter in a small bowl and set it in the freezer while you gather together the rest of the cake ingredients.
4. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the chilled butter pieces and, with an electric mixer, mix on low speed until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stri in the buttermilk until the mixture just comes together, adding an extra tbsp or two if the mixture is too dry.
5. Use a small ice cream scoop or spoon to scoop up balls of dough and transfer them to the zipper-top bag. Shake the bag to coat the balls with cinnamon sugar.
6. Place the coated balls of dough in the prepared pan, sprinkling walnuts and raisins over them as you go. Pour the melted butter mixture over the cake. Bake until the cake is firm and well risen and the caramel is melted, 35 to 40 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan, on a wire rack, for 10 minutes. Invert onto a serving platter and serve immediately.
7. Store uneaten cake in a cake keeper or plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to a day.
So, we're coming to the end of baking from this book. I have made 11 recipes from it. I actually really like the book in that it has lots of good ideas. Some of the recipes haven't been just right but they are the sorts of recipes that it will be fun to tweak about a bit to make perfect and choose your own variations. On the other hand, some of the recipes I have loved as they stand. So far, my favourites have been the cranberry cake and the orange-almond-caramel upside down cake. There are so many more cakes I want to try from this book including apple and cheddar cheese cake, pear cake with sea-salt caramel sauce and red grape, polenta and olive oil cake. Baking with the cake slice bakers has made me try lots of new types of cakes and, of course, I have made Bundt cakes for the first time. I felt so grown up when I produced my cold-oven cream cheese pound cake as a beautiful Bundt cake. I have also stuck mainly to the American measurements and used cups but have scribbled notes all over the book on what a stick of butter weighs, what the conversions from fahrenheit to centigrade are and I really hope that our next book has metric weights in it. I just find weighing my ingredients to be so much more accurate and less messy. Just what I am used to, I suppose. Anyway, I have loved my first year as a cake slice baker and think that this was a really good choice of book for us to bake from. It also inspired my lovely glass-domed cake keeper which I absolutely love and seeing it filled with cake, sitting out in the kitchen makes me smile.
See the cake slice bakers blogroll here.