Chestnut Praline Coffee Bundt Cake #BundtBakers

When I heard the December theme was “Bake Something Fit For The Holidays”,  I immediately started hearing Christmas music in my head.  First, foremost and my favorite ? Chestnuts Roasting by an Open Fire ? just kept running through my mind.  I felt inspired by the music to make a Bundt cake that might capture the Holiday Spirit, something that included chestnuts.

Mr. B was born and raised in Massachusettes and remembers his mother making chestnuts as a Christmas treat.  So, last year, I ordered some very special chestnuts from Italy to give him as a Christmas gift.  I also got him a small book of chestnut Recipes which gave instruction on how to prepare the chestnuts.  I even included a gadget to score the chestnuts before baking them.,  and then, on Christmas Eve I gave him my special gift with the hope of enjoying the beautiful chestnuts together.

Never having prepared or eaten them before, I was not aware of the procedures to actually store the chestnuts.  When he opened his gift, I could see that he also was ready to fill our home with the smell of roasting chestnuts and everything that comes with it.  That warm comfort we all remember when we were young, waiting for Christmas with great anticipation.  Then came the big moment of opening the expensive, imported chestnuts.  And that’s when I learned they should not have been tucked away in the original packing in a plastic bag.  They all had gone bad.  No nice aroma, no taste of the roasted nuts, no warm and cozy Christmas Spirit that we hoped to relive again would not be had that night.

So, now I reclaim the right to capture the Spirit lost long ago.  My home will smell great, the chestnuts will be baking and a sweet treat was finally going to come to fruition.  So, while my cake gets baked, I’m going to put the crackling flame in the fireplace {via You Tube} on my television and Nat King Cole will serenade me once again.

While I enjoy a lot of the new holiday music  I still prefer the old, tried and true standards.  In my minds eye, I can still see Nat King Cole’s performance,  sitting at a piano and giving me such tremendous pleasure to hear one of the all time greats.  And while just about everyone that sings has recorded their own rendition of it, no one else comes close to the original.  I really hope that everyone who takes the time to view this cake, will believe that the Christmas Spirit is still alive and doing well.

Thanks goes to our hostess for December,  Sneha Datar for choosing this wonderful theme and to all the other “behind the scenes” ladies who always make it come together.

Despite the name, this is NOT a coffee cake, but rather a cake that uses coffee as an  integral ingredient.  And you certainly can’t  go wrong  anytime Praline is on the menu.

We were baking until after 11:00 pm Monday night, which is far past my bedtime, so as soon as the cake was out of the oven, we just went off to bed.

The next morning, the cake was fused to the pan. Yikes!  If I blow it, it will all have been for naught.  I was in no mood for a trife.   Fortunately, this must have happened during my childhood when I was learning to bake, because I had a good idea of where to start.  We warmed the oven to 200º F .  Once warm we turned off the heat and popped the cake back in for about 15 minutes.  It took more than one re-visit to the oven and I was starting to get nervous.  Finally and grudgingly, the bunt pan released the prize.  There was a little damage but not much.  Whew!

Next was the Praline and chestnuts.  I’ve never tasted chestnuts before but Mr. B was quite familiar with their taste and texture.  We chopped up some chestnuts already baked and shelled {from the market} and I was anxious to taste them.  After all, my whole recipe revolved around chestnuts.  Mr. B tasted them first and gave me a thumbs up.  He said they are much better fresh out of the oven and still warm, but these were good.  I tried them and decided I liked both the taste and texture. Now anxious for the next step, the Praline Sauce.

Chestnut Praline Coffee Bundt Cake #BundtBakers
Print Recipe
This cake is moist, tender and not filled with air. The taste is sort of carmely and just sweet enough to be enjoyable. The cake could stand alone but once the Chestnut Praline topping takes it over the top. It’s definitely appropriate for a Christmas cake and will be well received by anyone that likes cake in general. But, it’s nice enough for Holiday imbibing.
Servings
10 ~ 12 Servings
Cook Time Passive Time
70 Minutes approximately 30 + Minutes
Servings
10 ~ 12 Servings
Cook Time Passive Time
70 Minutes approximately 30 + Minutes
Chestnut Praline Coffee Bundt Cake #BundtBakers
Print Recipe
This cake is moist, tender and not filled with air. The taste is sort of carmely and just sweet enough to be enjoyable. The cake could stand alone but once the Chestnut Praline topping takes it over the top. It’s definitely appropriate for a Christmas cake and will be well received by anyone that likes cake in general. But, it’s nice enough for Holiday imbibing.
Servings
10 ~ 12 Servings
Cook Time Passive Time
70 Minutes approximately 30 + Minutes
Servings
10 ~ 12 Servings
Cook Time Passive Time
70 Minutes approximately 30 + Minutes
Ingredients
Servings: Servings
Instructions
Brown Sugar and Coffee Cake
  1. Liberally apply cake release, either store bought or homemade, to a 12 Cup Bundt pan. The homemade version includes flour so there’s no need to dust the pan with additional flour. If you choose a spray cake release, spray well and dust with flour coating the sides, nooks and crannies. Tap out and discard excess flour.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350º F
  3. Place the flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and baking powder in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  4. Place the cooled coffee, cream, and vanilla bean paste in a small pitcher, stir well and set aside.
  5. In your stand mixer, cream the butter and Demerara sugar on medium~speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bottom and down the sides of the bowl mixing well after each addition.
  7. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix to combine.
  8. Add 1/2 of the coffee mixture, followed by another third of the flour mixture. Mix well.
  9. Add the remaining coffee mixture and the remaining flour mixture. Mix well.
  10. Transfer the batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Spread batter and tap your cake pan a few times on your counter top to help release any air bubbles Bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until your cake tester {toothpick} comes out clean with a few moist crumbs.
  11. Once baked and removed from the oven, cool for 30 minutes in the pan, then invert to your serving plate. Top with the Chestnut Praline Sauce.
Chestnut Praline Sauce
  1. Place the caster sugar and water in a medium~sized pot. Cook over medium~high heat until it reaches an amber color.
  2. Whisk in the cream and salt and continue to cook until it is smooth and silky and no lumps remain. This takes time, just be patient and keep whisking.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the Bourbom and roughly chopped chestnuts. The next time I bake this cake, and I will make it again, I’ll chop the chestnuts a bit smaller. A couple bursts in your food processor should do it. Also, I might try sweetened chestnuts.
  4. Pour Praline Sauce over your masterpiece, let set a few minutes, make sure the Praline Sauce has cooled a bit, to serve warm; or to room temperature if serving a little later. It holds up. We topped the cake with cooled Praline Sauce and left it covered overnight. It was still moist and fit for a king. Hint: dont start your Praline Sauce late at night as it does take some time to come to a “Sauce” consistency. I think a lovely cup of tea served along side would make this an unforgettable desert
Recipe Notes

This cake is so wonderful, I had to look up better descriptive words for it.  It is quite delicious, divine and exquisite.  Better descriptions might be used, but I enjoyed the final product far beyond what I’d hoped for.

Comments

Leave us a Message