Raspberry, Almond, Star Anise and Brown Butter Mini Bundt Cakes
Mini bundt cakes are the perfect size for an indulgent treat, (if you can even stop at one) and have the bonus of looking stunning on any cake stand.
So ever since I found my Silkomart bundt cake mould, I started using it for all sorts of cake recipes - from tea cakes, almond friands to flourless cakes, anything that would fit really, has passed through my mini bundt tin over the last few months.
Some rise more than others leading to a bulge on the bottom when you flip them out of your bundt tin, but I find them the more adorable like that. You may disagree, that’s fine by me.
These raspberry, almond, star anise mini bundt cakes are truly marvellous and may defeat the whole purpose of making them in mini sizes at all because you (and anyone else present) will definitely want to reach for the second little cake they can get their hands on.
This happened at a couple of occasions recently. When I bring cake somewhere, you'll likely find me hovering by the cake stand, as I watch everyone from the other side of the table. I can literally hear what people are thinking - I never miss those quick glances at the pretty little cakes, and I know how they are totally pretending to concentrate on the conversation taking place because truth is that their hearts are utterly focused on the perfectly iced, pink-capped cakes.
Proof I find not long later when they reach over and take a bite out of them bundt cakes - cue eyes rolling and lips smacking.
The recipe for these mini bundt cakes are actually from Ottolenghi’s SWEET book, which I adore, and whilst he makes them in friand tins, I found that they work just the same in my mini bundt moulds by reducing the cooking time by a couple of minutes. The surfaces come out with the perfectly chewy crunch which I love about friands, and inside they are fluffy and fragrant from the dash of ground star anise that combines perfectly with the deep, nutty flavour of browned butter.
Almond flour seems like the perfect base for bringing all these flavours together, and the slight acidity fruitiness from raspberries balances everything out. It’s heavenly.
A few notes:
The recipe is for 12 in small muffin tins or bundt tins, but be aware that bundt tins tend to come in all different sizes so you may get more or less depending on that. Just be sure to fill the batter up to 2/3 of each hole, which also leaves enough space for nudging in the raspberries after.
Ottolenghi used blackberries, I used raspberries, you can also use blueberries if you like. Just avoid strawberries because they are too watery and will affect the baking.
It looks like there are many steps, but these mini bundt cakes are actually fairly easy to make. You don’t need a mixer, just a hand whisk and a silicon spatula or wooden spoon to mix it altogether.
As always, make sure you read the entire recipe a couple of times before beginning - and make it a habit for any kind of baking recipe!
MINI BUNDT CAKES WITH RASPBERRY, ALMOND, STAR ANISE AND BROWN BUTTER
Makes 12 in muffin pan or mini bundt pan
From Ottolenghi's SWEET
180 g butter, plus extra for pans
60 g flour
200 g icing sugar
120 g ground almonds
1 1/2 tsp ground star anise (3 whole star anise, ground and passed through fine mesh)
1/4 tsp salt
150 g egg whites (4 eggs)
grated orange zest
60 g berries
1/2 tbs water
1 tsp lemon juice
200 g icing sugar
1. Butter the pans and set aside. Turn oven on 200C (with fan).
2. First, make the browned butter: place butter in a small saucepan on medium heat. Melt the butter, stirring occasionally, and leave the butter on a low simmer until the butter starts creating sediment and turns a golden brown. This may take 5-10 minutes depending on your pan. Take it off the heat and wait about 5 minutes to cool slightly, then pass through a cheesecloth or very fine mesh.
3. As the butter is cooling, start on your batter: in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, icing sugar, almonds, anice, salt.
4. In a smaller bowl, whisk the egg whites with a fork for 30 seconds, just to break them up a bit.
5. Add egg whites and orange zest to the dry mix and stir well with a spatula or wooden spoon to combine.
6. Pour in the butter, and stir well to combine, making sure there are no lumps in the flour.
7. Fill in the muffin or bundt tins to about 2/3 full. If using a muffin tin, place two whole raspberries in each of the holes, if using bundt tins cut the raspberries in half before placing them in each bunt. Carefully push the raspberries into the batter so that they are mostly covered by the batter.
8. Bake for 10 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 180C and bake for a further 8 minutes. The different temperature helps with the crunch on the outside.
9. Let the cakes cool in their tins.
For the icing
1. Mix the berries with the water and lemon juice. Mash with a fork, then strain it through a fine sieve to get the juice without the seeds.
2. In a medium bowl, add the juice and icing sugar and mix it with a fork. It might seem like there's not enough liquid at first, but it should soon come together. If you are looking for a dense finish for icing like mine that won't drip to the bottom, you want the texture to be so that the icing barely falls from your fork. Add more sugar for this. A looser icing is still beautiful, which you can achieve by adding more liquid. Add only a couple of drops at a time.
3. Carefully dip a fork into the icing and nudge it onto the mini bundt cakes, going around the top. Gently guide the drips if you have a dense icing, but otherwise they should dribble down themselves if the icing is loose enough.