Life & Home
Home & Garden
Bonny Wolf's essay on the anniversary of the Bundt pan, "The Little Pan That Could," includes this recipe for her family's favorite cake.
1 (18.2-ounce) box white or yellow cake mix
1 (3.5-ounce) box pistachio instant pudding mix
1/2 cup orange juice
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup chocolate syrup
Confectioners' sugar (optional)
PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan (or 10-inch tube pan).
Combine cake mix, pudding mix, orange juice, 1/2 cup water, eggs, oil and almond extract in a mixing bowl. Beat with electric mixer at low speed until moist. Increase speed to medium and beat 3 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally, until well-blended.
POUR about two-thirds of the batter into the pan. Add the chocolate syrup to the remaining one-third of the batter. Mix well. Pour over the batter in the pan. Run a knife through the batter to marble it.
BAKE 1 hour. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Loosen cake with a blunt knife and turn onto a cake plate. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar if desired.
Talking With My Mouth Full: Crab Cakes, Bundt Cakes and Other Kitchen Stories
By Bonny Wolf. St. Martin's Press. 255 pages. Hardcover. $24.95.
ABOUT THE BOOK: The late, great Laurie Colwin wrote food essays that can still drive me to the kitchen. Tired, no appetite, no desire to cook -- it doesn't matter. A dose of Laurie Colwin can fix it.
Bonny Wolf's gentle essays matched with recipes remind me a little of Colwin. They're not earth-shaking or life-changing. Funny in a wry sort of way, they're gentle ruminations on food and life: finding her life while cleaning out her recipe collection, pondering why she still wears aprons, or contemplating all the foods on a stick at the Minnesota State Fair.
It may not drive you into the kitchen immediately, but it's a good book to keep beside your bed. So you'll get up ready to cook again the next morning.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A Washington, D.C., journalist, Wolf's commentaries run on National Public Radio's "Weekend Edition."
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