While writing this book, my family and I moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico. I had great fun exploring a new place and its cuisine. The inspiration for this recipe came late one night when sleep would not. In my mind, it seemed that rich pine nuts and spicy ground chiles would be a fantastic combination in a pound cake. I was right.
Serve this one for dessert after a Mexican or Tex-Mex meal. It also works well for a winter brunch. The lime-chili glaze provides a perfect contrast with the buttery cake and spicy filling. Fear not, I toned down the quantity of chiles. This will make your Scandinavian friends say, "More, please," not "Well, that's different!"
3/4 cup pine nuts
1-1/2 tablespoons ground red chilies
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon sugar
2-1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground red chilies
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare a 12-cup Bundt pan using butter and flour or Baker's Joy and set aside.
2. Put the pine nuts in a pie pan and toast in the oven for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Combine the toasted pine nuts, ground chilies, cinnamon, and sugar in a food processor. Pulse until the pine nuts are ground and the mixture is crumbly. Set aside.
3. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Set aside. Beat the butter for several seconds in a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar and beat until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat for 2 to 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add the flour mixture and beat until smooth. Add the sour cream and mix well. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Scatter half of the pine nut mixture over the batter, taking care to distribute it evenly. Stir the remaining pine nut mixture into the remaining batter and spread that in the pan.
4. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and invert on a wire rack or plate.
5. To prepare the glaze, place lemon juice, honey, sugar, and ground chilies in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and continue cooking until the mixture thickens, about 4 minutes.
6. Spoon or brush the cake with the glaze and serve slightly warm or at room temperature. If you choose to serve this cake pre-sliced, lightly dust the plate with a sprinkling of ground chilies. Place the cake on the plate and scatter a few pine nuts over the top.
Excerpted from Bundt Cake Bliss: Delicious Desserts from Midwest Kitchens by Susanna Short (Minnesota Historical Society Press; 1st edition, 2007). Copyright 2007 by Susanna Short.
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