I am a huge fan of Lucky Peach, the literary food mag founded by Dave Chang and Peter Meehan, and am still upset it’s gone. Any time I’m in a bookstore I’ll literally stare at the food magazines and hope it’s there.
When they folded I back ordered all the issues and books I could find, and a friend donated some of the early issues she had, so I’m actually only missing issues #1, #2 and #19.
Mind you, for all those years reading and loving LP I barely cooked any recipes from the magazine (the website had a stellar lasagna I’m upset I didn’t jot down somewhere). They just seemed too… hard? But now that it’s gone and I can’t procrastinate by reading more LP’s, I’m slowly getting into the swing of things.
First up: Christina Tosi’s cherry cola Bundt cake, from the suburbs issue (#23). A recipe that I think it also a part of her new book, All About Cake. It’s lot easier than the long list of ingredients makes it sound. I kind of fucked up the glaze but since I’m not much of a baker to begin with, this cake turning out a moist treat was a score enough on its own.
Note that people who are into more wholesome foods might find this cake a bit off putting as there is nothing natural about cherry cola. Strangely the glaze tasted faintly of stroop susu. An Indonesian rose syrup I adore, so bonus!
Home made cherry puree
- 1/4 c+2 tbsp sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 water
- 450 gr fresh or frozen pitted cherries
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
To make the cherry puree, combine the sugar, salt and water in a bowl and microwave at full power for about half a minute. Once removed from the microwave stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Pour the sugar syrup into a blender, adding the cherries and lemon juice before blending until smooth. Leave to cool.
You can make this up to a week ahead of time. I used frozen cherries because fresh seems kind of a waste.
For the cake
- 1 c melted unsalted butter+extra to grease the pan
- 3 1/2 c cake flour, plus more for dusting the pan (see instructions below)
- 2 c+ 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 c packed light brown sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 2/3 c cherry cola
- 1/2 c+2 tbsp home made cherry puree (see above)
- 1/2 c grapeseed or vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp molasses (I used Dutch keukenstroop for this)
- 2 tsp cola extract
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 5 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
To make the cake preheat the oven at 160 degrees Celsius for a fan oven (180 on the regular). Lightly coat the inside of your Bundt pan with melted butter and coat lightly in a thin layer of cake flour.
If you cannot find cake flour, you can make your own by blending together 125 gr of plain flour with 15 grams of corn flour. This makes one cup, so for this recipe you will need to make four batches of cake flour and you’ll be left with a little extra for another time.
Now place both sugars in a bowl and rub them together until there are no more lumps. Add all of the cake flour, salt and baking powder and whisk to combine.
In another large bowl combine the melted butter, cherry cola, cherry puree, oil, molasses or stroop, cola and vanilla extracts, eggs and yolks and whisk until smooth.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth again. Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Roughly 1 hour and 5 minutes. Place the cake on a rack and leave to cool for 5 minutes before turning the cake over, removing the Bundt pan and cooling completely.
For the glaze
- 113 gr cream cheese
- 1/2 c unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3 c sifted confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cherry cola
- 1 tsp cola extract
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 3 drops of red food coloring (optional)
Combine the cream cheese and butter in a stand mixer and beat on medium until smooth, about a minute or so. Add the sugar and beat on low until the sugar is absorbed and you are left with a crumbly mixture.
In a small measuring cup mix together the cherry cola with the extracts, salt and food coloring. Then slowly drizzle the cola mixture in with the butter, cream cheese and sugar and the mixer on low. Continue beating until the glaze is smooth.
Place your completely cooled cake (this is where I fucked up) on a lined baking sheet with the rack and drizzle over the glaze. There are different theories on how to properly glaze a Bundt cake. Some people think you should only let it drizzle along the crevices, others like a full coat. I’m a glutton of course but you do you.
Comfort eat this while you watch Ugly Delicious on Netflix cause it’s basically Lucky Peach for TV.