The most basic rule of baking (or life for that matter): mise en place—everything in place. Measuring and setting all your ingredients out before you start mixing ensures that you never have to run to the fridge in the middle of mixing to grab some milk, only to realize that the milk is suppose to be at room temperature. It’s happened to me more than I can count. Thank goodness the microwave was invented.
The only time I follow the rule is when I grease or flour my cake pan before I start mixing ingredients. I hate stopping at the end, my beautiful cake batter waiting impatiently while I’m squandering time buttering the pan. At that point, all I want is for the cake to bake so I can eat it already. So the first thing I did before mixing any ingredients together for the Orange Basil Olive Oil Bundt Cake was look for a bundt pan in my cluttered pan cupboard. Yeah, we have two entire cupboards dedicated to the various cookies sheets, muffin tins, cake pans, pie plates, and ramekins I’ve amassed over the years. As it turned out, I didn’t have a bundt pan, a disappointing fact, since the reason this cake is called a bundt cake is because it is baked in a special kind of pan. I used a tube pan instead, figuring that the hole in the middle at least resembled that of a bundt pan.
Obviously, I need to read the recipe more thoroughly and check for necessary equipment and ingredients before I start mixing ingredients because the cake pan wasn’t the only substitution I had to make. After beating the egg yolks until they were thick and ribbony, I reached into the cupboard to pull out the cane sugar. I only had ¾ cup left, but luckily, I found some brown sugar that I could use. Immediately after the under-sweetened bundt cake brick crisis was averted, I realized that I also didn’t have yogurt. Okay, I thought, it’s okay because I have just enough milk left and some lemon juice to make sour milk.
My planned addition (unlike all the last minute substitutions) to the bundt cake was basil-infused olive oil. My inspiration was drawn from Elissa’s post about a Lemon Basil Olive Oil Cake, something so deceptively simple, yet delicious. How often is basil paired with olive oil, in omelettes, salads, soups, and the like? To infuse the olive oil in this cake with a handful of fresh basil leaves is a clever way of adding subtle flavour. The basil perfumes the oil with its sweet essence and brings out the citrusy notes of the orange zest, lending a mysterious undertone to this Orange Basil Olive Oil Bundt Cake.
Click below for notes on the recipe.