I was 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. I’ve received another issue via Instagram, and then one more via eBay. So now I am only missing issue 1.
Like Playboy for food lovers
Mind you, for all those years reading and loving LP I barely cooked any recipes from it. Not unlike Playboy I mainly read LP for the articles. The recipes just seemed too… hard? But now that it’s gone and I can’t procrastinate by reading more, I’m slowly getting into the swing of things.
Not as hard as you think
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. This cake is a lot easier than the long list of ingredients would have you believe. I kind of fucked up the glaze but since I’m not much of a baker to begin with, so having this cake turn out a moist treat was an achievement enough on its own.
Note that people who consider themselves fancy 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 flavored syrup I adore. So for me it’s definite keeper.
Christina Tosi's cherry cola cake
- Microwavable bowl x 2
- Mixing bowl x 3
- Bundt cake shape (Ø 10"/ 26 cm)
- Wire rack
- Baking sheet
- Parchment or other lining
For the cherry puree, you can also use store bought if you can find it
- 1/4 c+ 2 T - 115 gr sugar
- pinch salt
- 1/4 c - 60 ml water
- 15 oz - 450 gr cherries pitted, fresh or frozen both work
- 1 T - 15ml lemon juice
To prepare your cake pan
- melted butter for coating the cake pan
- flour for dusting the cake pan
Wet cake ingredients
- 16 T - 230 gr unsalted butter melted
- 2/3 c+1 T - 150 gr cherry cola
- 2/3 c - 150 gr cherry puree store bought is also fine
- 1/2 c - 100 gr neutral oil
- 2 T - 30 gr molasses I use Dutch stroop as molasses is hard to find here
- 2 1/2 t - 10 gr vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 t - 10 gr cola extract
- 5 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
Dry cake ingredients
- 2 1/4 c - 450 gr sugar
- 1/3 c+2 T - 100 gr light brown sugar
- 3 1/2 c - 450 gr cake flour see instructions below if you can't find this
- 2 t - 8 gr baking powder
- 2 t - 8 gr salt
For the glaze
- 2.1 oz - 60 gr cream cheese
- 2 T - 30 gr butter
- 1 1/2 c - 180 gr powdered sugar
- 2 T - 30 gr cherry cola
- 1/2 t - 2 g cola extract
- 1/4 t - 1 g vanilla extract
- 1/8 t - 0.5 gr salt
- red food coloring optional
Make the cherry puree, if not using store-bought
- You can make this up to a week ahead of time and keep it in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Combine 1/4 c + 2 tbsp - 115 gr of sugar, a pinch of salt and 1/4 c - 60 ml of water in a microwave proof bowl and microwave at full power for about 30 seconds.
- Remove from the microwave stir until all the sugar and salt has dissolved.
- Pour the mixture into a blender, adding 15 oz - 450 grams of cherries and 1 T - 15 ml of lemon juice before blending until smooth. Leave to cool.
Make the cake
- If you cannot find American cake flour, you can make your own by blending together 1 c - 125 grams of plain flour with 1 T - 15 grams of corn flour. For this recipe you will need to make 4 batches of cake flour and you’ll be left with a little extra for another project.
- To make the cake preheat your oven at 180° C/ 360° F. Lightly coat the inside of your Bundt pan with melted butter and a light dusting of flour.
- In a bowl combine 16 T - 230 gr of melted butter, 2/3 c + 1 T- 150 gr of cherry cola, 2/3 c - 150 gr of cherry puree, 1/2 c - 100 gr of neutral oil, 2 T - 30 gr of molasses, 2 1/2 t - 10 gr of cola and vanilla extracts each, 5 large eggs and 2 yolks and whisk until smooth.
- In another bowl rub together 3 1/2 c - 450 gr of sugar with 1/3 c + 2 tbsp - 100 gr of light brown sugar until there are no more lumps. Add 3 1/2 c - 450 gr of cake flour, 2 t - 8 gr of baking powder and salt each and stir to combine.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth.
- Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. This should take about 1 hour. Place the cake on a wire rack and leave to cool for 5 minutes before turning the cake over, removing the Bundt pan and allowing to cool completely.
Make the glaze
- Do NOT start this process until your cake is fully cooled.
- Combine 2.1 oz - 60 gr of cream cheese with 2 T - 30 gr of butter in a microwave proof bowl and heat together in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
- Once removed from the microwave stir together until smooth.
- Move the cream cheese/ butter mixture to a larger bowl and whisk in 1 1/2 c - 180 gr powdered sugar, 2 T - 30 gr cherry cola, 1/2 T - 2 gr cola extract, 1/4 t - 1 gr vanilla extract, 1/4 t - 0.5 gr salt and 1 or 2 drops of red food coloring (if using).
- Place your completely cooled cake 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.