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Tangerine Bundt: When a Pastry Chef Bakes At Home


I don't know what's gotten into me: maybe it's the time of year, or maybe it's my easy work schedule at the moment; but I've been inclined to bake at home a lot recently.  I really thought I had put my home baking days behind me, especially since moving to an apartment with a much smaller kitchen (14" of counter space, people!!).  In the past month, there have been a couple banana breads, a large batch of cookies, a chocolate loaf, and now this tangerine bundt.

And of those homebaked conquests, this one has turned out the most stunning.  Originally, I thought I would just bake a smaller recipe of batter in my standard loaf pan, but I knew I might be gifting this to a friend so I was yearning for something a little more sophisticated.  I'm lucky to have many awesome second-hand shops just steps away, and I found an angel food pan in great condition at The Goodwill (a steal at $4.99!).  In addition to the obligatory sexy drizzle of white icing, I was feeling in the mood to make the presentation extra fancy.  With a couple extra tangerines on hand, some confited zest was in order.  Not wanting the cake to look too "chef-y", instead of a micro fine julienne, ripped & ragged ribbons of zest were blanched and candied, along with some segments still in their membrane.

Tangerine Bundt
Makes 1

420 g   a.p. flour
1 tsp    baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

250 g  soft butter
360 g  sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
grated zest of 2 washed tangerines

3  large eggs

60 g    freshed squeezed tangerine juice (about one tangerine)
170 g  sour cream
1 tsp   vanilla extract

Sift together flour with leavening.  Set aside.
Cream butter with sugar, salt and zest until fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping between each addition.
Combine juice with sour cream and vanilla.
Alternate adding the flour mixture and sour cream mixture, scraping the bowl often.
Pour batter into prepared pan.
Run your spatula around the center of the batter, creating an indented ring on the surface.  This will help the cake rise and crack evenly.
Bake in a 350F still oven about 40 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and immediately pierce several holes in the top of the cake.
Pour over hot tangerine syrup (recipe below) and allow the cake to cool completely in the pan.
Remove from pan and place on serving plate. (I did not invert my cake because I like a rounded top, but do as you like)
Brush the sides of the cake with some of the confit syrup to  make for a glossier finish.
Drizzle with icing (recipe below) and allow to set before arranging confit zest and segments on top (recipe below).
Gift to a friend or neighbor.

Tangerine Syrup
90 g  tangerine juice
45 g  sugar

Boil together until sugar dissolves.  Keep hot until ready to soak cake.

Confit Tangerine Zest and Segments
1 tangerine
250 g  sugar
250 g  water, plus more for blanching

Peel tangerine and rip the larger pieces into narrower ribbons.  Set aside.
Break apart tangerine segments without puncturing or tearing the membrane casings.  Remove any additional pith from segments.
Blanch peels 3 times, using fresh water every time.  On the third blanch, throw the segments in too.
Separate peels from segments and put peels in a pot with the sugar and 250 g water.  Bring to a slow simmer and continue cooking until peels are translucent, about 1 1/2 hours. 
In the last 5 minutes of cooking, throw in the segments to lightly candy.
Pour into a clean bowl and allow to cool.

150 g  powdered sugar
15 g    milk
squeeze of tangerine juice

Whisk together to make a pourable consistency.  If too thick, squeeze in a little more juice.  If too thin, add a little more sugar.


What is a kolache?  I still don't even know exactly what it is, but the word was thrown at me a few days ago, and so I was inclined to do a little research.  Granted, I have never actually eaten one, so this post is only how I think a kolache might taste.  From my research (as in Googling the word and clicking on the first link), its origin is Czech and thrives as an endeared pastry in Texas...who knew?
From my findings online, the base looks to be an enriched white dough, so I went with my own tried and true recipe.

A couple variations of cherry kolache is what I've got here, the simplest one being a bun dropped in a brioche pan and punctured with the fruit.  With another tray, I tried to get fancy by braiding the dough before coiling and filling them.  Although my favorite presentation may not be authentic to the world of Kolache, I love the landscape of golden bumps of what I would call 'kolache for a party'.  I actually did bring it to a friend's house that night, and everyone had fun getting their fingers sticky pulling apart the sweet mouthfuls.

So kolache or not, these ended up still being pretty and delicious, and are a great vehicle for poached fruit and jam.  I hope to one day have the real thing.