We’ve all seen them on the telly. Those slightly menacing girl-scouts in America who traipse around the neighbourhood knocking on doors to sell cookies. It’s supposed to teach them about friendship, charity and responsibility. It’s also an introduction to the world of business. And what a business it is. It all started out as a one-off bake sale in Muskogee, Oklahoma in 1917. But the brand has grown into a commercial success that now rakes in over $700 million a year. And there is a competitive side to the venture too. Since 1998 there has been a system in place whereby the scouts are given prizes for selling the most amount of biscuits. I suppose if they are acting as cheap labour they deserve some kind of reward. But the scouts don’t even get the pleasure of making the cookies any more. That part of the process is outsourced to professional bakeries these days. How sad. If the girl-scouts are being treated as nothing more than door-to-door salesmen that really does take the biscuit.
The best-selling cookie is the Mint Thin. Though there are plenty of cookies to choose from with varieties as diverse as Coconut Samoas, Rah-Rah Raisin and Lemonade Cookies. In 2013 they even started selling a range of gluten-free cookies so that people who suffer from Coeliac’s disease or allergies can eat them. Though being an old cynic, I think it’s more likely that they just wanted to make sure the gluten intolerant could be persuaded to part with a few dollars too. The Bundt recipe I’m sharing today is based on one of those. It’s called the Trio Cookie and gets its name from the fact that there are three main ingredients. A combination of peanut butter, porridge oats and chocolate chunks. Oddly, the cake version includes flour. So it’s no good for those who can’t eat wheat. It seems unfortunate but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.
A manny splendid thing?
Ironically, even though this Bundt cake was based on a girl-scout recipe it turned out to be one of the most blokey cakes I’ve ever made. I knew even before I started baking that this would be good and hearty. The sort of cake that a five aside footy team could tear chunks off with their bare hands in passing so as they wouldn’t have to interrupt the match. I didn’t think it would be appropriate to bake it in something like the Nordic Ware Rose Bundt tin. It wasn’t going to be elegantly decorated. It wasn’t going to prettified and sliced daintily for afternoon tea with the vicar. It needed to be baked in a manly tin. Sturdy and robust. Anything delicate or flowery would be stout of the question.
A tin to bake it in.
I knew exactly which tin to use for this cake. I had picked it up in a second-hand shop a while back. The only drawback was the name. You see, it’s called the Wilton Dimension Jewel. Now don’t get me wrong, I love it to pieces. Love it. It baked evenly. The cake rose well and it dropped out of the tin with a little shake no worries. It’s a high quality Wilton Bundt tin. But when you have a cake tin with a geometric design. Slightly imposing. Strapping and muscular. You don’t expect it to be called Jewel. Or as one of my tasters called it – Julie. *Sigh*. You can of course use any 10 cup Bundt tin and have your friends come up with their own embarrassing names. The triple whammy of oats, peanut butter and chocolate meant the Trio Bundt was packed full of flavour and stayed moist for days on end. And even though it might have had girly origins one things for certain. This man cake turned out to be a real gem. Now here’s that recipe… Enjoy.
- 140g Porridge Oats.
- 250g Plain Flour.
- 4 tsp Baking Powder.
- ½ tsp Salt.
- 200g Milk Chocolate (chopped into chunks).
- 260g Smooth Peanut Butter.
- 20g Margarine
- 200g Soft Dark Brown Sugar.
- 100g Granulated Sugar.
- 4 Large Eggs.
- 4 tsp Vanilla Extract.
- 125ml Whole Milk.
- 150g Greek Yoghurt.
- 20g Icing Sugar (optional).
- Position a shelf in the centre of the oven. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4. Grease and flour a 10 cup Bundt tin.
- Place the chocolate chunks in the freezer for at least 20 minutes.
- Stir together the porridge oats, flour, baking powder and salt until well mixed and aerated. Set aside.
- Cream together the peanut butter, margarine, brown sugar and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition.
- Add the vanilla extract and beat to combine.
- With the mixer running on a low speed, beat in the flour mixture, milk and yoghurt alternately until just combined. Take care not to over mix. (Flour, milk, flour, yoghurt and ending with flour).
- Spoon a small amount of this plain cake mixture into the bottom of the prepared tin. This will help to form a barrier between the chocolate chunks and the Bundt tin. It should also make the cake easier to turn out after baking. See the picture below.
- Add the chocolate chunks to the remaining cake mixture and gently fold together until evenly distributed.
- Spoon the choc-chunk cake mixture into the pan on top of the plain mixture and level the surface.
- Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes or just until the cake is pulling away from the sides of the tin slightly and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool in the tin for 30 MINUTES before carefully turning out onto a SERVING PLATE to cool completely.
- Dust lightly with icing sugar just before serving.
- Just to show you. A little plain mixture in the bottom will form a barrier between the chocolate chunks and the Bundt tin. You don’t need much but it will help to give the cake a neater finish and make it easier to turn out after resting. Especially if your Bundt tin has lots of detail.