Come Christmas Eve, every kid’s worst nightmare is that hidden within those beautifully wrapped boxes beneath the tree lie unspeakable evils. It may seem like such an exciting and fun time, but there is a darker, more horrible potential inside of each and every enticing package. The risk of receiving a pair of polka dot underwear from Grandma, or yet another itchy and embarrassing sweater from Aunt Gertrude. Bad gifts are inescapable, so you had better spend the night practicing your “thrilled” reaction, and plan your grateful speech to say thanks without sounding entirely phony.
We’ve all gotten gifts from hell, some more than others, and I’m sure the horror stories could keep us entertained until July. This year, the Hannukah fairies came a little bit early, and I received what many would probably shake their heads at and wonder, “who would give such a thing?” Nestled inside a thick layer of shiny wrapping paper lay a brand new, state of the art… Bundt pan. And the weirdest thing about this? I was genuinely ecstatic. No, really! Indeed, the pan had even been on my wish list! For most 19 year olds, I’m sure that this would have been yet another terribly unfortunately choice, but one kid’s itchy sweater is another’s treasure.
That lovely new pan didn’t stay clean and unseasoned for long. Within minutes of unwrapping my prize, it was full of batter and facing temperatures exceeding 300 degrees. What a welcome!
I knew what I wanted to make from the get-go. Craving something simple and sweet, it was only natural to whip up a basic chocolate cake, toss in a few chunks of bittersweet chocolate, and then douse the whole thing in Kahlua. Hating to ruin the design, those beautiful lines and ridges were difficult to cut into, but oh so worth it. That super-moist and slightly boozy slice reminded me what a joy even a plain old bundt can bring. So if you think about it, perhaps a new baking pan isn’t such a crazy thing to send to give as a gift… Especially if you’re around to snag a slice of the results for yourself!