Thursday, June 10, 2010

Vanilla Pound Cake

I was commissioned to make dessert for last week's end of year banquet. I met with the committee and they decided that they just wanted lots of cookies. So I made five types- sugar, chocolate chip, peanut butter, spice and oatmeal craisin. Thinking that this wouldnt be enough (and it turns out that with the additional fruit, popcorn and candy, it was more than enough), I decided to make some cake, too. I settled on the Vanilla Pound Cake from The Cake Bible because it was simple, used things I already had in my pantry and was bound to be delicious. This is a cake that uses Rose's classic technique of creaming the dry ingredients with the fat and some liquid before adding the remaining liquid. As all of her batters are using this technique, the batter was silky and beautiful. I used vanilla bean paste instead of the vanilla extract and not only did it wonderfully perfume the cake but it also added some nice specks to the batter. The resulting cake is soft and delicate and I believe, pound cake nirvana. I made a double batch of this recipe but I was too quick to unmold one of them and it fell apart. Since serving one was no help, I just cut it all up into slices and let the girls at it when we came back from the Kotel after the party. It was thoroughly enjoyed. I used all purpose flour instead of cake flour as that is what I had on hand.

Vanilla Pound Cake
adapted from The Cake Bible

3 tbsp milk
3 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
1 1/2 cups cake flour- I used 150 grams of all purpose
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
13 tbsp unsalted butter or margarine, softened

Preheat your oven to 350. Grease and flour an 8 inch loaf pan. Set aside.

Place the milk, eggs and vanilla in a bowl.
Whisk to combine.
Place the dry ingredients in a bowl,
and whisk to combine and aerate.
Add the butter or margarine and some of the egg mixture.
Beat until all the dry ingredients are moistened, taking care to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Add the remaining egg mixture in two additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.Here is the completed batter. It's impossible to see the flecks of vanilla, but trust me, they're there.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about an hour until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Tent with foil if necessary to prevent overbrowning.
Let the cake cool on a rack for ten minutes before unmolding.
Slice and serve. Whipped cream and berries would be terrific with this. Enjoy!

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