Saturday, June 18, 2016

Golden Vanilla Pound Cake with Fresh Strawberries

There's a danger of not posting recipe soon enough.  One, the season may have passed and that strawberry post is becoming old story when everyone has moved on to apple.  Second, I tend to forget where I get the recipe.  A pound cake recipe could come from fifty different books or one hundred Pinterest ideas.

This forgetting business is scary because as I'm growing older, it seems like one brain cell fades away everytime I'm idling.  Retracing steps has become a bit harder, a tad slower.  That's why I like it when everything is put back in place in the house because then I don't have to worry of not finding it in its usual place.  And it helps to put a bookmark in the book so I can retrace where I get the recipe :)

This is a very simple recipe of a pound cake.  The idea of eating fresh strawberries, pound cake, and whipped cream is one the reasons I bake.  I love the idea of brushing the top of the cake with sugar mixture; it adds sweet crunchiness to the tender crumbs of the cake.  Another way to eat this is to cube the cake and make a parfait consisting of ice cream, whipped cream, and chopped strawberries.

Local strawberries is a distant memory now but surely that will be replaced with different berries or even peaches.  Yes, I can't wait for peach season!

 Golden Vanilla Pound Cake With Fresh Strawberries

Yield 9" loaf cake, 18 servings

For the cake:
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
5 large eggs, at room temperature
3 tablespoons milk
1 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

For the topping:
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon water

Whipped cream
Fresh sliced strawberries

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Lightly grease a 9" x 5" x 2 3/4" loaf pan.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the butter, cream cheese, salt, sugar, baking powder, vanilla extract, and almond extract until well combined.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; the mixture may look slightly curdled/grainy.  After you've added the final egg, beat at high speed for 3 minutes.  Once all the eggs are added, stir in the milk.

Sprinkle the flour gradually, with the mixer going at low speed.  Mix just until combined.  The batter will be smooth and thick, but still pourable.  Pour and scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

To make the topping, combine the sugar, vanilla, and water.  Stir until the mixture is syrupy.  At first, it'll seem very stiff, but will become "drizzlable" as you stir.  Set the topping aside.

Set the cake on a baking sheet for easiest handling.  Bake it for 55 minutes.

Remove the cake from the oven, and brush/drizzle with the sugar mixture.  Return the cake to the oven for an additional 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove the cake from the oven, and set it on a rack.  Insert a toothpick into the center; it should come out clean.  The very top, right under the crust, will still be kind of soggy; don't worry about it.

After 5 minutes loosen the cake's edges and turn it out of the pan to cool completely on a rack.

Eat with whipped cream and sliced fresh strawberries.

Source:  adapted from The King Arthur Flour

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