Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Lindaraxa's Signature Pound Cake

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Pound cakes are ideal summer desserts. They sop up berry coulis and fruit compotes, they make excellent foundations for a scoop of ice cream topped with whatever else your little heart desires, and even better beds for brown sugar-topped grilled peach halves. Fact is, with a few pieces of whatever fruit is looking good that week and one of these tightly-wrapped in your freezer, you’ll always be able to throw together dessert quickly. If none of the above appeal to you, how about a slightly toasted slice with strawberry jam for your morning coffee? Or your afternoon cup of tea?

Last Saturday, I baked one for my Sunday afternoon bridge game, shared some with the neighbors and still have half a loaf left! I can guarantee that half of that half will go in the freezer awaiting the next batch of peaches that comes in the house.

I have been baking and perfecting this recipe for years, always trying for the right consistency and depth of flavor. I finally achieved this by combining two recipes, one from Jacques Pepin and the other from heaven knows where! It is basically Pepin's recipe with a light syrup that I pour over it while it is still hot from the oven. You can't imagine how rich and moist it turns out. When you cut it, make sure your slices are no thicker than 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. I know this sounds trivial, but it makes a big difference.

By the way, they also make beautiful presents for those friends who have everything!


Ingredients

2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 large eggs
1/4 cup milk, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder

Glaze (optional)

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
3 tablespoons water
1/4 cup dark rum


Directions

Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter a 10-by-5-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with a strip of parchment paper that extends 2 inches past the short ends of the pan.

In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the sugar, vanilla and salt at medium speed until fluffy, 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 2 at a time, beating between additions. Beat in the milk. Sift the flour and the baking powder over the batter and whisk it in until smooth. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface.

Bake the cake for 1 1/2 hours, until it is cracked down the center, golden on top, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Run a spatula around sides of pan and lift cake bottom slightly. Using a bamboo skewer or wooden pick, pierce top of cake generously so it can absorb the rum glaze.


Glaze

Bring sugar, butter, and water to a boil over medium heat in medium saucepan, stirring often. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in rum.

Spoon glaze generously over warm cake, a couple of tablespoons at a time. Continue adding glaze as it is absorbed. Allow cake to cool completely, then carefully remove from pan.


Note: The more you pierce the cake, the more glaze it will absorb. Let the glaze soak in slowly. You may not use all the glaze.

The cake can be kept at room temperature, covered, for up to 3 days.

Adapted from Jacques Pepin

1 comment:

  1. I just found this from a link within in your newest post...I am definitely going to try this, but will wait til it cools down a bit. Maybe next week. Sounds just PERFECT!

    ReplyDelete

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