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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pound cake

Carpe Diem! After much consideration, I decided that I should get a hand mixer to take the sweat out of baking. Maybe the gadget will persuade me to investigate the intricate science of baking. Besides, having a mixer means liberty for my hubby and daughter, since I am normally their commander in the baking process.

This is also the first time I use a real vanilla pod. Seeing TV cooks doing this all the time, now I get to slice the precious pod midway and scrap out the precious seeds myself. Surreal!

All looks promising till the end. The cake managed to rise nicely but somehow," internal injuries" caused it to collapse under its outermost crust. I am still scratching my head trying to figure out what happened. Perhaps I have over beaten the batter with my new powerful machine?

All in all, it still tastes good, dense yet airy with an addictive sugary crust. Traditionally, the pound cake was to be made with a pound of each ingredient ( flour, butter, egg, sugar ) but thankfully the proportions has now been tweaked to reduce the risk of coronary disease. Not that discretion should be thrown into the air - everything is best when done in moderation. Have the cake and eat it!

Kept frozen, the cake keeps for 3 months. I didn't get to prove this - it was consumed within a week between the 3 of us.

Dry ingredients :
350g granulated sugar
1/4 t salt
1/2 t baking powder
2 cups plain flour

Wet ingredients :
4 eggs, whisked
250g butter, room temperature
1 T vanilla extract or 1/2 pod vanilla seeds

Method :
Prepare cake pan, greasing interior with butter. Lay the bottom with baking paper and grease paper surface.
Sprinkle some flour on paper, coating surface with fine layer. Discard excess flour.
Preheat oven to 165 C

Sieve dry ingredients. Set aside.

Whisk at medium speed butter,sugar until creamy soft and pale yellow. Add vanilla seeds or essence.
Introduce eggs gradually, whisking at low speed, until mixture is well mixed and fluffy.

Now add in dry ingredients in 3 or more stages, whisking until all the ingredients are well incorporated.

Pour cake mixture into baking pan and pop it over to the oven. Bake for 60 minutes.
Test for doneness with a cake skewer at the center of the cake. If it turns out dry, mission's accomplished. If the skewer comes out wet or with crumbs, bake for a further 5 - 10 minutes.

Cool cake over a rack for 30 minutes. When it is sufficiently cooled, use a knife to separate the cake from the walls of the baking pan. Invert cake over rack carefully and remove pan.

Discard baking paper.

Cut through the middle of the cake, apply cream and your favorite cut fruits.

Dust with caster sugar before serving.

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