Home - is where I want to be / But I guess I'm already there /I come home -
she lifted up her wings /
Guess that this must be the place...
- Talking Heads, "Naive Melody"

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Honey Vanilla Pound Cake

Must apologize for the neglect around here. I've spent most of the past couple of weeks engaged in yet another rewrite of the novel's first two chapters, following the latest set of crits, and for some reason it was a much more taxing project than normal. I have also been feeling under the weather, and haven't had a lot of energy left over for cooking; it's been a time of "tried and true and easy" recipes in our household.

Also, there's a strike going on at our local grocery store. Fun times.

Last weekend, however, I made a determined bid to return to my kitchen. I made two kinds of muffins, sandwich bread, meatballs, and a pound cake, in addition to calzones for dinner. It is the pound cake I will address here, since it was a new recipe.

Despite its pedigree (Cook's Illustrated by way of Ina Garten--which may explain the unusually finicky directions) I found this okay, but just that; it's not going to dethrone Rose Levy Berenbaum's as my go-to. Perhaps I just don't like the taste of honey all that much. The crust turned out a tiny bit sticky, too, which I found more off-putting than I would expect. A week later, some of it is still hanging around my kitchen, which is not the sign of a major success.

I suspect that this would pair well with fruit, once that's available, and would certainly be willing to give it another try to find out, but I won't be in any big rush.

1/2 lb unsalted butter at cool room temperature
1 1/4 c sugar
4 extra-large eggs, room temperature
2 Tbsp honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp grated lemon zest
2 c sifted cake flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease the bottom of an 8x4 loaf pan, line with parchment paper, grease again and flour. 
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light. Put the eggs, honey, vanilla, and lemon zest in a measuring cup but do not combine.
  3. With the mixer on medium speed, add the egg mixture one at a time, scraping down the bowl and allowing each egg to become incorporated before adding the next one. 
  4. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder. With the mixer on low speed, add it slowly and mix until just combined. Finish mixing with a rubber spatula and pour into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake 50-60 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes, turn out onto a baking rack, and cool completely.

No comments: