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Dec 14, 2017
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Posts Tagged ‘pound cake’

Baked: Condensed Milk Pound Cake

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

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I enjoy making hazelnut praline from scratch. Toasted hazelnuts are reminiscent of Nutella without the chocolate (though you can always add chocolate if you want). The recipe takes a little work, but it makes a few cups that go a long way in many desserts. You can fill cupcakes with it, add it to batters or simply eat it spread on toast.

I recently had some condensed milk lying around and thought I’d try to make a pound cake incorporating it and the hazelnut praline. The praline doesn’t add too much to the cake – it’s a subtle flavor enhanced when you spread more atop your slice. This was simply perfect when friends came over for tea. The praline has a slight crunch from the caramel and hazelnut and pairs nicely with a moist, simple pound cake.

 

Condensed Milk Pound Cake
Adapted from a recipe at Spicy Southern Kitchen

½ cup hazelnut praline, plus more for serving (recipe follows)
½ cup (2 sticks) room-temperature butter
3 large eggs
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups flour
¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
¾ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. kosher salt
3 Tbsp. coarse sugar

• Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
• Use the stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the hazelnut praline and butter on medium speed until fluffy, about 10 minutes. Add the eggs 1 at a time, then the vanilla.
• Reduce the speed to low and add the flour, condensed milk, baking powder and salt. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula to mix evenly.
• Pour the batter into the loaf pan and evenly sprinkle the top with the coarse sugar.
• Bake about 1 hour, until a knife inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. Let cool at least 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and let cool completely. Serve with more hazelnut praline on the side.

 

Hazelnut Praline

1½ cups sugar
1/3 cup water
1½ cup blanched, toasted hazelnuts
1 Tbsp. hazelnut or vegetable oil

• Place a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat mat on a work surface.
•In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and water. Occasionally swirl the pan but do not stir. Cook 7 to 8 minutes until it turns amber. Immediately remove from heat, add the hazelnuts and stir to coat.
• Immediately pour the entire mixture onto the lined baking sheet, spreading out the hazelnuts with a spatula. Let cool completely.
• Break the praline into pieces and place in the bowl of a food processor or powerful blender. Add the oil and pulse until a smooth paste forms.
• Pour into a large jar or container and store at room temperature up to 1 month. Spread over slices of pound cake.

Amrita Song is the owner and baker at Mila Sweets and blogs at Chai & Dumplings. 

Just Five: Grilled Pound Cake and Apricots

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

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This recipe was inspired last spring when I had the opportunity to work with Panorama chef Ivy Magruder on a multi-course meal themed around the French mother sauces. Riffing on that idea, we created a dish based on one of my mother’s special desserts: lemon pound cake. Now my mom’s version was not a fancy recipe – it required boxed mixes and a lot of eggs and oil. But Magruder elevated her classic dessert, grilling the pound cake and topping it with macerated fruit. The dish was a huge success.

Grilling pound cake adds texture, slight caramelization and beautiful, slightly charred spots. Summer is the perfect time to try variations on this dessert, and I wanted to play with apricots, as I’m most familiar with the dried version served on cheese plates. Fresh apricots, like figs, are delicate creatures, slightly tart and almost creamy when ripe. They hold up well on the grill, as do peaches, plums or nectarines. I also gilded this grilled lily with almond whipped cream, but feel free to swap for vanilla or mix in a spoonful of lemon curd to play up the fruit’s tart notes.

 

Grilled Pound Cake and Apricots
Inspired by a recipe from Panorama’s Ivy Magruder 
8 servings

1 pound cake, cut into 8 slices
4 ripe apricots, halved and pitted
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. pure almond extract

• Prepare a charcoal grill for high, direct heat and create a two-zone fire by moving the coals to one side. Alternately, preheat a gas grill for high, direct heat.
• Place the pound cake over direct heat and sear just until grill marks appear, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Flip and grill the other side, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove and set aside.
• Place the apricots cut-side down over direct heat and sear until grill marks appear, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Flip and place skin-side down over indirect heat or move to the upper tier of a gas grill. Cover and cook 1 minute, until the fruit is soft but not falling apart. Remove and set aside.
• In a chilled bowl, use a hand mixer on high speed to whip the cream until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and almond extract and whip 30 seconds to 1 minute until the cream has stiffened to your desired consistency.
• To serve, place a piece of grilled pound cake on each plate. Top each with an apricot half and a dollop of whipped cream. Serve immediately.

Baked: Browned Butter-Green Tea Cake

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

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This loaf is simply scrumptious. Browned butter and vibrant matcha powder elevate a humble, classic pound cake to a nutty, more elegant counterpart. This dense loaf tastes better the day after its baked and the flavors have a chance to develop, so try to show restraint. A dish like this works for any time of day. It’s fabulous at breakfast or brunch; I’ve served it in the afternoon with tea, too. You can even slice and wrap leftovers and freeze them up to a month, then thaw on a whim and serve with ice cream for a simple, quick dessert.

 

Browned Butter Green Tea Cake
Adapted from a recipe by Dorie Greenspan
Makes 1 8½-by-4½-inch loaf pan

½ cup (1 stick) butter, plus more for greasing
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 scant Tbsp. matcha powder
1½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. sea salt
1¼ cups sugar
4 large eggs at room temperature
½ Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup (80 ml.) heavy cream

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8½-by-4½-inch loaf pan.
• In a saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter in a saucepan, swirling occasionally, until it the solids begin to brown and it smells nutty, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
• In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, matcha powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
• In another large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar and eggs until pale, about 1 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract until incorporated, then the heavy cream. Use a spatula to gently fold in the in the dry ingredients. Fold in half the browned butter until incorporated, then repeat with the remaining butter.
• Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake 55 to 65 minutes, until a knife or skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. (If the top of the cake browns too quickly, tent the top with foil.)
• Let the cake cool completely, then gently remove from the loaf pan. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature 12 to 24 hours before serving.

Baked: Earl Grey Cardamom Pound Cake

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

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Cardamom is one of my favorite spices to instantly transport me to India, but it’s not one I use very often. I often find myself reaching for the ever-popular cinnamon instead. Nevertheless, I decided to try this with the freshest cardamom I had, and it was amazing.

I also incorporated some bergamot oil to add a hint of Earl Grey to the whole thing. I intended to add actual ground Earl Grey tealeaves, but it wasn’t until I pushed the loaf into the oven – feeling accomplished – that I noticed the leaves still siting in a small bowl on my counter, unused. Sigh.

I made this pound cake just before my mom visited, and it did very well pre-sliced and frozen. We took out a slice each morning and zapped it in the microwave for 12 seconds. It was perfect with a cup of tea. It also was doubly delicious served as a warm accompaniment to simple vanilla ice cream.

Earl Grey Cardamom Pound Cake
Makes 1 loaf
Adapted from a Bon Appetit recipe

1¼ tsp. baking powder
1½ tsp. ground cardamom
¾ tsp. kosher salt
2 cups flour
1/3 cup whole milk*
3 Tbsp. (3 bags) Earl Grey tea
½ cup creme fraiche or sour cream
1 cup sugar
12 Tbsp. (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. bergamot oil**
¼ cup walnuts, chopped

• Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
• Whisk the baking powder, cardamom, salt and flour together in a mixing bowl and set aside.
• Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it comes to a rolling boil. Add the Earl Grey tea, cover, and turn off the heat. Let the tea steep 30 minutes.
• Strain the tealeaves and discard. Pour ¼ cup of the tea into a bowl and whisk in the creme fraiche. Set aside.
• In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, using a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl. Then, add the vanilla extract and bergamot oil.
• On a low speed, add one-third of the dry ingredients, then half the tea and creme fraiche mixture, alternating until everything is fully incorporated.
• Scrape the batter into the loaf pan, smoothing the top with a spatula, and sprinkle with walnuts. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick in the center of the cake comes out clean.
• Let the cake cool completely before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature. Cake can be stored in the freezer in an airtight container for 3 weeks.

* While ¼ cup milk is used in the cake batter, 1/3 cup is used to brew the tea and allows for any evaporation.
** Bergamot oil can be found at Karen Ann’s Supplies in St. Louis.

 

 

By the Book: Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray’s Etrog Cake

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

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I always thought it rather peculiar that my mom, despite raising her kids Catholic, made us a Jewish meal on Holy Thursday to commemorate Passover. Matzo ball soup, hard-boiled eggs dipped in salt water, horseradish… I guess she was honoring the last meal before the dawn of Catholicism; I don’t know. But I do know that the food didn’t taste very good. Then again, she didn’t have a bubbe to show her how to cook for Jewish holy days. So browsing through The New Jewish Table by Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray, I felt like a wandering gentile given a road map to the promised land. Granted, I’m just getting my bearings, so I can hardly argue the best route to Jewish food paradise, but the recipes in this cookbook are clear and have helpful side notes.

September being the month of Rosh Hashana, lox is on my mind, but Sauce contributor Stacy Schultz kind of cornered that Jewish nosh. But there’s another Jewish celebration, Sukkot, taking place this month from Sept. 18 to 25. As the Grays explain, “Sukkot is an eight-day holiday that takes place at festival time, four days after Yom Kippur. The word ‘sukkot’ refers to huts that Jews built in the fields during the harvest to maximize their time working there. Sukkot were also erected as temporary shelters during the 40 years the Jews wandered in the desert. The holiday therefore is a time to celebrate the earth’s bounty and remember the hardships of the exodus.”

 

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One food that figures into the harvest ritual at Sukkot is etrog, an enormous, craggy-looking lemon that grows plentifully in Israel, and it is used to make a traditional sweet cake. Unfortunately, etrogs are pretty hard to come by. Around Sukkot, you can order them from some synagogues, but deadline necessitated that I make this cake weeks ahead of the harvest fest. Margi Kahn, food writer for St. Louis Jewish Light, suggested I substitute etrog with Buddha’s hand, another weird-looking citron variety. Too bad Buddha’s hand can’t be had right now either. I had to resort to plain old lemons to make what was essentially a lemon pound cake, but the results were still terrific.

 

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The cake is tasty on its own (It is best eaten the same day it’s baked.), but the Grand Marnier glaze transforms etgrog cake from an average afternoon sweet treat to true dessert. I garnished each serving with orange segments plus fresh mint from the garden. The herb lent a colorful accent, and it’s such a great complement to sweet citrus. Happy Sukkot! Or, for those who prefer this expression: Chag Sameach!

 

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Etrog Cake
Makes 1 4-by-8-inch loaf or 1 8-inch round cake

2 etrogs (or 2 lemons)
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed etrog juice or lemon juice
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1¾ cups sugar, divided
3 large eggs
1¼ cups freshly squeezed orange juice (3 to 4 oranges), divided
3 Tbsp. Grand Marnier
Orange and blood orange segments, for garnish

Make a citrus seasoning mixture:
• Grate the zest of the etrogs with a rasp or citrus zester, being careful to get all the zest off of the citrus without cutting into the pith below the skin.
• Whisk together the lemon juice and lime juice in a small bowl; whisk in the etrog zest. Reserve 1 tablespoon of this mixture to use later for the glaze.

Mix the batter:
• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
• Spray a 4-by-8-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper or rub the pan with butter and dust it with flour, shaking out the excess.
• Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
• Using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the butter with the 1¼ cups of the sugar in a medium bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until smooth and scraping down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition. Beat in the unreserved portion of the citrus mixture.
• Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, beating just to combine; add ½ cup orange juice, followed by 1/3 of the flour mixture, another ½ cup orange juice, and finally the last of the flour, mixing only until just combined after each addition.
• Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes.
• Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for about 20 minutes, then turn out onto the rack to cool completely.

Make the glaze:
• Meanwhile, stir together the remaining ½ cup sugar, remaining ¼ cup orange juice and the reserved 1 tablespoon of the citrus mixture in a small saucepan.
• Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, just until the sugar is completely dissolved.
• Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the Grand Marnier. Let the glaze cool.
• To serve, slice the cake and place on dessert plates; drizzle the glaze decoratively over each portion – we like to use a ladle to do this. Garnish each plate with a few orange segments if you wish.

Reprinted with permission from St. Martin’s Press

What’s your favorite Jewish food? Tell us in the comments section below for a chance to win a copy of The New Jewish Table by Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray. We’ll announce the winner in next week’s By the Book column.

And now, we’d like to congratulate Lauren, whose comment on last week’s By the Book has won a copy of Fabio’s Italian Kitchen by Fabio Viviani. Lauren, keep an eye out for an email from the Sauce crew.

 

 

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