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« Lemon-Scented Pull-Apart Coffee Cake | Main | HCB: Ice Cream Cake »
Tuesday
Jul132010

HCB: Mini Vanilla Pound Cake

This past weekend was insane around our house, last week I was away in Orlando for work-related training, so upon arriving on Friday the amount of stuff that accumulated in the To Do list was ridiculous – laundry, cleaning, folding, dishes and on and on.  I mean, Tom does his share around here, but I guess what they say it true – when the cat is away…. Apparently everything goes to the dogs!  So I was very happy about this week's HCB choice, since I knew it was going to be a snap to prepare, bake and have ready for those hungry boys I live with.

This is straight easy pound cake recipe, with three perfect twist: One, they are mini cake (can you say perfect give-aways? yes you can!). Two, they are made with vanilla bean and three, soaked in a cognac base syrup. (On a side note, I'm on to Rose and her boozy syrups because in my world I trust anything that is made with liquor - it makes everything better - trust).

How can you go wrong?

You can’t.

This is going to down for the cake that has used less kitchen equipment so far – 2 bowls.  One to mix the dry ingredients and one to mix the wet - I did not even use the KA for this one, but my old hand mixer.  After mixing everything together, they were ready to fill my 2 cheap-y mini-aluminum store-bought pans (PAN ENVY ALERT!) and once I finish pouring the batter and smoothing the tops, I notice that they were pretty full to the top, ummm NOT.GOOD.  

After baking this long with Rose I knew something was up, because all of her baking instructions tell you to fill the baking pan either ¾ of the way or leave ½ inch from the top and mine were pretty full way up to the top. So a quick re-reading and yep, the batter was supposed to fill two mini pans PLUS make TWO cupcakes.  And let me tell you, this 2-cupcake business is starting to annoy me, because it totally throws off my baking game here, plus I don’t have a 2-cupcake pan, I have a 6 a 12 even a 24 one – so pulling the 6-cupcake pan to bake only 2? Ahh, yeah – POINTLESS! What is the deal with the additional batter?  I did not want to use another baking pan so I simply dumped my extra batter down the drain. (After eating 2 spoonfuls, of course).

Into the oven they went for 35 minutes of cooking goodness heaven. The book gives you a good tip in order for the cakes to develop that nice pound cake crack on top.  After putting them in the oven and giving them 15 minutes for them to settle a bit, use a sharp knife (or razor) to score the top and voila – crack on top! 

I got busy folding laundry, so I did not do this step. But, the baking gods were playing nice and my baby cakes developed a nice crack all on their own.

I love when recipes cooperate fully in the process and the baking gods are being generous.

Out of the oven they came and since all that laundry folding wore me out, I made an executive decision and left them all nice and virgin-like – no boozing.

Did it made a difference in the final product?

Verdicts:

Tom: “I like them; they are cute and very buttery and good. But, I got to say this; I like your pound cake recipe better”

Little man: “I love them! and they are cute”  (He truly did, he polished off one all by himself)

I also like them.  Their texture is very dense but at the same time light and Tom is right, they have a great buttery taste and the vanilla bean gives them a great taste punch.  I’m sure that with the cognac syrup they would have been much, much better.

So yesterday, I compensated and ate the last piece (which I had hidden in a safe place before I left work in the morning) and served it with some of the left over Zabaglione gelato and topped it all with some of the Hot Chocolate Snowball sauce from the Ice cream cake.

Yes sireee, BOOZE makes it all better!

Since we do not publish the recipes from the Heavenly Cake book, I’m giving you my own pound cake recipe below, which is just as good – or as Tom mention a bit better – you be the judge.

Sour-Cheese-Cream Pound Cake

3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups sugar
½ cup of cream cheese, at room temperature
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
Grated zest of 2 limes (you can use lemon if you prefer)
½ cup sour cream, at room temperature

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325°F. Coat the pan with butter and flour (or use a baking spray) a 10-inch fluted tube (Bundt) pan*, tap out the excess flour.  *You can also use 2 loaf pans.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together; set aside. Beat the butter and cream cheese with the sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla and zest. On low speed, add the flour in 3 additions, alternating with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl often with a rubber spatula. Spread evenly in the prepared pan.

Bake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1¼ hours.

Transfer the cake to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes before un-molding.

While we love this cake simple you can also drizzle the top with a Lemon Syrup after it has cool down for 10 minutes.  If you choose to go this route here is what you will need:

1 cup fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup sugar
¼ cup water
Zest of 1 lemon

Bring the lemon juice, zest, water and sugar to a boil over high heat and cook until it is reduced to ½ cup, about 15 minutes. Allow syrup to cool before drizzling onto the cake.

Reader Comments (14)

You dressed up your pound cake quite nicely! I'm remembering this combination.

July 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVicki

I can't believe you had leftover hot fudge! What?? I had the cakes with and without the booze, and I liked it better with the booze. Love the shot of your beaters!

July 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterevilcakelady

Evil: The only reason we had leftover Hot fudge was because I'm good a hiding a bit for me! Or else Tom would have eaten it with a spoon, alone watching cartoons! I'm sorry to say it's officially gone - boo hoo.

Vicki: yep the pairing worked wonders... now that I'm looking at the picture, I'm craving the same combinations - sadly no more gelato and no more hot fudge.

July 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMonica

I forgot to tell you the cake decorating shop has individual silicone cupcake holders with feet! I looked at them and wondered why anyone would want individual cupcake holders. After reading your post it's quite obvious! Next time I'm there, I'll pick up a couple and try them out for these recipes with leftover batter.

July 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVicki

I wasn't hallucinating! http://www.amazon.com/Wilton-Silly-Silicone-Baking-Count/dp/B000NBQFKU

July 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVicki

VICKI.. OMG! I'm shopping RIGHT NOW! Those are way too funny to NOT HAVE - Specialty cake pans be damned!

July 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMonica

I thought your cake looked beautiful with its nice split [that mine never got, boo hoo] and nice color on top. I know it was tasty. I guess maybe this would fall short in some people's estimation. I was glad to have it since i do get burned out sometimes with the fantasy ones. I just served it with a T of Cherry Heering in it, and on a little cherry coulis to liven it up a bit and it was nice.

July 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjoan

Vicki and Monica - your banter are hilarious.
Btw, if you have Michaels in your area, they have a small baking section and they do sell those Silly-Feet Silicone cupcake mold. They often have 40% off coupons, so it might be worth it to use it (good for 1 single item).

I think I'll go buy them too - that's a good idea to use them for the spare cupcakes (and Monica, that annoys me too!).
As always, awesome pictures and funny post!

July 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenn

Man... Today we are on a roll... Jenn, thanks for the heads up, I may mossy over to Michaels (there is one on my home-work-home commute) and check it out. And 10% off - SOLD! More reason to not throw out the annoying coupons sets that find their way into my mailbox - now I actually have to LOOK AT THEM.

July 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMonica

Who doesn't love minis, right? Less calories (if I limit myself to one and give the rest away that is). Somehow this reminds me of that cartoon, 'Cathy,' which I have not see around for ages. I love the one where she is smashing cookies to smithereens with a rolling pin. The caption below read something like: "Broken cookies have fewer calories." heh heh heh

July 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMargo

Yay! We use the same aluminum pan! lol! But i didn't throw away my extra batter..i just put them all into the pans..lol! I think it doesn't really matter..the most the peak just gets higher..lol! I think probably that's why mine looks higher?

Thanks for sharing your pound cake recipe..i was about to ask you that until i read the ending..lol! Now i have to cut & paste your recipe..into my to-bake list..lol! Hope i don't get side-track again..

July 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfaithy

I love pound cake, I find it really simple and plain yet tasty and very heartwarming. The only problem is that my kids wouldn't take it without frosting, lol! They don't recognized cakes unless it got tons of icing on it! So I really have to whip up a bit of frosting for them although chocolate syrups with colorful sprinklers will do, lol! As for me, I want mine as bare as it could get plus a hot cup of coffee, yum!

July 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercake recipes

Oh I am drooling over those batter shots! I'd probably gobble up an entire panful of it :P

ב''ה

Looks great!

Thanks for sharing your recipe.

July 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMendy

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