If you asked me what my preference for cake is, I would right off the bat tell you that it will be those that are rich, dense and full of fat goodness, meaning they pack a gazillion calories, because they tend to be rich in butter, eggs, sugar and flour.
It’s no wonder that when it really comes down to it, I usually prefer the simple cakes. I admired the fancy cakes with all the cool ingredients and decorations and fillings. But, deep inside, I tend to run for those simple, easy cakes.
For the last couple of weeks, I been craving a pound cake. So when I read that this week’s choice for the Heavenly Bakers was the Vanilla Bean Pound Cake, I was ecstatic.
This lasted until Sunday, when I actually took a look and really READ the full recipe and realized that it was NOT going to be a pound cake.
Tsk, Tsk, Rose, you had me fooled.
See these were “Financier” style (hence *cough-cough* the name on the title, that I so obviously decided to leave out!) which meant, that while it was packed with butter, we were using only the egg whites. So, it was certain that the “rich” in the cake was slowly, but surely going out the window.
Oh there she blows…..
But, I still had a craving and it seem this one was going to be pretty easy to make. So I started to prep my ingredients and set myself up for some quick baking. Since we are experiencing 40 and 30 degree weather here in Florida for the last 2 weeks, my eggs were already at room temperature and all I needed to do was wait for my butter to soften up.
Once all was set, I did not even bother to use the Kitchen Aid for this, but the handheld mixer. And it took me less than 15 minutes to whip up the batter. You mix the wet ingredients, egg whites, milk, vanilla and put aside, then you make sure your sugar is fully infuse with vanilla beans, and then mix that into the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the butter to this, half of the egg mixture, mix it up and then finish adding the rest of the egg mixture in two parts and voila - DONE!
The book recommends that I pipe the batter into the molds, which seem super silly to me and totally a waste of time to dirty up the piping bag, the tip and all that, just to fill out 10 6 molds on my silicone pan – I know, I know, by now I should own a financier pan, but I guess I’m holding out and being a baking rebel, what can I say - I used my spatula and we were in business.
Into the oven they went and were ready at the 30 minute mark. Nice and pale with a couple of edges a golden hue.
Were they good?
Tom: “They are good, nothing to write home about. I still like the peanut butter financiers the best, out of all the ones you made. This one is just a-ok.”
As for me, I had to agree. These pretty cakes were just barely there. They were good, not spectacular; I guess I was missing the rich, dense texture that a true pound cake gives you - So for me, it was not a miss, but certainly not a hit either.
Some of the other bakers will probably disagree and you can take a look by visiting them here.