Poundcake Smackdown: The winner is…

Last night after work I came home and started on the second of the pound cake recipes, the one that I found on the back of a notecard. I followed the recipe pretty closely, although I was a bit surprised at the amount of sugar it asked for,  2 1/4 cups.

I did make one “mistake” though, and that was to microwave the butter to make it soft. I forgot that about 15 seconds is all the butter from the fridge needs in order to make it room temperature (sometimes 20 seconds) and left it in there for 30 seconds. Well. Puddle o’ butter! I know that once butter is melted, it doesn’t solidify back into butter, it’s sort of more like ghee, but I thought, eh, good enough, and dumped it in the mixer.

 Land o' buttery lakes!


Land o’ buttery lakes!

The recipe called for “the grated zest of 1 orange, 1 lemon, and 1 lime”. I zested a lime and a giant clementine, after thoroughly washing them (ideally, zested fruit should be organic. Who wants zested pesticides?) and then juiced them and saved the juice for the glaze. I dumped the zest in with the rest of the ingredients and mixed it all up! I tasted the batter…so good! The clementine zest was a great idea, making it more citrusy and less all.about.the.lemon. I ignored the recipe calling for 1 teaspoon of lemon extract, because I don’t have any, so whatevs.

Still Life in Citrus

Still Life in Citrus

Before I tell you how the recipe turned out, let me give you the recipe! This recipe is adapted from one from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts (which one, I don’t know, am copying that right off the notecard).  The recipe, m’dears:

Sour Cream Lemon & Clementine Pound Cake with Glaze

  • 1 cup butter (the recipe called for unsalted butter, but eh. I don’t care.)
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt, baking powder, and baking soda
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • grated zest of 2-3 citrus fruits (you use what you have!)

Cream the butter and sugar together, and when all fluffy and yellow looking, add the eggs one at a time. Mix the wet ingredients together in one bowl and the dry ingredients together in another and add them to the butter/sugar/egg mixture, alternating between the two. Pour into a greased 6-cup Bundt cake pan and bake for about 50 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

When cool, glaze.

Glaze

  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 c citrus juice (from your zested fruit)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix it all up. Pour over top of cooled cake.

You know how the recipe said to use a Bundt cake pan? Well, I wanted to make this for the DH to take to work but I needed to taste-test it myself and I can’t exactly take a slice out of a Bundt cake and then send the rest in with the hubby (“Here’s a cake. Minus a slice. Enjoy!”) so I used a loaf pan and a half-pan of mini Bundt cake shapes, thinking I’ll eat the mini Bundts and the DH’s office can have a nice, big loaf.

Well. Do NOT do that. The recipe really makes at least two loaves, so when I poured most of the batter into one loaf pan, it baked up. And over. And onto the oven grating. And piled up in a crispy baked pile of dripped  batter on the bottom of the oven. (Which reminds me, I should clean that up. Eh. Tomorrow!) And to make it worse, the centre didn’t set! I don’t think it was the just that I put too much batter in the loaf pan, I really think the recipe was not the best to start with. So I had a loaf that was liquid in the centre, crispy on the edges, and stuck in the pan everywhere.

But did I fret? Did I despair? No! (Actually, I kind of did fret.) I let it sit in the pan to cool, thinking it would firm up a bit. And it did, although I still had to spoon out the uncooked batter from the centre! Then I couldn’t get it out of the pan. Until I sort of sawed off the edges and ran a plastic knife around the loaf before turning it out onto a cooling rack. I looked at it. I asked myself, can this cake be saved? I thought…trifle! So I tore up the cake into small chunks, stuck in the fridge and went to bed. I was tired. It was midnight. And this baker needs her beauty sleep.

Today after work, I bounced home and started to make the trifle. Or at least, a version of it, using whatever I had lying around in the kitchen. Which is sort of how I cook. (What’s on sale? What do I have in my kitchen? Let’s get cooking!) I don’t have a glass trifle container so I used chunky wine glasses, parfait-style, used some of the strawberry-peach jam that I wrote about in my previous post, some berries, and some whipping cream, and voila! Fresh Fruit Poundcake Parfait!

So deliciously chilled!

So deliciously chilled!

The DH thoroughly enjoyed his, which made me happy, and I was glad that the cake didn’t go to waste. I hate wasting food. There’s still some pound cake left and I shall probably freeze that to make cake pops sometime.  Waste not, want not! Also cake pops = delicious. And easy to stick in the freezer to pull out for company. Bonus!

The verdict: So. Who was the winner? I didn’t expect this (you all probably did), but…Martha! I loved the flavour and the moistness and although it seemed like a bit more work to add in the syrup step, it was definitely worth it for the added moistness. The candied lemon slices I’d skip, though. The recipe that I tried today was too egg-y for my taste and just…not the best, despite appearing light and fluffy. I also think the glaze recipe makes too much. So if you want to make a lemon pound cake, definitely use Martha’s recipe! Don’t expect it to last long, though, as people will gobble it up!

Next Post: In search of the perfect pie crust! Or, meaty adventures.

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