July 1, 2009

Ina Garten's Pound Cake

I went looking for a delicious dessert to go with all the fresh strawberries I picked last week. After ruling out strawberry shortcake (why are all the recipes so biscuit-like, gross!) and angel food cake (obviously delicious, but alas, no Bundt pan), I decided pound cake. My friend Liz suggested Ina Garten's recipe.

Now I'm not a big Ina Garten fan, and not for any particular reason, just that I've never explored her recipes. But this recipe should become your go-to pound cake recipe. The added touches of vanilla extract and honey make this cake so delicious.

This cake took a long (LONG) time to bake, and it started to brown too much on top. I covered it with foil after about an hour of baking and baked it for 10 or 15 minutes more until the middle was set.

M made some fresh whipped cream to go with the strawberry puree left over from making jam. At first, I thought this cake took a lot of materials and time and wasn't that great. But I reevaluated, and now I can't stop eating it! It's delicious smeared with some homemade jam. Maybe I'll go have some now...

Honey Vanilla Pound Cake
From Ina Garten's Back to Basics

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 extra large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (optional)
2 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom of a loaf pan, cover the bottom with parchment paper, and then grease and flour the pan. Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Put the eggs, honey, vanilla, and lemon zest in a glass measuring cup, but do not combine. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides, and allowing the egg to become fully incorporated until adding the next one.

Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder. With the mixer on low speed, add flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Finish mixing the batter with a rubber scraper and pour into the pan. Smooth the top. Bake 50-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes, turn out onto a baking rack, and cool completely.