Pound cake is a funny thing to me. Why would I deliberately make a cake that is dense, slightly dry, and literally weighs at least a pound?? I could probably just as easily find a brick to pour some berry sauce on, yes?
But the funny thing is, there are a LOT of recipes that call for “store-bought pound cake”, and many people recommend having it on hand for last minute desserts or surprise guests. Clearly, I need to broaden my idea of “cake”.
Being a homemade kinda gal, I wanted a good homemade option for this basic cake. Turns out, homemade pound cake is NOT dry, it’s delicious! While it certainly requires more steps than it’s store-bought cousin, you can easily make it ahead and have it ready in the freezer for when an occasion arises, and you’ll even be able to tell people all the ingredients in it without having to study a dictionary – yay for homemade :)
When I received “The Vegetarian Kitchen Table Cookbook” for review, I was determined to try something that seemed truly vegetarian in my mind – tofu with a side of seaweed and beans, or something along those lines. However, this cookbook actually has a wonderful amount of totally normal recipes, as the authors set out to create recipes that anyone who enjoys good food could enjoy. There are plenty of recipes here that anyone wanting to eat vegetarian more regularly will easily be able to incorporate into their diet.
It doesn’t have as many pictures as I would like, since pictures are a huge part in my decision making when choosing a recipe, but it does have a fantastic variety of recipes, from basic Roasted Potatoes with Oregano and Cheese Fondue to the fancier Cheese Souffle and Zucchini, Caramelized Onion and Pine Nut Quiche. The book does an excellent job of recommending substitutions and ensuring the ingredients used fit a person’s chosen way of eating, with plenty of notes and tips in the sidebar for clarification.
But you all know me, I couldn’t resist the dessert section for my review choice, even if it is the smallest section in the book :)
This was the perfect opportunity/excuse to try pound cake, and I have to say, if you’re doing pound cake, I really think this is how you do it right. There are a few steps, but the end result is moist and dense, with the perfect amount of zing from the lemon, and obviously (you knew I was going to say it) it’s SO much better than store bought! :) I accidentally stored it in a too-small bag for freezing and damaged the top when removing it, but believe me, this makes a beautiful pound cake…and I can attest to the fact that it freezes and thaws beautifully!
Don’t get me wrong, I certainly believe there’s a time and a place for store-bought, but dessert is not usually the time or place. And even when it is (see the ingredients in Oreo Trifle, for instance!), the more parts you can do homemade the better.
Of course, pound cake is really just a base for even more deliciousness, and it doesn’t get much easier or tastier than homemade berry sauce. This sauce takes mere minutes to make, and is perfect for topping cakes, ice cream, pancakes, or waffles, or just eating with a spoon!
What’s your favourite recipe that uses pound cake? Now that I know I can make it I want to make good use of it! I did see these cute fruit and cake skewers that just might be in my future…
- 2⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 4 eggs, separated
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- ¾ cup + 2 tbsp butter, softened
- Zest of 2 lemons
- ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup milk
- FOR BERRY SAUCE:
- 2 cups mixed berries (fresh or frozen)
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- Butter and flour 2 8x4" or 9x5" loaf pans and set aside (SEE NOTE). Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In small bowl, combine flour and baking powder and set aside.
- In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat egg yolks, sugar, and butter until very creamy. Beat in lemon zest and lemon juice.
- Using a wooden spoon, alternately stir flour and milk into butter mixture, making 3 additions of flour and two of milk, until just blended.
- In another bowl, using clean beaters or a whisk, beat egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Fold gently into batter just until blended.
- Pour evenly into prepared loaf pans.
- Bake at 350 for 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake another 45-50 minutes, until a tester comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs (cakes will be fairly flat).
- Let cool in pan on wire rack for 20 minutes before removing from pan to cool completely.
- FOR BERRY SAUCE:
- Heat berries with sugar and lemon juice in small saucepan over medium heat until juices come out.and sugar is dissolved. Add cornstarch, stirring in very quickly. Stir and simmer until desired thickness is reached, then remove from heat and serve. (This will keep in the fridge for up to a week.)
Lemon Pound Cake: Adapted from The Vegetarian Kitchen Table Cookbook by Igor Brotto and Olivier Guiriec
© 2012 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca
Berry Sauce: Keep It Sweet
*Disclosure: I received a copy of this cookbook from the publisher for review. I was not otherwise compensated for this post, and all opinions are, of course, my own.