And never got around to doing it. Maybe I was just seeing exactly how lazy and no-rulesy we could be. (Actually, I've just been busy baking other things it seems!)
Anyway, we just decided on our project for August, and so I figured I'd better start to catch up.
August 4, 2008
Name of cake: Double Vanilla Pound Cake
Occasion: Trying to catch up with the Not-So-Lazy Bakers!
Constituents: Pound Cake...with vanilla extract and a vanilla bean
Ahh, back to what I know how to do: cake. I like baking cake.
Thanks to the lovely young Melinda, I have vanilla beans that have been waiting for exactly this occasion. I pulled one out and mmmmm, the aroma was heavenly.
It was a hot day and night, and I was reluctant to turn on the oven. So I took my time prepping the ingredients with many breaks to watch The Fellowship of the Ring with my roommate (the extra extra long version). When it came time to scrape the vanilla grains out of the pod, I discovered that my (impeccably clean) finger was the best tool for the job--got the most grains out the fastest.
The kitchen was so hot that I had to put the butter back in the refrigerator to keep it from melting at room temperature! The cake came together quickly and easily, and I couldn't help but show off to Joelf the thick, creamy batter dotted with vanilla grains.
I lazily lined the entire loaf pan with parchment (couldn't be bothered to cut out a little rectangle for just the bottom) and slid the cake into the oven. About an hour later, I poked the cake with a toothpick, which came out clean. I thought the cake could have been a touch more golden, but the toothpick was clean, so I pulled out the cake.
Ten minutes later (at 1 am) the cake looked a little shrunken and wrinkled which made me think it wasn't quite finished baking when I pulled it. But oh well. What could I do now?
This morning I can see that the bottom of the pound cake is a little underbaked, but who cares. This cake is tender and fine with that "barely perceptible crunch" as Rose puts it from the vanilla grains. I can't really tell if the flavor is better or more round as Rose says it is, because my sinuses are little on the clogged side killing my sense of smell and the finer notes of taste. But who's complaining? I ate my pound cake for breakfast with honey-sweetened mascarpone, fresh blueberries, and defrosted strawberries I picked in June. Yum, yum, and yum. I am planning on eating the same thing for lunch and dinner as well.
- Read about BBC's very timely double vanilla pound cake, get the recipe, and learn about her trip to Australia!
- Read about Melinda and Jeanette's double vanilla pound cakes, and get Melinda's opinion on English vs Oregon strawberries!