July 11, 2010
Name of Cake: Joelf's Birthday Cake That I Will Eat For Him
Occasion: HCB, and Joelf's Birthday!
Constituents: vanilla bean pound cakes with a vanilla rum syrup
The pound cake gets put together quickly and easily once everything comes up to room temperature. The vanilla seeds are scraped from the pod and into the sugar. Rose wants you to whirl them around in the food processor to evenly distribute the seeds, but I didn't want to dirty the processor for one simple task. I used my fingers, which were already in there rubbing the seeds into the sugar, and I think it worked out just fine.
All the dry ingredients are mixed in the mixer for a bit, then all the butter and half of the liquids are added. This gets a good mix for 90 seconds, then the rest of the liquids are mixed in two parts. I forgot about the "two parts" part and dumped all the liquid in at once. It took a few extra seconds on low to get the mixture emulsified before I could raise the speed and finish the task, but no harm done. Rose warns the mixture would look curdled but mine only did for a split second, then became thick velvety batter.
I doubled the recipe to get 5 mini pound cakes. A single recipe makes two pound cakes and two cupcakes. What is with all the extra cupcakes in this book? Anyhoots, I thought of the look on The Jellos' faces if I showed up tomorrow with one little mini pound cake, and decided to double the recipe. Now I have an extra cake for work or somebody lucky!
My oven troubles have led me to believe that the little oven thermometer I bought sucks ass. I think my oven is pretty spot on temperature wise, and it is my thermometer that is 25 degrees too hot. So I set the oven for 350 and put four of the five mini pound cakes on a cookie sheet and into the oven. The 5th one wouldn't fit on the sheet so it got a little bake in the toaster oven. That one got a little burnt so I am keeping that one for myself. The other four were actually ready after 35 minutes--more proof that my oven is fine and my thermometer is not!
While the little cakes bake away the syrup is made. The recipe calls for vanilla cognac, but as I refuse to buy alcohol that I will probably only use once, I substituted for rum. Raymond soaked his vanilla pods in his syrup so I did the same. Thanks for the tip Raymond--I'm glad I did! Steeping the pods caught all the little seeds that I didn't get out earlier, plus it mellowed the rum out. Not that Cockspur rum is harsh, but you know.
see all the seeds in the syrup and clinging to the pastry brush? yum.
The little toaster oven cake came out before I was ready to syrup so I've been brushing each slice with the vanilla rum syrup and it is really delicious. I can't wait to see how the others taste, after being syruped and sorted out for the next 24 hours. (And hopefully it will only take 24 hours instead of 36-48!)
toaster oven slice with brushed-on vanilla rum syrup
Joelf, this year's birthday cake may not be as decadent or fancy as last year's chocolate peanut butter cake, but it is lovely and delicious all the same. The only thing missing is you. Happy birthday homes!