Sunday, July 10, 2016

Grand Slam #Cake

Remember me? The extremely occasional cook? I've clearly taken a break. Occasions have come and gone and I've just been...lazy apparently. I do have quite a stockpile of recipes that I plan to unroll over the next few weeks. I got inspired by my friend's 13 yo daughter and her friends playing Top Chef with my recipes on a recent  Saturday afternoon. Let's see what actually happens!

Once again breakfast at Wimbledon has come and gone and the American ladies have come out on top. Congrats to Serena on her 22nd grand slam title and to both her and Venus on their doubles win! And of course kudos to Andy Murray on his second Wimbledon title. Truth be told I can't really play tennis but thanks to the generosity of a friend, I have taken a few lessons so that I can at least hit the ball over the net. Most of the time.

As a nod to the British hosts and American players, I made a version of the classic Wimbledon treat, strawberries and cream. I didn't make a shortcake this time but a classic pound cake or #cake or £cake...whatever. (Mine weighed in at a voluptuous 3.5 pounds!) A pound cake is as delish for breakfast as for dessert and though I seriously need to stay away from all things butter and sugar, I made it anyway. Office mates, save room for breakfast tomorrow!

Classic Pound Cake
Adapted from King Arthur Flour

1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or extract flavoring of your choice)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan.

2. In a large bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until very light.

3. Beat in the sugar gradually and then the eggs, one by one. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, and beat until the mixture is very light and fluffy.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

5. In another small bowl, whisk together the milk and extract.

6. Alternately add the wet and dry ingredients to the butter mixture, starting and ending with the flour. Stir to combine after each addition.

7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top.

8. Bake the cake for 60 - 65 minutes, until it springs back when pressed lightly in on top, and a long toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. If the cake appears to be browning too quickly, tent it with foil for the final 15 minutes of baking.

9. Remove the cake from the oven, and loosen its edges. Wait 5 minutes, then carefully turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. Store, wrapped in plastic, for a day or two before serving. Wrap well and freeze for longer storage. Makes 1 loaf cake, about 18 servings.