Monday, November 10, 2008

Mix it up Monday

Thank God for Monday! I don't have to think up something to write about. I really only like to write about my baking successes...things that were so yummy you want to like the screen. Sadly, I have had a couple of duds lately. Not anything horrible, but just kind of...meah. This week continues the trend. I picked up a copy of the Fannie Farmer Baking Book by Marion Cunningham (not this one...Sunday, Monday Happy Days. Hehehe) at the library. I flipped through it for awhile (all 598 pages!) and settled on a pound cake. I decided to skip the Simple Pound Cake starter recipe and moved straight for the Almond-Butter-Crusted Pound Cake. Sounds yummy doesn't it? I am sure it would have been, if I knew what the heck I was doing. I don't, in case you are wondering. I couldn't pinpoint what the problem was, it just didn't seem right. Today at the grocery store I read a little of a article in Cook's Illustrated about pound cakes and how if you don't mix them correctly the turn out "short, squat and dense". Well, that pretty much describes it. And, yes, I am a huge dork reading Cooks Illustrated at the grocery store instead of US Weekly like a normal person. So anyway, I need some more practice with the pound cake...and apparently a copy of Cook's Illustrated (could I type that magazine name one more time - or use one more set of parenthesises?)

Almond-Butter-Crusted Pound Cake
Almond Butter Crust
6 T butter
1/2 c light brown sugar
1/4 c flour
1 c sliced almonds

Pound-cake batter
2 eggs
6 T butter, softened
3 oz cream cheese at room temp
1/2 c sugar
1 c flour
1/4 t salt
1/2 t baking powder
2 t vanilla

To make the crust: Combine the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl, and beat until well blended. Add the flour and blend into the butter and sugar until the mixture is crumbly. Add the almonds and stir lightly to distribute them well. Pat mixture over the bottom and halfway up the sides of an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch loaf pan.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
To make the cake batter: First put the uncracked eggs in a bowl and pour hot tap water over them. Let stand a few minutes to warm the eggs gently.
Combine the butter, cream cheese and sugar in a mixing bowl, and beat until smooth and blended. Crack the warmed eggs into the batter and beat well. Combine the flour, salt and baking powder and stir them together. Add to the first mixture and beat well, then add vanilla. Continue beating until the batter is smooth and well blended; it will have the consistency of a soft frosting.
Spoon into the crust-lined pan - it will be about half full. Bake for about 50-60 minutes, or until a broom straw (what? I used a toothpick - my broom was dirty) inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set on a rack to cool. When completely cool, run a knife between the crust and the sides of the pan and turn the cake out onto a serving boarding or platter. Serve in thin slices.


Mandee - I Think You Should said...

It does sound good. Sorry it didn't turn out as well as you'd hoped.

I love Cooks Illustrated. In fact, I think I'm going to ask my mom to give me a subscription to that instead of Southern Living this year. A travesty, no?

What are you mixing up for Thanksgiving?

Stacy said...

I can't decide - I found a pumpkin fudge recipe that sounds good...I don't know...