January 25, 2014

French lemon-poppy pound cake

Pound cake is my nemesis.  I have never made a pound cake that turns out right.

This was another recipe from Flour, Joanne Chang's cookbook.  I left out the poppy seeds.  I don't like poppy seeds.  I don't have a microplane grater, so I had no way to add lemon zest to the batter. 

With these alterations, it would by my fault, not the recipe's, if the pound cake was terrible.  I'm not sure what to do about the section of the cake at the top that rises and splits open as the pound cake bakes.

That section is delicious, but I wonder if the pound cake ends up baking longer than it should in order for that section to bake through.

I took the pound cake out of the pan and glazed it.  The recipe calls for glazing the cake while it is still warm.  The glaze was thin, but full of tart lemon flavor.  I tried a piece right away, before it cooled completely.  It wasn't very good.  I went out to the kitchen a few hours later and found half a cake left.  It was not eaten by my dog.  It was eaten by two people- not including the small piece I had earlier.  This made me try it again.  Much better!  Lesson learned.  Let pound cake sit a bit before eating it.  The next day, the texture and flavor were even better.

Is that a bear head lurking behind the pound cake?

The recipe has a vanilla variation, so next time I'll try that instead of lemon.  I think the cake itself will turn out more flavorful when I don't have to leave out a major ingredient.  I'm still not great at making pound cake, but I'm getting better. 

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