Monday, November 16, 2009
Pound cake is dense, and I feel like I’m really getting the bang for my buck when I eat it. No offense to Angel food lovers, but I don’t want to eat dessert and feel like I was real healthy about it. I’ll save that for a spinach salad. Or smoothie. But when it comes to dessert, go big or go home, at least that’s what I say, and according to her million dollar recipe, so does Martha Stewart.
Good ol’ Martha, she knows what’s good for you. Lots of eggs for protein, tons of butter for good taste, and enough brown sugar to last a life time.
Oh yeah, salt and vanilla extract. I love vanilla. As a kid, it was always the ingredient that I wanted to put in the mixture. I love watching it get caught up in the batter by the swirling of the mixer. So pretty and fun, I rarely measure it out because it takes away from the swirling effect as it pours out of the bottle. That means that most of my recipes have too much vanilla. Oh. Well.
And, of course, a little tea to go with the cake is the perfect comparison. What is your favorite tea? Irish Breakfast Tea with a bit of milk and sugar. Pumpkin Spice Tea with milk and maple syrup. Vanilla Chai with Hazelnut creamer. Need I go on? If you are not a tea consumer, you should start. Tea is a perfect companion to delicious desserts, and I’m pretty sure that Martha would agree that Pound Cake and Tea go together like cream and sugar. Which, of course, are two essential elements in anything delicious. I love coming full circle. Enjoy your pound cake!
(Martha’s was actually Brown Sugar Walnut, but I adore Pecans way too much to leave them out of this)
1 pound (3 1/4 cups) of all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat. Not sure if that’s ok, but I did it anyway)
1 tablespoon coarse salt
4 sticks unsalted butter
9 large eggs (room temperature)
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups roasted pecans
Preheat oven to 400 and place a few handfuls of pecans on a baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes, stirring half way through. Check the time and make sure they do not get burned, or you will have to do it over again (Martha does not suggest your brown the nuts, but for pecans, I think it brings out some flavor).
Reduce oven to 325. Butter two 5-by-9 inch loaf pans. Combine 1 flour and salt in a bow. Soften butter and cream with brown sugar with a mixer on high speed until pale and fluffy, for about 8 minutes. (That Martha knows her time, it was literally 8 minutes on the dot.) Scrape down sides of bowl. Reduce speed to medium, and add vanilla extract. Lightly beat eggs and add in 4 separate additions to the flour mixture, mixing until just together. Fold in pecans. Divide batter and tap on counter to distribute evenly throughout the pan. Use knife or scraping tool to smooth the top of batter. Bake for about 65 minutes, or until a tested inserted into middle of cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pans, on top of cooling racks for 15 minutes. Remove from pans and let cool completely. Enjoy.