Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Perfection Pound Cake and Lemon Curd
Whenever I hear a claim of perfection in a recipe, I get concerned. That means it's been tested and loved by many, and the off chance that someone can screw it up looms over me. My kitchen takes on a dingy hue, no, wait, the kitchen lights are on the dimmer. Scratch that. But it makes me leery of A. failure and B. disappointment.
I wouldn't say this pound cake was a failure, but I was a teensy bit disappointed. I've been to the oven with a pound cake or two, tried probably a dozen recipes, and the one I return to is Rose Levy Beranbaum's from The Cake Bible. That pound cake is moist with the finest crumb. Maybe this was operator error.
In fairness, Dorie says for best texture, wrap the cake up and put it away for a day. I didn't do that, and it may have made a difference. I also didn't add the eggs one at a time and beat well before adding the next egg. I had broken two of the yolks when cracking the eggs and three eggs fell into the bowl at the same time. See what I mean about operator error?
I used cake flour, hoping for a nice crumb but I'm not sure it made any difference. The outside was crisp, and the inside soft, but it was just a plain cake. That's why I made lemon curd to go with it. And brown sugar caramel, but I'll make that for you another time.
I was thrilled to win the latest Cook's Illustrated cookbook in a giveaway on Tracey's Culinary Adventures (thanks, Tracey!). It's a huge book, and it's been sitting on my counter asking to be used since it arrived. I cracked it open and found the lemon curd, perfect because I had a bag of Meyer lemons from my friend's huge tree. If you'd like the recipe for it, you can find it here on the Cook's Illustrated website (you'll have to sign up for a 15 day free trial, but the lemon curd is worth the trouble!)
If you're still test driving pound cake recipes, this is a good one to try (you can find the recipe here). I have a limited attention span with things that are plain, perfect or not, so it's a tough sell for me. Nonetheless, I did mark off another recipe in my quest to bake all the recipes in Baking From My Home to Yours. Score!
Programming note: If you check back around February 1st, I'm going to have a cake that will amaze you and is a lot of fun to make. In a very tortured way that leads to a lot of dishes.