09 January 2011

Fruit & Nut Pound Cake

I remember the days when we bought frozen Sara Lee. And every time I pulled it out of the freezer, it was rock hard. Even after a few moments in the microwave to warm it up, it was still dry. And a tad too sweet for me. 

So when I started baking, pound cake was one of the first few recipes I attempted. It looked easy enough, but as with all simple things, there is more to it than meets the eye...

My first few attempts were either too dry or too wet. But today, I think I've found a recipe that's worth sticking to. It had just the right amount of moisture, was dense yet not heavy, and with just the right amount of buttery taste without being overwhelming. The photo doesn't really do the cake justice. It's either the lighting, or just simply my lousy camera skills. 

OK, enough yapping. Here's the recipe. 

Makes a 9x5" loaf or 2 mini loaves. 

227g butter
200g sugar (up to 250g if you like it sweet)
4 eggs
1.5 tsp vanilla
1.5 tsp water
170g cake flour
60g raisins, currants, or cranberries
30g nuts (I used a mixture of pumpkin and sunflower seeds)

With your mixer on medium-high, whip butter till smooth and shiny. 
Gradually add sugar and beat till light and fluffy and almost white.

Stir together eggs, vanilla and water.
With mixer running, add egg mixture in a thin stream, and mix till fully incorporated.

Sift 1/3 of the flour over the batter.
Fold in gently with a spatula. Repeat twice more. 
Finally, fold in fruit and nut till evenly distributed.

Scrape batter into pan. Smooth top.
Bake at 160*C till skewer comes out clean, about 80 min for large loaf pan and 40 min for mini pans. 
When done, allow cake to cool in the pan for 5 min before unmoulding onto a cooling rack to cool completely. 

One thing still baffles me:  Why does the pound cake always split on top?  Has anyone found a way to make pound cake with a nice smooth top?  Please tell me... 


j3ss kitch3n said...

nel pound cake always has a cracked top I also don't know why. recently I bought a book on pound cakes in it each pound cake has a cracked top and they even show that they slit the batter to make the crack more prominent! I guess that the trademark of pound cakes. btw your pound cake looks very moist must be real yummy!

Quay Po Cooks said...

I k love pound cake. Yours looks great!

Passionate About Baking said...

I totally agree! My first few bakes were also pound cakes! Like you said, it can really be a challenge to bake a perfect pound!
Like what Jess mentioned, my understanding is also that they purposely slit the top to let it open up. I learnt it from The Cake Bible too! So yours is perfectly fine.
Your fruit and nut pound looks really good! I've not made such pound cake before. I shall attempt yours! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

CaThY said...

Very nice pound cake ;)

ann low said...

Nice pound cake! Good for a cup of hot coffee now...

Bakericious said...

Nel, the cake looks so delicious and I love the color of the cake. I read from one of the cook book that to cut a line at the center of the batter to spilt it before bake to let the top crack nicely. It did explains the reason but I forgot why (sorry old woman liao), let me go dig dig and see whether can find it or not.

NEL, the batter baker said...

Hi ladies,
Thank you all for stopping and leaving your thoughts. It means a lot to me :)

j3ss, Jane, and Jess,
Thanks for reassuring me that the crack in the middle is normal. This recipe is easy and tasty. Hope to see your variations soon :)

Esme said...

Fruit and pound cake is one of my favorites-now for a nice cup of tea.

hanushi said...

If I remember correctly, the crack is to ensure the middle part to bake completely. :)

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