Pound Cake and the Theatre of Food
Earlier last week Diva was asked to take part in the Theater of Food, at the Liss Ard Festival in Skibbereen. Hosted by John and Sally Mckenna the theatre of food showcased a dozen + local food producers and their unique insights in artisan food. producers included: Darina Allen of Ballymaloe, Toby Simmons of Toonsbridge Dairy, Veronica Stelle of Millens Cheese, Sally from Woodcock Smokery, Madeline McCleever of Brown Envelope Seeds, just to name a few.... the weekend went smashingly and all attenedees were shower with delicous tasters of cake, smoked fish, cured meats, cheese, beer, brownies, and more. it was a real inspiration to see how hard people are working in the artisan food industry to get their ideas out there, and gave us a great boost knowing we're not alone out there!
For her demo, Shannen decided to do one of our favourite recipes, Pound Cake. its simple, quick, versatile and delicious. pound cake is less fussy than traditional sponge cake recipes that require gentle folding into a whipped egg mixture, so as not to deflate their fragile structure. in this recipe the air is creamed into the butter and sugar for 10 minutes to lend an airy crumb to the cake. then the eggs and flour are mixed in, as well as any fruit or flvourings you have on hand. a cup of jam folded into the finished batter results in an even moister cake, Shannen added our Local Rhubarb, Lavender and Vanilla Jam to the demo cake.
pound cake is really a one pot wonder and can be baked in any cake pan you have, we prefer to use a traditional bundt (or ring mould) in the bakery. this recipe is so simple you'll find yourself going back to it time and time again. all you have to remember is one pound: buter, sugar, eggs, and flour! this make a generously sized cake and can be halved if you wish.
makes one 9" bundt cake or 3 - 9" layers
1 pound softened butter, salted is fine!
1 pound caster sugar
1 pound (9 large) free range eggs
1 pound flour
1 tablespoon vanilla
preheat oven to 180C in an electric oven 160 in a fan oven
grease your desired pan with butter and lightly dust with flour, tapping out excess
place butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment or mix with a hand held mixer with beaters, cream together on high speed for 10 minutes. this is where the batter gets its leavening as there is no baking powder added later.
add eggs one at a time at low speed, scraping bowl inbetween additons
add vanilla and then flour and mix on low speed till combined.
pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour for a bundt style cake or 25-30 minutes in smaller pans. make sure to test cake with a skewer or sharp knife before removing from oven. you want the skewer to come out creanly from the cake. cool and remove from pan on to cake stand or a decorative plate.
at this point you can dress the cake with an icing sugar glaze or with lightly sweetened whipped cream.
try adding the zest of 2 lemons and a few tablespoons of poppy seeds to the batter
or roughly 2 cups of fresh berries or sliced fruit