Friday, April 7, 2017

Lemon Honey Pound Cake

I've made lots of pound cakes in my time, but one thing always haunts me...when you cut into the cake and see the "compression" of the crumb at the bottom.  Well, no more and here's why--

Both my mother and home economic classes I took in high school taught us to cream the butter and sugar, then add the eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition.  Next, we added the dry ingredients (flour, salt, and baking powder).  It was actually after I learned how to make the perfect pie dough, switching out some of the water with Vodka, that I realized how bad "liquid" was in producing gluten; the culprit in not only tough baked goods, but what was causing that condensed crumb line at the bottom of my cakes.

So, I turned to science--my best friend!  The gluten was forming because when the flour came in to contact with liquid (in this case the egg whites) I would create a great rise, but the air bubbles created by fat would cause the crumb to compress.  More research and I discovered a lot of bakers use what's called "Reverse Creaming."  I remember making cupcakes in culinary school using this method, but somehow I seemed to revert back to my old ways.  What is this method, you ask?  Well, you beat together sifted flour, sugar and butter together until it's smooth.  The fat in the butter coats the flour molecules so when the liquid is added, it creates a barrier which slows the formation of gluten.  Easy!  Let's get started...

Lemon Honey Pound Cake
1 3/4 cup (225g) Cake Flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup (112g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (170g) Meyer Lemon Honey
Zest from 1 lemon
1 cup + 2T (2 sticks +2T) (255g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 large eggs + 3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325F-degrees.  Grease and flour a 9" x 5" loaf pan.

In a small bowl, combine the eggs, egg yolks, honey and vanilla extract and whisk together.  Add the zest of one lemon.



Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer.  Add the granulated sugar and mix with the paddle attachment slightly.  Cut the butter into 1/2-inch pieces and while the mixer is running on low, add all the butter.  Once all the butter is incorporated, turn your mixer up to high and beat 2-3 minutes.
Add the liquid, in three additions, on low speed to start mixing, then turn up to medium to incorporate the liquid. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes.  Test with a wooden skewer in the middle to make sure it's done.

All this cake needs is a dusting of confectioners' sugar, but if you like, add fresh strawberries or your favorite fruit.  And, guess what, the crumb of the cake is uniform and no compression! Enjoy!


13 comments:

  1. That's a very nice crumb and no compression. The science of cooking is very interesting. It must be why I love watching the bake-off shows.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was very pleased with the result!

      Delete
  2. Baking is a science indeed, Susan. Lovely lemon honey pound cake with a nice crumb. I often make a lemon pound cake in the Spring. I must try your method, but first I must buy lemon honey or maybe add lemon to honey? Your pan is so pretty. xoxo ♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Lemon Honey is a new product by King Arthur Flour and had such a lovely flavor. I originally bought it to put a "squirt" in my tea, but decided to first add it to this pound cake.

      Delete
  3. I'm really not a sciency person, but baking is a science indeed. I learned the same creaming method of cake making as you did, but now I use Mary Berry's All~in~One method, everything goes into Emily's bowl and that is when the beater goes on. Flour goes everywhere, of course! {Emily is what I've named my Kitchenaid, btw} I haven't baked a pound cake for ages now, so must give it a go using your method.
    ~~~Waving~~~Deb in Wales xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think this "reverse creaming" method works well for denser cakes, like pound cakes, but I'm going to try it with a few other recipes. It really turned out perfect!

      Delete
  4. I love the tender moist crumb! And what a fancy looking cake pan!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. NordicWare keeps putting out this gorgeous baking pans that I just can't resist:-D

      Delete
  5. Interesting! I've always gone by the rule I learned in Home Ec. Start with dry ingredients, end with dry. I never knew why or how it applied (I am not a science major). Is there occasion to use that method?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Definitely on pound cakes because they are dense, but I'm going to try it on other cake recipes. I sure liked the textured and because of my nursing background, I love science, so this made sense to me.

    ReplyDelete
  7. that is an impressive looking cake !I am also going to have a look for NordicWare. I wonder if I can get it here.

    keep well

    Amanda xx

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh Susan...divine! Each time you simply outdo yourself with these beautiful baked creations! Marvelous!

    ReplyDelete
  9. How interesting, I am going to try this the next time making a pound cake. Your cake is so pretty! I have to add this recipe to my list, my husband likes all things lemon!!
    Cherylxox

    ReplyDelete