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Vanilla Lemon Pound Cake with Ginger & Basil Macerated Berries

This was a very last minute dessert I made this week for company. I really love pound cake, but sometimes I find it can be dry and boring. I knew I wanted to spice things up and make an elegant dessert. I had a little over an hour to create and this is what I came up with. This pound cake is really delicious and best served when slightly warm. The berries are different and unexpected, but work.   Image

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Ground Vanilla Beans

It is called vanilla lemon pound cake, so it has to live up to its name! I went on an overload with the vanilla by using vanilla extract, vanilla paste and ground vanilla beans. Now, I know you might not have the last 2 ingredients, (I do highly suggest finding them at a specialty food store!) but they really perfume the pound cake so beautifully. If you cannot find the last 2 ingredients, a fresh vanilla bean with the seeds scraped will work or just more vanilla extract.Image

For the lemon, I used the zest from a whole lemon, which I think has all the best flavor.  Here is how I made the pound cake.

Vanilla Lemon Pound Cake:

1 Cup (2 Sticks): Unsalted butter, soft

1 1/4 Cups: Sugar

4 Large: Eggs

2 Tablespoons: Honey *I like using raw honey. Jake’s mom and stepdad make the honey I used. I got to help make this batch, which was AWESOME!*Image
2 teaspoons: Vanilla extract

1 teaspoon: Vanilla paste (optional)

1/2 teaspoon: Ground vanilla beans (optional)

1 Lemon, zested. 

2 Cups: All purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon: Salt

1/2 teaspoon: Baking powder

Directions:

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan that is 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches. 

2) In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed. This takes about 3 minutes for it to become light in color. 

3) While the butter and sugar are creaming, measure out the eggs, honey, vanilla(s) and lemon zest in a small bowl. With the mixer on, add in the egg mixture one egg at a time. Scrape down the bowl in between each egg and incorporate. Image

4) Combine all the dry ingredients in a small bowl and add it to the batter with the mixer on low speed. Do not over beat. Take the bowl off the mixer and finish mixing the batter with a rubber spatula.Image

5) Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake in the preheated oven for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 20 minutes, then take out of the pan. Serve slightly warm. Image

While the pound cake was baking I prepared the berries. I used fresh ginger and basil, which is one of the best food combinations. Odd? A little, but odd is a good thing! My mom was making fresh tomato sauce, and of course she added basil, so I snatched some. We also had fresh ginger left over for a drink we made, so I took that too. That’s how this little creation started.Image

The berries were macerated in the refrigerator, which basically means marinating. When you are macerating berries or dried fruit, you use a liquid (an acid or liquor) and sugar. The sugar will help the fruits release their juices and create a beautiful, chunky fruit syrup. Which is perfect with pound cake-it almost acts like a sponge moping up all those flavors! Feel free to use any berries you like.

Ginger & Basil Macerated Berries:

1/2 Cup: Blackberries

1/2 Cup: Blueberries

1/2 teaspoon: Fresh basil, chopped

1/2 teaspoon: Fresh ginger, peeled & grated

1/2 teaspoon: Lemon zest

4 Tablespoons: Sugar

Juice from half a lemon

Directions:

1) Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Use a fork to break up some of the berries. Let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. ImageImage

To assemble:

1) Cut a slice of vanilla lemon pound cake and top with the macerated berries and some of the juices.Image

That’s how it’s done! Simple & elegant. 

-Sis-

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11 thoughts on “Vanilla Lemon Pound Cake with Ginger & Basil Macerated Berries

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  2. Great recipe. I have always wanted to make my own pure vanilla, but have never attempted it. I have pure vanilla I bring from Mexico.
    Love the marinated berries with ginger and basil. Going to use this with my crepes I make in the mornings or even for dessert.

    Thanks for sharing!! 🙂

    Chef Randall
    savorthefood.wordpress.com

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you like the recipes. I have some friends who go down to Mexico a lot and they bring me back Mexican vanilla. It’s pretty different from what you can buy in the US. It smells delicious-and it’s a little sweeter. Hope you enjoy the berries!! It’s a little different, but delicious! Thanks for visiting!

  3. A lovelmy cake & those special basil & ginger macerarted berries must taste also awesome! 🙂 Yummmm! I also make my own vanilla extract: so much better, don’t you think so?

  4. Thank you! I think there is such a difference when you make your own vanilla extract!! It’s the best! I have 3 bottles being made right now! It takes awhile, but is so worth it!

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