Saturday, March 17, 2012

Spring Tea Party with Orange Pound Cake

Spring flowers in Zurich
I love Spring - seeing the trees and flowers come back to life after a long, cold winter; the bright colors of purple, white and yellow from the snowbells and crocus popping up through the brown ground and knowing that even if we do get another cold spell, it won't last for long!

To celebrate the warm temps this week, we decided to have a little tea party with our neighbors. I found a recipe in one of my favorite vegetarian cookbooks by Jeanne Lemlin ("Quick, Simple and Main-Course Vegetarian Meals") for Old-Fashioned Pound Cake. We made one of the variations with orange flavoring in it and they turned out delicious (recipe below)! These cakes freeze well, too, so you can make one ahead of time and pull out when you have unexpected guests on a sunny afternoon. Don't forget to sprinkle with some citrus sugar from this post. Serve with cold sparkling water with frozen blueberries thrown in at the last minute - they add a bit of flavor to the water and help keep it cold!
Orange Pound Cake with fresh blueberries

Old-fashioned Pound Cake
1 cup (210gr) butter, softened
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (see Variations)
2 cups cake flour (see Note)
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325 F (160 C). Butter and flour a bundt cake pan or line a bread pan with baking paper (I used mini baking cups for my recipe). In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter until smooth, using electric mixer. Add the sugar and beat until light. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract and rind (if variation made).

Add flour and salt and beat until batter is very smooth. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely before serving.

Note: If you don’t have cake flour, combine ¼ cup cornstarch with 1 ¾ cups white flour.

Lemon Pound Cake: use 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, plus grated rind from one lemon
Orange Pound Cake: use ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, plus grated rind from one orange
Almond Pound Cake: use ½ teaspoon vanilla extract and ½ teaspoon almond extract

Happy St Patrick's Day!

J xx

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