I had a tough time parting with this vanilla pound cake. It was incredible. Each slice was moist, sweetened by 3 layers of vanilla and made heavenly with a pristine vanilla icing that enveloped the entire loaf cake. I could barely resist this divinity when I saw the tiny specks from the vanilla pod on the virginal white glossy icing. Can you blame me if I wanted to keep it all to myself?
I baked this Vanilla Pound Cake for friends who had no power, no gas in their cars and were shivering in the cold with no heat. A heavy snow storm was in the forecast right after Storm Sandy here in the east coast. Another storm was not convenient. One of my remedies to trying times is to bake and share it with friends. This Vanilla Pound Cake was for friends whose patience was running thin from the lack of everything around us.
While waiting out the storm, it was sheer joy to read “Pure Vanilla” by Shauna Sever sent by the folks at Quirk Books. I’ve baked with vanilla and never gave it much thought. But now, this vanilla cookbook opened a whole new world of baking possibilities for me.
What is Vanilla Sugar? The cookbook Pure Vanilla shows how to make it and its versatility. I tried making a jar and I got hooked. Open a jar of Vanilla Sugar , and the whiff of vanilla scents clutch at you, first mildly then gradually stronger. You’ll wonder why you never made vanilla sugar before. Every concoction I made with Vanilla Sugar tasted real, whole, sweet yet full-bodied.
Pure Vanilla has 80 delectable recipes of cakes, custards, candies, snacks all centered on vanilla. Some recipes use layers of vanilla flavors and it is magnificent. Recipes are easy to follow and the selections are a mix of easy favorites and heirloom vanilla-based ideas. A history of vanilla and its origins is very helpful. There are vanilla facts and trivia you never knew before and together with the gorgeous photos will add a new perspective to your baking.
In the end, I opened the cookbook again and kept baking more vanilla goodies from it. I baked Vanilla Snaps, made Vanilla waffles and a second Vanilla Pound Cake. Everything was simply vanilla-rich and vanilla-licious!
This Triple Vanilla Pound Cake was sheer joy to bake, share and enjoy. It was an easy, delectable way to start baking my way through the new “Pure Vanilla” cookbook by Shauna Sever. I started by making a jar of Vanilla Sugar. This loaf cake recipe has three layers of lush vanilla flavors : vanilla sugar, caviar and extract. It was quick to mix but the layers of vanilla flavors made each slice and each whiff simply bliss. The recipe also shows how to make a delightful vanilla glaze using a vanilla bean. You’ll never look at vanilla cake the same way again after this. This recipe makes a 9 x 5 inch loaf cake.
- cake flour - 1 and 1/2 cups
- salt - 1/8 teaspoon
- baking soda - 1/8 teaspoon
- unsalted butter - 1/2 cup or 1 stick, at room temperature
- Homemade Vanilla Sugar - 1 and 1/4 cups (recipe is on page 69 of
- pure vanilla extract - 1 and 1/2 teaspoons
- caviar - of 1/2 vanilla bean
- eggs - 3 large, at room temperature
- buttermilk - 1/2 cup, at room temperature
- confectioners' sugar - 1 and 1/2 cups, for the glaze
- caviar - of 1/2 vanilla bean, for glaze
- buttermilk - 2 to 3 Tablespoons, at room temperature, for glaze
- unsalted butter - 1 Tablespoon, very soft, for glaze
- Preheat oven to 325 F degrees. Prepare a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Grease with cooking spray at the bottom and sides. Place a parchment paper in the bottom.
- Sift together flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl.
- Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together the vanilla sugar, vanilla extract and vanilla caviar on medium high speed for 2 minutes. The mixture should look light and fluffy.
- Beat in eggs, 1 at a time till smooth.
- Reduce mixer speed to low and add buttermilk. Slowly add the flour mixture. Keep mixing.
- Turn off the stand mixer and finish stirring batter by hand until completely mixed. Pour into prepared pan.
- Bake at 325 F degrees for 60 to 65 minutes or test for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center. If the toothpick comes out clean, it is done. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes or more. Before putting the glaze on top, make sure loaf cake is thoroughly cooled.
- While cake is cooling, make the glaze: whisk together sugar, vanilla caviar and buttermilk. Add in butter by whisking until glaze is smooth. (If you’re just learning to bake with a vanilla bean, do not get alarmed by the dark specks from the caviar you will scrape off. This is an indication you just flavored your glaze with a most delightful flavoring).
- Place the loaf cake on a wire rack that’s over a large baking sheet. Place a piece of foil on the baking sheet for easy clean up.
- Slowly pour the glaze over the cake. Use a spatula to smooth and spread the glaze well over the top. The semi liquid-creamy consistency of the glaze will dribble down slowly on the sides of the loaf cake.
- The author suggested to let the cake stand at least 1 hour, till the cake has cooled and glaze has set, before slicing.
Disclosure : No compensation was received to review this book. But I will gladly recommend this cookbook to anyone who enjoys vanilla-based recipes.