Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cherry Vanilla Pound Cake with Rosemary Glaze and Pistachios

Cherry Vanilla Pound Cake

This weekend, I said my goodbyes to this season's Pearson peaches. They were seriously gorgeous and juicy this season, all season! I ate them constantly and had to restrain myself from putting them in all my baked goods. My boyfriend and I celebrated Saturday night with a delicious peach crisp topped with vanilla ice cream.

We maaay have eaten the entire thing between the two of us. I can't say for sure.

Except that I can, and we did.

It's ok though. It was totally summer. Totally acceptable.

Luckily, summer is yielding other beautiful fruits. Figs have been bountiful at the farmer's markets, along with watermelon (ps: have you ever had a yellow watermelon? super duper crunchy awesome). And Whole Foods has been bursting at the seams with gorgeous plums and plumcots and pluots and some sort of velvet something plums. They also have sweet cherries. Look how lovely:

cherries

This summer has also brought mad heat and crazy downpours. Neither of which I'm a huge fan of. Sweat and frizz. Not attractive.

The heat has definitely put my balcony-housed herbs through the ringer. The downpours, however, have been so good to them, have made them big and vibrant and flourishing! Especially the basil and rosemary. It makes me happy.

Cherry Vanilla Pound Cake

Do you ever have those moments where you envision something that you know will prove to be pure genius? Me neither. (I'm a worried baker. Rarely certain.) Mostly, I just surprise myself after the fact.

I knew this combination would happen--sweet cherries, pistachio, rosemary--but I was a tad wary whether it would be as good in reality as it was in my head.

But let me tell you something. It's even better.

This vanilla cake is soft and moist yet hearty and has a tender outer crisp. It marries rather perfectly with the sweet cherries, the frangrant piney hint of rosemary, and the nutty sweetness of pistachio. And you know what else is great about it? It's even better the next day. More moist. And the next. More tenderly crisp. Plus, it's quite a pretty thing.

Cherry Vanilla Pound Cake
Cherry Vanilla Pound CakeCherry Vanilla Pound Cake

Cherry Vanilla Pound Cake with Rosemary Glaze and Pistachios
base pound cake recipe adapted from Bo Friberg
makes one 8x4 inch loaf pan or six mini loaves or ramekins

Note: I made these cakes in a six-cup mini loaf pan (this one), and I had leftover batter, which I baked in a couple of ramekins. Both turned out beautifully, but I actually think I liked the cakes that were baked in the ramekins better.

3 eggs, at room temperature
3 egg yolks (60 ml), at room temperature
1/2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/2 Tbsp. water
227 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
255 white sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
1/2 tsp. salt
200 g cake flour, sifted
8-10 oz. cherries, pitted and chopped into 1/2-inch chunks
rosemary glaze (recipe follows)
handful of pistachios, shelled and chopped

Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Grease loaf pan(s) or ramekins, making sure to grease well in the corners and edges. Set aside.

In a small bowl, lightly mix together eggs, yolks, vanilla extract, and water until eggs are just broken up. (If egg mixture is not at least to room temperature, place it on top of the preheating oven for a few minutes to warm it a bit.)

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter for a minute or two. Slowly add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. With the mixture running on low, add the egg mixture very slowly over the period of a few minutes. Beat in the salt. Toss the cherries with a handful of flour to evenly coat. Fold the remaining flour into the butter-egg mixture in three additions. Fold in the cherries. Pour into prepared pan(s)/ramekins. Bake for about 1 hour for loaf pan, 30 minutes for mini loaves/ramekins, until skewer inserted in the top comes out clean.

Let cake cool enough so that you can handle it, and remove from pan(s)/ramekins to cooling rack. Once cooled completely, drizzle with rosemary glaze and top with pistachios.

Rosemary Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. whole milk
2 Tbsp. rosemary, finely chopped

Whisk together all ingredients and let rosemary steep for at least 5 minutes (longer steeping = stronger rosemary flavor). I actually used more milk to thin the glaze out a bit, so feel free to alter the amounts to get your desired consistency. I also placed the mixture in a small food processor to break up the rosemary even further and bring out the flavor more, but you don't necessarily have to do this. Strain the glaze through a fine mesh strainer to get rid of any larger rosemary bits (it's ok if there are still small pieces of rosemary).

Cherry Vanilla Pound Cake
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PS: I wanted to take a second to thank Meghan of Stir & Scribble for sending me the most awesome pressie package. I am loving it so much! She is super sweet, and her blog is awesome (especially the cocktails, but that's just me). Check her out if you haven't already!

Pressies! Thank you so much @mjsplawn!

11 comments:

  1. These pictures are phenomenal! Looks amazing :)

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  2. I'm kind of the same way most of the time - the worried baker. But sometimes I'll head into the kitchen with the 'what's the worst thing that can happen' attitude. Then I spend all night cleaning up the mess I made!

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  3. Those are lovely treats indeed. I love the versatility of pound cakes. I am really intrigued to try this, I always have had a soft spot for mini cakes. Your little cherries are so divine!
    Anyhoo, we have been keeping an eye out for unique and interesting bloggers with phenomenal photography skills, and yours have caught our attention! We have just recently launched a food photo gallery http://www.yumgoggle.com/gallery/ that allows you to showcase all your great work and share it with all of our visitors. We’d be proud to have your work as part of our growing collection to continue to have a larger reach and further inspire all fellow food lovers out there!

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  4. The flavors of your cake all sound incredible together! And stunning pics! This looks straight out of a magazine :) Absolutely in love!

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    Replies
    1. It is a fantastic combination of flavors!!

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  5. Inspired flavour combination of cherries, pistachio and rosemary. I love seeing herbs used in cakes to off-set sweetness - I think it makes cakes so much more interesting and sophisticated. I'm looking forward to trying out this combination. Great work!

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    1. I love herbs in sweets too! They add such a lovely earthy/flowery-ness!

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