Baking Heaven…Part 1

For the last few days, my hip has really bothered me…blame the tango or the running (or both for that matter). But this weekend, the baking and cooking bug really hit me. So I improvised and sat on a barstool while doing most of my prep and cooking. Surprisingly, it worked out really well and I was able to make some fabulous treats (much to my housemates delight).

Since moving up to DC, I have had a hard time finding a really good, dense, flavorful pound cake. In the South, pound cake is almost a religion. Families pass down their pound cake recipes from one generation to the other and they are guarded more fiercely than the president. As I was going through my favorite blog, I found a pound cake recipe that I knew would satisfy my Southern palette. How did I know this you may ask? Because one of the main ingredients was cream cheese…delectable, full fat cream cheese. A great pound cake requires a lot of fat, so any recipe with cream cheese was fine in my book. Although the recipe I was following had a blueberry topping, I opted to instead make a vanilla bean gelato to top the pound cake. For the pound cake recipe, see the link above (the mise en place is pictured here). The gelato, however, was mostly something I created from a base gelato recipe.

10 Egg Yolks
1 Cup Sugar
1 Quart Milk
Vanilla Pod

As always, I am a strong believer in having all of your ingredients measured out before starting the actual cooking. So make sure to separate out your eggs and measure your sugar and milk. Cut the vanilla pod lengthwise and scoop out the beans.

From the quart of milk, measure out 1/2 cup and set aside. Place the remaining milk in a saucepan, along with the two halves of the vanilla pod and the beans. Add a dash of salt and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently to try to avoid a skin forming on the top of the milk. Remove the mixture from the heat and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until combined. Add the reserved 1/2 cup of cold milk to the egg mixture, whisking until blended. Pour the warm milk and vanilla into the egg mixture, continuing to whisk slowly to keep the mixture from spilling out of the bowl. Once combined, pour the mixture into a large saucepan and place it on low heat for about 15 minutes. Again, make sure to stir frequently to avoid that icky milk skin.

Pour the mixture through a sieve and allow to completely cool before placing in an ice cream maker. Follow your ice cream maker’s instructions to get the mixture to a good gelato consistency. For my model , I poured the mixture into the frozen mixing bowl and churned it for 25 minutes.

Once I made the gelato and pound cake, I decided to make it a bit of a sundae with walnuts. I cut a slice of the pound cake, halved it and placed it in a bowl. I scooped out some gelato and decorated the dish with walnuts. If I had whip cream, I would have added that as well! I finally had some REAL pound cake, making this Southern girl happy as a peach!

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Filed under Baking, Dessert

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