Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Sweet Eats :: Martha's Berry Pound Cake

We can't believe we're more than half way through Martha Stewart's Year of Cakes challenge. This challenge has seen both of us step out of our baking "comfort zones", attempting endurance-testing layer cakes and using heart attack-inducing quantities of butter and sugar. So it was with relief that July's Berry Pound Cake with Whipped Cream was going to be a fairly simple feat (as others have attested here). Unfortunately, Tiff was sick last week & sensibly opted out of baking so she could recuperate in time for her trip to Tokyo this week. So for the first time, I was on my own.

Luckily for this cake there was no major new equipment required, although my Mum lent me a loaf tin from her stash of cake tins, so that I could at least have similarly sized cakes. But just cos it was a simple cake to make doesn't mean there wasn't a lot of butter and sugar involved. After last month's inventive butter spa in an attempt to soften butter, I decided to be a bit more organised and left the butter out overnight to soften. Worked a treat. Here is a pic of the butter & sugar prior to beating:

After beating the butter and sugar together, adding the eggs and then mixing in the flour, the result was some thick gooey cake batter:

I popped the cakes into the oven and after about an hour, they came out puffed and golden brown. Here is a pic of the naked cakes hot out of the oven...I couldn't wait to trim those crusty tops for a taste test!:

So far all of Martha's cakes haven't been seasonal enough to affect us here in the southern hemisphere. But given it's the middle of winter here and this cake was very summery, some berry substitution was in order. Raspberries and blueberries are preposterously expensive this time of year, but I did manage to find some sweet juicy strawberries that were reasonably priced. I'm glad I found these cos it wouldn't be much of a berry pound cake if I had to find some other fruit!

After letting the cakes cool for a few hours, it was time for them to get dressed. I whipped up some cream, piped it on the cake and decorated it with the strawberries. Since Tiff wasn't with me, I only decorated one cake and gave her the other plain pound cake the next day to share with her family.

Here is Martha's Berry Pound Cake:

Our Berry Pound Cake:

And here is a cross-section of it:

Due to the whipped cream, I imagine this cake is best eaten soon after decorating. Thankfully I was able to take it that night to a gathering of friends. And the verdict? The cake had the tight and dense texture typical of a pound cake and it tasted very buttery and quite sweet. The strawberries and cream complimented it perfectly - I think it would be a bit plain without them. Everyone loved it. All in all, a yummy cake which I'd be happy to make again...maybe in summer when I can get my hands on all those berries!

Next up for August...the divine sounding Peaches-and-Cream Ice Cream Cake. Hmmm, the only question is...where are we gonna get our hands on some peaches?? N


Anonymous sally said...

Looks delicious! I wish I could send you a box of peaches, they are in abundance over here.

12:21 am, August 02, 2006  
Blogger Ali said...

Mmm - that looks good. And your tablecloth is super-funky.

2:07 am, August 02, 2006  
Blogger nicbiccie said...

Thanks guys...I wish I could take you up on your offer Sally! Bring on summer!!

10:11 am, August 02, 2006  
Anonymous li li said...

Reading your blog makes me hungry!!! Hehe! ;D

12:34 pm, August 02, 2006  
Blogger Soo said...

Yum! Strawberries and cream are always one of my favourites....looks great!

12:51 pm, August 02, 2006  
Blogger nicbiccie said...

Hee hee...you guys are really sweet. I haven't had lunch yet, so I really am getting hungry!

3:11 pm, August 02, 2006  
Blogger Sweet Treat said...

OH My yous should see the peaches here in Tokyo! JUICY!

11:25 am, August 03, 2006  

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