Sunday, August 7, 2011
Nilla Vanilla - Vanilla Bean Pound Cake + Vanilla bean syrup + Vanilla glaze
It's been a hectic few weeks - new job + medical school applications + social life + volunteering = a very busy past few weeks.
But I have not forgotten you awesome folks - I've been busy baking stuff.
Today I will begin with the vanilla bean pound cake with a vanilla bean syrup with a vanilla glaze.
Nilla Vanilla time!
I recently began my new job in Stanford, and I'm fortunate to be surrounded by amazing fun people - people who share similar interests and are quite social. They are generous, kind, and selfless. They have helped me so much since I've been there - just getting used to things takes a long time.
So, when my lab mate's birthday came up, I figured that I would make something for the lab. As I was browsing through Smitten Kitchen (SK) - something caught my eye - Vanilla Bean pound cake
OH MY GOD!
Yes, that was my reaction. Growing up, pound cake was a regular staple in the household. Flavors from vanilla, chocolate, strawberry. And I had on one occasion dreamed of an endless supply of these cakes.
Until recently, when I found out that the name aptly describes the cake - a pound of everything.
Perfect. I can attempt this cake, share it everyone, taste it, and not feel bad for the fact that it has a pound of butter.
The recipe is pretty straightforward (in terms of the cake). Check it about 10 minutes before the time shown on Smitten Kitchen, because I overbaked mine just a bit.
Deb on SK did not find it as impressive by itself, unless it was paired with something like grilled fruit. Something was missing. So I thought that I would take it up another two notches to help the poor cake out.
First I made a vanilla bean syrup. Easy, steep a small amount of vanilla beans (I used a 1/4 of a bean) with the seeds scraped out with sugar and water and you get a phenomenal syrup (that can be used for your coffee too! If you like vanilla in it). I also love the black specks.
Second, make a vanilla glaze - just powdered sugar, little milk, vanilla extract (THE GOOD STUFF! I will hunt you down if you use the medicine tasting version)
I loved this version. The vanilla bean syrup and glaze just really enhanced the vanilla bean flavor and kept the cake really moist.
I'm sorry for not having a final picture. But it was GONE before I could get a beautiful picture.
I give my version of this cake two thumbs up.
And the one thing I learned - I LOVE VANILLA BEANS!
Here's a preview of what to expect in the next few weeks:
- A Harry Potter tribute - Mrs. Weasley's Rock cakes
- Pepper Cumin cookies
- My trip to Calphalon (I love you!)
- French Baguettes
- Feedback and suggestions for recipes to try - I want to hear from YOU!