Sunday, August 7, 2011

Nilla Vanilla - Vanilla Bean Pound Cake + Vanilla bean syrup + Vanilla glaze

Hey all,
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


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!


1 comment:

  1. I just happen to land on your blog....
    I am glad it happened, you have some really nice recipes the cake , the challah.... Great Job.
    And with such a busy schedule you still manage to bake, Now I am impressed.
    Take care and all the best...