June 10, 2010

Have It and Eat It: Cake


White Chocolate & Fig Pound Cake

C-a-k-e. Four little letters that, when put together, make my heart throb every time they are heard or said. I love cake. Sponge cake; butter cake; chiffon cake; custard cake; angel food cake; devil's food cake; pound cake; génoise; dacquoise; you name it, I love it. Topped with ganache or buttercream or whipped cream or meringue or just a simple dusting of confectioner's sugar all agree with me just fine, thank you. Downy textured cakes and hefty cakes, fudgey-gooey cakes and cakes that crumble all occupy a warm corner of my heart.

This recipe is one I've had my eye on from the Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates cookbook, and it's wonderful. The white chocolate chunks warm in the oven to ooze their cocoa butter into the soul of the cake. The fig seeds offer a marvelous textural crunch. The vanilla-scented crumb is buttery-unctuous, and the whole thing thing comes together in one amazing cake.

Let me warn you; this is a dense cake. My Baby has been putting special emphasis on the word "pound" when he's referring to the pretty ring under the glass dome in the kitchen. It is not dry at all, just dense with goodies, butterfat and cocoa fat. Do not make this cake if light and fluffy are what you're about. There's just no way you'll get light and fluffy from 1 cup of butter, five eggs and a half-pound of white chocolate.

Next time (and there will be a next time), I'll replace the figs with dried cherries, just for fun.

White Chocolate & Fig Pound Cake

Cake
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup milk
8 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
12 ounces dried figs, finely diced (or other dried fruit)

Preheat oven to 350°. Generously butter and flour a 10-inch fluted pan.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter. Add sugar, and cream until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and vanilla, beating again until well incorporated and fluffy. Sift together the flour and baking powder. Add about half of the flour mixture to the batter, mixing gently until mostly incorporated. Add milk, mix gently, then add remaining flour mixture. Remove from mixer and do the final mixing with a wide rubber spatula by hand. (This method keeps too many gluten strands from forming, rendering the most tender cake.) Mix in white chocolate and figs by hand also.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 60-70 minutes, until cake edges just begin to pull away from pan and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on rack for about 10 minutes, then invert onto pretty cake plate to cool completely.

Glaze
2 ounces white chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons cream

In glass dish in microwave, melt together white chocolate and cream in 20 second increments, allowing to sit one minute and then stirring well between each zap. (Any quicker than this, and the mixture is likely to seize. Utilize your patience here. A lack thereof is a certain do-over.) When mixture stirs completely smooth, drizzle atop cooled cake.

24 comments:

  1. This looks fabulous! I love Moosewood. And I love cake. Especially pound cake. :)

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  2. Beautiful and creative. 3 thumbs up (mine and the guy's next to me!!)

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  3. This is great. I may use it for my pantry cleaning challenge. Thank you for sharing.

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  4. Hi Pam, this cake looks wonderful. I really like dense cakes. Thank you for sharing this.

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  5. This looks elegant and scrumptious at the same time :D YUMMY!

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  6. I think I'm ready for dessert! This looks amazing... love figs, love when people take a risk and bake with 'em! They can be so intimidating...


    Keep up the awesome work!

    -Lauren, Lauren's Little Kitchen

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  7. This cake looks marvelous. I love white chocolate. Thank you for sharing.

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  8. I adore cake too! Delicious sounding cake with all that white chocolate and figs.

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  9. Did you call me?? You said cake right? OMG that cake looks marvelously elegant and so delicious!

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  10. Figs and white chocolate a very pretty cake make! :) I have to try this out!

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  11. cake may be a four letter word.....but you have elevated up to 10 letters.....Incredible!!
    great idea with the figs, it must keep it so moist and just jump start the flavours!!
    thanks so much for sharing!

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  12. It is very nice to see a white chocolate recipe. Often it is milk chocolate or semi-sweet. Darker and white are much rarer components in recipes.

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  13. Wow! When I saw the name of the cookbook I had to go look it up because it sounds familiar. I think I have a copy somewhere around here.

    Cake is dangerous to have around the house...

    Very well done as always!

    Jason

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  14. So beautiful and intimidating (for me) at the same time. Maybe it's time for me to trek to Sur la Table, buy myself one of those pans, and brave my fear of cakes and baking!

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  15. Love it! Have some figs just waiting for a home in this recipe!!

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  16. I can just imagine how wonderful this cake is! Bookmarking!

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  17. I just came across your blog, love it :)

    This cake looks amazing!

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  18. Just stunning! I'm not a huge white chocolate fan, but paired with something like figs and I might be a changed man.

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  19. This looks so good! I love the creative twist on pound cake :)

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  20. thanks! I live in Spain and there are figs all over the place. I've been looking for ways to use them so I will definitely give this a try!

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