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110.15.09Cardamon Vanilla Pound Cake

Posted Oct 15 2009 12:00am

News of Gourmet magazine’s future demise is disheartening. I’ve been trying to find the time to make this recipe since it appeared in the March 2009 issue. Between work, aspirations and promising myself, “If I do five days of exercise, I give myself permission to bake a cake,” I still haven’t found time to test this recipe. I thought I’ll salvage this recipe before Gourmet magazine’s website goes under. If you’ve made this recipe before me, let know how it comes out. Especially, if your version is different than Gourmet magazine’s version.

Gourmet magazine, I kindly remember you as the food magazine subscription I would read as a child sitting at my family’s kitchen table. Peeling carrots, chopping onions, mincing garlic, trimming green beans, stirring sauces, grating cheese, watching the timer, licking cake batter from the mixer, washing dishes, stealing bread when they’re fresh from the oven, watching corn bread and white bread dry out for Thanksgiving stuffing, steaming pots of pasta, and talking excessively about life with my father. Gourmet magazine was my textbook.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-1/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1-3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 vanilla beans, halved lengthwise
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup whole milk
1-1/2 cups chilled heavy cream
2-1/2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

* Equipment: a 12-cup kugelhopf or bundt pan; a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment

1. Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Generously butter pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess.

2. Whisk together flour, cardamom, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat together butter and granulated sugar in mixer at medium speed, scraping side of bowl occasionally, until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape seeds from vanilla beans with tip of a paring knife into butter mixture, reserving pods for another use, and beat until combined well, about 1 minute. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in lemon juice until combined well. At low speed, add flour mixture and milk alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, mixing until just combined.

3. Spoon batter into pan, smoothing top. Gently rap pan on counter to eliminate air bubbles.

4. Bake until a wooden skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool in pan 1 hour, then invert onto a rack and cool completely, about 1 hour more.

5. Beat cream with confectioners sugar and vanilla extract using whisk attachment of mixer until it just holds stiff peaks. Serve cake with whipped vanilla cream.

Cooks’ notes:
• If you have green cardamom pods, you can grind the seeds using a mortar and pestle or an electric coffee/spice grinder
• Cake keeps in an airtight container at room temperature 3 days.

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