Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Messing around in the kitchen

Here's a little factoid about the FP household: we LOVE Bailey's.  One of my favorite drinks is Bailey's and root beer.   Before you judge, you should try it.  It tastes like an adult root beer float.  It even gets that yummy foam on the top!  So good.  I want one right now. 

But I digress...

I was scanning through my googly reader, and I came across a recipe for a Bailey's bundt cake.  I was instantly interested.  But, the recipe called for a box of cake mix and a box of pudding mix.  I don't have any sort of moral objection to boxed mixes, but I don't normally have them the house.  I didn't feel like going out and buying them just for this, so I used the inspiration of that recipe to make my own. 

I went the simple way for this.  I started with a basic pound cake recipe, and added some Bailey's, and a couple of extra tablespoons of flour, to keep the liquid/flour balance.  The technique worked, but I am only half pleased with the results.  The cake itself tasted very good, and was soft and moist, but the Bailey's flavor wasn't as pronounced as I had hoped.  I will try to make this again, finding a new way to get more of the flavor that I want.  But, in the meantime, here is what I did this time:

Bailey's Pound Cake
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen "Family Baking Book"

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup Bailey's
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and hot

  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf pan (fp note: i used baking spray, because it was easier. worked just fine.). Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.
  2. Process the sugar, eggs, Bailey's and vanilla together in a food processor until combined, about 10 seconds. With the machine running, pour the hot melted butter through the feed tube in a steady stream until combined, about 30 seconds. Pour the mixture into a large bowl.
  3. Sift one-third of the flour mixture over the egg mixture and whisk to combine until just a few streaks of flour remain. Repeat twice more with the remaining flour mixture, then continue to whisk the batter gently until most lumps are gone.
  4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Wipe any drops of batter off the sides of the pan and gently tap the pan on the counter to settle the batter. Bake the cake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 50 to 60 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.
  5. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a small knife around the edge of the cake to loosen, then flip it out onto a wire rack. Turn the cake right side up and let it cool completely, about 2 hours, before serving.

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