Yesterday was my birthday. And I baked a cake. The first cake, the first anything, that I have baked in three months. A brown butter pound cake with hints of cardamom and orange flower, nods to my recent Indian adventure. I kept it in my casier, my personal cubby, where it could cool in peace and stay safe from preemptive taste-testers.
Come evening, I cut it into squares and we ate them with herbal tea and French chatter about local wildlife and recent films, both good and bad.
It was divine. Soft, moist, with a dark brown crust on top that peels away in a single layer and melts in your mouth, the mark of a true pound cake.
Brown Butter Pound Cake with a Hint of India
Apologies to suddenly switch to metric, but it’s a country thing, and I have no cups here, so for the moment, we are working via scale etc. It’s totally worth it. This cake rocks.
Adapted from Poires au Chocolat
185 grams unsalted butter, browned and cooled to room temperature
200 grams granulated sugar
pinch of salt
3 eggs, cold
200 grams cake flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
165 milliliters whole milk
1/2 teaspoon orange flower water
Preheat the oven to 180˚ C or 350˚ F. Grease a nine-inch cake pan or whatever you have handy that’s about the same volume.
In a stand mixer, or a large bowl with a wooden spoon, beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat for another five minutes, again until pale and thoroughly fluffy.
Sift together the dry ingredients. Add the orange flower water to the milk. Add one third of the dry ingredients to the butter mix, then half the milk. Continue, finishing with the final third of the dry ingredients. Mix until thoroughly combined.
Pour into the pan and spread evenly. Bake for 40 minutes, or until top is deep brown and a cake testet comes out clean or perhaps with a few moist crumbs.