Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cinnamon and orange scented pound cake

Pound cakes must be the easiest cakes to make; with just four key ingredients you have a delightful, tasty and reliable recipe. I have been making pound cakes forever and of course I always add new twist to the base so I don´t get bored.
Now that is colder in Madrid, the pound cakes I make need to have deep warm flavor that suit this weather perfectly. 

I mentioned in previous posts that I love to go on weekends to Madrid's countryside and walk in its forests and explore its charming villages. I usually take some snacks with me as I know I will get hungry and need something to keep me going. On my last visit, I wanted to have a small picnic time, even though it is even colder in the countryside, so I made a heart-warming cake for the occasion.

Thinking of the ingredients that would transform the plain vanilla pound cake wasn't a difficult task. As I am a cinnamon-o-holic, I had to use it to give that depth of flavor and warmth and to complement and freshen up that flavor what better than orange zest? I also added some chooclate drops to round the flavor and give even more depth. Finally, for added texture, I made a nutty, buttery and spicy streusel topping. Heavenly combination.

Now let´s start baking:
For the cake (one small loaf tin)
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 60 g sugar
  • 60 g soft butter
  • 60 g flour
  • 2 g baking powder or 1/2 tsp
  • the zest of a small orange
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 20 g chocolate drops
  • dash of salt
For the streusel:
  • 14 g flour
  • 7 g butter
  • 7 g brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 20 g chopped walnuts

First mix the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. Cream the butter with sugar, cinnamon and orange zest, I do it by hand using a rubber spatula, you can use an electric mixer but I don´t bother, especially when it's only a small quantity. When well combined add the egg and mix well. Fold in  the flour mixture and lastly the chocolate drops.
Quickly prepare the streusel by mixing all the ingredients save for the walnuts. Use the tip of your fingers or a fork to incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients. When well combined add the walnuts. 
Sprinkle the streusel on the top of the batter and bake for about 25 to 30 min in a preheated oven (180 C or 350 F).

That mini cake made that day warm despite of the cold and the snow in the high mountains nearby. The day was perfect, the cake was just right and the colors of the surrounding nature were outstanding. The only downside was the windy weather which made the cold feel even colder. I had to quickly wrap up and head back to Madrid enjoying the good time spent there and the few pictures I managed to take before my hands froze, but it was worth it!

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