Pound cake, vanilla, butter! Are there any better or sweeter words in the English language? And, upon hearing them, would there every be any doubt in your mind that you needed to make these? There certainly wasn’t any doubt in my mind. From the instant Marie announces this weeks recipe, my mouth started watering. I don’t think there is dessert recipe than can have enough vanilla, to be honest I think most of them don’t have enough. I also don’t think that there is a more pure and unadulterated ride to heaven than a piece of plain vanilla pound cake. We all know that age old question of , “If you were stranded on a desert island, what one food would you bring?” Mine would without a doubt be vanilla pound cake. There just isn’t anything better in the whole world. Okay, let’s head into the kitchen and bake up these beauties.
These truly are simplicity itself. Once you have yourmis en place, they go together in less than 10 minutes. Even the mis on these takes just a few minutes. The most time consuming thing is waiting for the eggs and butter to reach room temperature. I just took mine out before I did the morning errands and all was ready when I was. As a matter of fact, once I started in, I realized that my financier molds are not really proper financier molds, they are a bit larger and deeper and I realized right away that I was going to need to double the recipe to accommodate them. I just pulled everything out and moved right along without missing a beat. There you have it, proof that this is by far the simplest recipe you will ever attempt.
To start, halve a vanilla bean, scrape the seeds into the sugar and rub them through the sugar, then process in a food processor until completely combined. To be honest, I found that rubbing them into the sugar was sufficient and skipped the processor step. You can decide for yourself what is enough.
Lightly whisk together the egg whites, vanilla and milk and set aside until needed. In the bowl of stand mixer, combine flour, vanilla sugar, baking powder and salt and whisk to combine. Add the butter and half the egg mixture and mix to moisten the dry ingredients, then raise the speed to medium and blend for about a minute. Add the remaining egg mixture in two additions, mixing between each addition. Pipe or spoon the batter into the prepared financier molds and bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.
There you have it. Was I right? Can it get any easier than this. I think these should be called “10 minutes to Heaven”. They are just incredible. As a matter of fact, I am eating one with a cup of tea as I write this and I am finding it hard to concentrate on writing because these are so good.
They have a tender but firm crumb yet remain moist, not dry and the one I am eating was made yesterday and just sat out on my kitchen counter. Still moist. They have a nice rich vanilla flavor, and I find that the combination of vanilla bean and vanilla extract gives a stronger but mellower vanilla flavor that I particularly like, especially in these unadorned type desserts. My only complaint, and you all, already know what that is going to be. Individual little cakes. Not to my liking at all. In fact, I have dediced that the next time I make these, I am going to double the recipe again and bake them in those small loaf pans that I bought in Paris years ago and have only used once. I am sure they will work great.
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