The story goes that pound cake got its name because each ingredient was added by the pound: butter, sugar, flour and eggs. Now a days measurements are a bit simpler making the scale unnecessary yet the basics of a pound cake remain the same. A true pound cake is dense, rich and buttery and this cake adapted from Epicurious, fits the bill. It is so simple yet rich, buttery and delicious. The cake is flecked with vanilla seeds and hints of zesty lemon. Don’t skip on the vanilla bean; while extract imparts a bit of vanilla flavor the inclusion of the beans is what makes this cake so delicious.
The cake is elegantly decadent as it is but you could dust it with a bit of confectioners sugar or do as I do and drench it in a rich Nutella ganache. The addition of creamy chocolate and hazelnuts makes takes this cake to a whole new level.
VANILLA BEAN POUND CAKE w/ NUTELLA GANACHE
For the cake:
2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 1/3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 10-inch diameter bundt cake pan.
- Place the butter and the lemon peel in large bowl. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean and beat until smooth.
- Gradually beat in 2 1/3 cups sugar.
- Whisk eggs and yolks in medium bowl until just blended.
- Beat the egg mixture into the butter mixture in 4 additions.
- Beat in vanilla extract and salt. Sift flour over in 3 additions, mixing until just blended after each addition.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake the cake until tester inserted near center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes.
- Cool the cake in pan on rack 15 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the pan, turn right side up on rack and cool completely.
- While the cake is cooling, make the ganache: place the nutella into a medium sized bowl.
- Heat the cream in a small sauce pan set over medium heat. Bring just to a boil and pour over then nutella.
- Whisk the mixture until smooth. Stir in the sea salt and vanilla extract.
- Let the ganache to cool slightly before pouring over the top of the cake.