Sunday, October 5, 2014

Shellbark Nut (or Filbert) Pound Cake

Another good one from Mom-works-through-the-Penzeys-catalogs,-slightly-adapted.

This one is from a Diane Braden who has a shellbark hickory tree and a good recipe for its use. We do not, and so we used filberts/hazelnuts.

Baking recipes-- cakes and cookies-- can produce quite different results depending on where they are made. Some recipes worked great in New York but not in Utah, and some recipes I knew to be reliable in Utah did not work in New York. Not only are there altitude effects, but I'm convinced there are factors that have to do with the hydration levels of your flour and sugar as well.

Be that as it may, despite being developed at a low, dry altitude, this produced a beautiful cake here at the foot of the Wastach. The Utah cake was denser and baked up relatively flat in the tube pan; the picture of the nearer-sea-level cake is domed with a lighter crumb. Denser pound cake is the pound cake I know and love, so the Utah result seemed pretty perfect to me.

Shellbark Nut (or Filbert) Pound Cake

2 sticks butter, room temperature
1/2 c shortening
3 3/4 c sugar
5 eggs
3 3/4 c flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking powder
1 c milk
2 t vanilla
1 1/4 c hickory or filbert nuts, finely chopped (a blender/food processor works well for this; no need to blanch and remove the skins-- they give the cake a delightful speckle)

Preheat oven to 300 F. Grease and flour tube pan and set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well. In a separate bowl, measure the flour (the catalog says that Diane sifts the flour THREE TIMES. Here in the shadows of the everlasting hills, this did not happen). Add flour to the fat/sugar mix gradually, alternating with milk and vanilla. Gently stir in chopped nuts. Pour into the prepped pan and bake at 300 F for 2 hours. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes before turning out of the pan onto a serving plate. The recipe suggests sprinkling with powdered sugar but we did not.

1/24 of the cake: 360 cal; 17g fat 48g carb; negligible fiber; 5g protein

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