Monday, July 9, 2007

Almond Pound Cake and Peach Ice Cream

July 9, 2007

Directly contrary to the overall theme, there is no direct link to chocolate in this first post, but hey, sometimes there just isn't.

This cake/combination was inspired by two things. Always in the back of my mind there is the awareness of ingredients I have that might be pressed into service for some thing or another. It’s a just a matter of finding the right catalyst.
So, there are usually two things – the raw material and the inspiration.

In this case the inspiration was a food blog that originates in Singapore that I love/am in awe of – - she just wrote about a kumquat preserve pound cake with white chocolate (there's the chocolate!!) ice cream. She usually doesn’t give recipes, but the inspiration factor is high. Raw material is the two jars of Austrian jam we were given while we were in Germany – one of them is a combination of apricot and yellow plum, I think, though but I haven’t looked up the translation for the label yet. Anyway, this jam is authentic stuff – the label, as noted above, is only in German, and the flavor is fantastic. That said, it is unlikely the we would actually use a 9 oz. jar of jam anytime soon, seeing as how we have tons of my homemade stuff and that we just don’t eat much toast. So. The thought of stirring some jam into a cake batter was quite inspiring.

Then, the peaches looked great in the Columbia City Farmers’ Market – wanted to use apricots but they are at least 48 hours away from being ripe. And there just happened to be peach schnapps in the liquor cabinet, courtesy of a wild hair of Jill’s probably.

At this point (July 4) no taste test has yet been done – except of course for the clean up on the ice cream transfer from one container to another – that one seems like a keeper so far! Anyway, the pound cake seems like it will be good in a few hours when we have some with the fireworks, but I do think that the batter probably should have had some sour cream in addition to the listed ingredients. [Late note - definitely add 1 c. of sour cream, alternating with the flour - probably unnecessary to adjust the other ingredients.]

Apricot Almond Pound Cake with Peach Ice Cream

Apricot Almond Pound Cake

8 oz. butter
5 oz. almond paste
4 oz. apricot, or yellow plum, preserves
1 ½ cups sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
½ t. almond extract
½ t. each baking powder and baking soda
¼ t. salt
¼ cup peach schnapps
3 cups flour

Preheat oven to 350, butter and flour a fluted tube pan, or an angel food cake pan is fine too.

Cream the butter and almond paste in the bowl of the Kitchenaid – I was going to say “in the bowl of a stand mixer”, but I have a Kitchenaid and everyone knows what I’m talking about, I hope, and no one says I have to be brand-neutral here, so what the heck – cream the butter and almond paste until fluffy. Then add the preserves and the sugar and cream some more, then add the eggs one at a time and cream until very light and fluffy. Add the extracts, the baking powder and baking soda, the salt, and the schnapps – stir until just mixed in. Then add the flour and stir it in until completely mixed, but don’t overbeat. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until just golden brown and risen – about 45 minutes. Cool on a rack and unmold after about 20 minutes, while still warm but not hot. Serve slices at room temperature with a scoop of peach ice cream and a mint leaf garnish. The pic shows an apricot as well. mmmmm.

Peach Ice Cream

2 large peaches, skins removed and chopped fine
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
2 T peach schnapps (optional)

Blanch the peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds in order to be able to slip the skins off. Peel the peaches, then cut the fruit from the pit and chop fine – put into a large mixing bowl and put in the fridge. Mix the sugar into the milk and let stand in the fridge until the sugar is dissolved (I put the milk and sugar into a wide-mouthed mason jar and shake a few times to get things going. This is far better than heating the milk in order to dissolve the sugar). After the sugar is dissolved (30 minutes or so) stir the milk/sugar mixture into the chopped peaches, then stir in the heavy cream and the schnapps. The schnapps isn’t critical
but it adds a nice flavor nuance and the additional sugar and alcohol keeps the ice cream from freezing too hard. Pour all into the bowl of an ice cream freezer and freeze according to directions, approximately 30 minutes in a Simac, which is what I have. Then transfer to a container and put it in the freezer for at least 4 hours until firm.
In the future I might disolve the sugar with the chopped peaches before freezing - it might help the peaches from getting an icy texture, though it was not a big problem with this ice cream.


Zeta said...

OMG~This looks like heaven!I can't wait to try your house!

Prunella said...

Well written article.