Pound cake is so-called because of the ratio of flour, butter, eggs and sugar; the weight of each is more or less identical, and recipes in imperial measurements often called for a pound of each. For best results, use an electric mixer to beat the eggs and sugar to perfect, fluffy lightness, which is essential for the cake to have the right texture. Use grated orange zest instead of lemon, if you like, or leave it out altogether and flavour the batter with vanilla extract or even ground cardamom. The condensed milk gives the cake a tenderness and richness that is rather seductive.
- 50 g slivered almonds
- 340 g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
- 2 lemons, rind finely grated
- 345 g (1½ cups) caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 300 g sweetened condensed milk (see Note)
- 340 g plain flour
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- icing sugar, for dusting
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease a non-stick 25 cm (10 cup capacity) kugelhopf tin. Sprinkle the almonds evenly over the base of the tin.
Using electric beaters, beat the butter, lemon rind and sugar until very light and fluffy. Beating constantly, add the eggs, one at a time, making sure each is incorporated well before adding the next. Beat in the egg yolk and the condensed milk. Sift together the flour and baking powder into a bowl then, using a large metal spoon, stir into the butter mixture. Spoon the cake batter into the tin, smoothing the surface. Bake for 1½ hours or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 25 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Serve dusted with icing sugar.
• Reserve the remainder of the can of condensed milk for another use.
Photography, styling and food preparation by china squirrel.
When she doesn’t have her head in the pantry cupboard, Leanne Kitchen finds time to photograph food and write cookbooks. You can view her work on her website.