Versatile Pound Cake
About now I start thinking about ways to cut corners and maximize all I can in the kitchen in order to pull off smooth going holidays. Of course pies are important to have on hand, but a pound cake is so versatile that it can arise to nearly any occasion. You can serve it for Christmas breakfast with fruit and yogurt or you can serve it after dinner with Grand Marnier Poached Apricots. You can also bake this cake 3 days ahead. Make sure to store tightly wrapped at room temperature.
2 Cups Room Temperature Unsalted Butter (Plus More For Pan)
3 Cups Unbleached Flour (Plus More For Pan)
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cardamom
2 Cups Superfine Sugar
6 Room Temperature Large Eggs
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and move the rack to the middle of the oven. Butter and flour a Bundt pan or angle food cake pan. In a medium-size bowl combine kosher salt, cream of tartar, cardamom, and flour. In a large-size bowl beat butter, with an electric mixer, until very light and fluffy. This should take about 5 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low and add sugar. Increase speed to high and beat for another 8 minutes. Beating the butter and sugar until light and fluffy is essential to this cake’s moisture. Add eggs one at a time. Beating to blend between additions. Beat in cream and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and slowly add flour mixture. Mix until mostly combined and then finish mixing by hand with a rubber spatula just to combine. Pour batter into prepared pan. Place in oven and bake for 70 to 80 minutes. Rotate cake halfway through baking. Remove from oven and transfer pan to wire rack and let cake cool completely before turning out.
2/3 Cup Grand Marnier
2/3 Cup Sugar
2/3 Cup Water
2 Cups Dried Apricots
2 Inch Piece Peeled Ginger (Sliced)
In a small-size saucepan, bring Grand Marnier, sugar and water to a boil. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add apricots and ginger. Reduce heat to low and gently summer for 25 minutes. You will want apricots to be very soft. Remove from heat and let cool. Just before serving remove ginger pieces. Serve cake with apricots and syrup and perhaps a dollop of whipped cream. You can make these poached apricots 1 week ahead. Cover and place in fridge until ready to serve if making ahead.