Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Rosemary Pound Cake with Key Lime Glaze

My adventures in the world of focaccia didn’t quite use up all my rosemary.

I was going to use it to infuse some oil for salad dressings, but I found myself on edge and anxious on Sunday after getting news from my dad that my mom is sick. It’s hard to deal with family situations from 4,000 miles away, had my husband and I still been living in Ohio, I’d already be in North Carolina. My anxiety didn’t get any better when I found out that all flights off the island are booked solid through Friday.

So, in an attempt to do something therapeutic, I decided to make an updated version of standard pound cake. As luck would have it, I had buttermilk left over from making fried chicken earlier in the week, so I figured I'd use that up. I knew I wanted to use rosemary in the cake, but hadn’t thought about what other flavor I wanted to pair. I find that rosemary is at its best when paired with another flavor.

Looking through my refrigerator, I settled on a bottle of rum and a bottle of key lime juice – wha-la, my updated version had just come to life.

The first step was to take all ingredients and bring them to room temperature, so I pulled out the eggs, butter, rum, key lime juice, and buttermilk and allowed them to come to temperature. A few hours later, I unwrapped the butter and creamed it in my stand mixer until smooth, after which I add the sugar. Over the years I decided that I like the results of beating the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. I learned, recently, to use baker’s sugar, which is much finer than regular granular sugar, so that it reaches the right consistency much more quickly.

While this is mixing, I sift together flour and baking soda. When the butter/sugar mixture reaches the right consistency, eggs are added one at a time, mixing well after each addition. After the last egg is mixed, the bowl is scrapped down, the rum and key lime juice are added until just mixed, and then flour and buttermilk are alternately added until just combined. As a last step I add finely chopped rosemary.

To prep the pan, I sprayed a loaf pan with nonstick spray, added sugar, and dusted it until all sides are covered with sugar. The batter is poured into the pan to about 2/3 full and then is baked at 350ºF until the center is firm to touch or a toothpick comes out clean. The loaf is allowed to cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then turned out onto a baking rack to cool at least 15 minutes more before applying the glaze.

The final touch is mixing up lots of key lime-rum glaze and drizzle it over the pound cake. It certainly looks good and smells good! The taste testers at work certainly enjoyed it. I got a few puzzled looks when I answered the “Oooh, what’s that?” with “Just rosemary pound cake.”, but one taste and everyone was hooked!

I wish I had thought to take more pictures – however I was in a ‘zone’ trying to keep my mind of my mom.

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