Van Halen Pound Cake

My formal picnicking gear, partially packed, with the Van Halen Pound Cake off to the left.

My formal picnicking gear, partially packed, with the Van Halen Pound Cake off to the left.

Today is my birthday, and the other week it was James and I’s anniversary. I made a Van Halen Pound Cake for a picnic on Rose Canyon Lake, which was idyllic. I added almond extract to the icing to give it a wider range and it was great. I found the instructions to be a bit confusing, so I have rearranged them here to be more clear for you:

For the Cake

Preheat your oven to 325F.

Thoroughly spray a 10-cup Bundt pan with nonstick spray. Sprinkle in ½ cup of all-purpose flour and rotate the pan to coat the interior with the flour. Make sure to get the flour up the sides of the pan as well as up the central tube. Turn the pan upside down and firmly knock out the excess flour. Set aside.

Whisk together the cake flour, salt and baking powder in a separate bowl. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine the sugars and cream on medium-high speed until very light and fluffy 5-7 minutes. Scrape the bowl. Using a whisk, whip the cream until thick. The whisk should leave tracks in the cream that will fill in in a couple of seconds. The cream should still flow it should not be whipped even to soft peaks. This takes about 2 minutes. Set aside, away from heat sources.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and soft, scraping bowl as necessary.

Add the eggs to the butter bowl, one at a time, beating them in–first on low, and then medium speed–for a total of about 20 seconds before adding the next. Scrape bowl thoroughly between each addition.

Beat in the vanilla.

On low speed, mix in the dry ingredients in two additions. Mix just until the flour is moistened. The batter will be a little lumpy. That’s okay.

Add the cream and mix it in on low speed for about 5 seconds. Stop the mixer, and finish mixing the batter by hand, folding rather than stirring, until the batter is free of lumps and the cream is gently but thoroughly mixed in.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. I usually shake the pan as well to evenly distribute the batter.

Bake on the middle rack until the cake is well risen, golden brown and springs back when touched on the top. You can also test the cake with a wooden skewer or toothpick. If the skewer comes out clean, the cake is done. The cake will just be pulling away from the sides of the pan. This takes about an hour in my oven. I usually turn the pan after about 40 minutes, just to ensure even baking.

Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for half an hour.

Turn out onto a rack and cool completely.

Glaze when cool. Store at room temperature for two days or refrigerate. If refrigerating, make sure to let the cake come to room temperature before serving.

For the Pound Cake

Place a piece of parchment or tin foil under the cooling rack holding the cake to catch any drips.

In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar and salt together.

Add the vanilla and about 2 tablespoons of dairy. Whisk thoroughly. Add more dairy, just a bit at a time, until you have a very thick but smooth paste. Test it by holding some up on the whisk. It should flow very slowly off the end of the whisk and lay on top of the rest of the glaze for a few seconds before sinking back in.

Once you are pleased with the glaze consistency, spoon/pour over the cake and let slowly run down the sides. If your glaze is thick enough, it will stop running before it drips onto the paper under the rack. If the glaze is a little thin, scrape the excess glaze off the paper and pour back onto the cake.

Let the glaze set for at least an hour.

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