It’s time for the finale of the pound cake project! (For the previous posts, check out part 1 and part 2.) I had great fun playing with these four variations, and was very pleased with all the results. Unfortunately, my camera SD card decided to give out after I’d taken photos for the final variation, and I didn’t realise until much later… Fortunately, I’d snapped a photo with my phone because I couldn’t resist sharing it with a few friends—I hope you won’t mind the sub-par quality of the shot!
And without further ado, here are the last four pound cake variations:
Day/Way #9: French “toast”
If you can dunk a slice of bread in an eggy, milky mixture and fry it, why not do the same with pound cake?
Why not, indeed!
I used one egg, a dash of milk, fried it in some butter, and decided to spread on some lemon curd. Yummy!
Day/Way #10: Hong Kong-style French “toast”
If you can give a slice of pound cake the French toast treatment, why not go all out and make it Hong Kong-style French toast? After receiving this genius suggestion from Ruby Yee, I took out a bottle of oil and got ready for some serious culinary action. In short, Hong Kong-style French toast is basically French toast…that’s deep-fried.
My slice turned out beautifully, but before I dug in, I decided to try out a little something. Hong Kong-style French toast is usually served with peanut butter, which I didn’t have on hand—but I did have some speculoos spread I picked up while in Belgium, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to use it. I also drizzled a bit of honey, and the result was sweet, deep-fried, crunchy, cakey perfection.
Day/Way #11: Funky monkey sundae
I broke a slice of pound cake into chunks, popped them into a martini glass, then got down to some funky monkey business. Primarily, I went about caramelising half a banana:
- Slice banana into however many pieces of desired thickness.
- Have ready ½ tablespoon butter and about 2 tablespoons water (I just kept a glass nearby).
- Heat 2 teaspoons sugar in a non-stick pan on high, remembering to stir like crazy with a wooden spoon so the sugar doesn’t burn.
- As soon as the sugar begins to melt, add the butter and continue stirring till that’s all melted. This should only take a few seconds.
- Add the water, stir, then immediately add the caramel slices. Leave for about 45 seconds, after which the bottom should be nicely brown. Flip the slices and cook the other side till browned.
- Remove from heat, and add to the cocktail glass—slices, caramel syrup, and all.
After this, I topped my concoction with a few scoops of ice-cream—I used Häagen-Dazs cookies and cream. Finally, to completely funkify the monkey, I sprinkled a handful of peanuts before happily digging in.
Day/Way #12: Strawberries, cream, and cake
For my final slice of pound cake, I decided to do something ultra special—or, as ultra special as can be after my previous decadence. The idea came to me while I was playing on Duolingo, trying to learn some Dutch, and found myself really liking the word “aardbei”, which means “strawberry”. And how can you have strawberries without cream?
- Crumble the pound cake. I popped mine in some cling wrap and crushed it with my hands until they were crumbly, but still a little chunky. Place in a bowl.
- Slice about 5 or 6 strawberries into mostly small-ish pieces and about half a dozen bigger pieces. Set aside the larger bits.
- Put the smaller pieces into a bowl and smush with the back of a fork. The idea is to end up with crushed strawberries and a bit of strawberry juice in your bowl.
- Pour the strawberry juice into the pound cake bowl and mix until the cake has a pink tinge. At this point, you can add a bit of cream to the cake mixture if you so wish (I used double/heavy whipping cream).
- Leave both bowls for an hour or so for the flavour magic to work (I retreated my study to pump out a bit of my current PhD chapter). I added a few drops of balsamic vinegar to my crushed strawberries, but this is optional.
- After an hour or so, it’s time for the final steps, beginning with the whipped cream. You can use however much you like—the pound cake is going to be rich enough, especially if you decide to soak it in some cream—but I decided to use about ¼ cup double cream, 2 teaspoons cream cheese, ½ teaspoon sugar, and a dash of vanilla extract. I really enjoyed the salty dimension of the cream cheese, but I know it’s not everyone’s thing. Be careful not to overbeat.
- When you’re ready to assemble, scoop half the crumbled pound cake into a lowball glass (I used a whiskey tumbler because I didn’t plan on drinking any Scotch that evening). Flatten and smooth the cake by pressing it into the glass with the back of a teaspoon. Add half your whipped cream, once again smoothing it with the back of a spoon. Add half the strawberry mixture, and then continue to layer your glorious creation with the remaining ingredients. Finish with the crushed strawberries, and then top it with the half dozen sliced or quartered—but uncrushed—strawberries set aside earlier.
I took many, many photos of this variation because I loved the way it looked in the glass, but alas, my SD card couldn’t take all the awesome. But although I only have this single, grainy pic taken with my phone…well, I’ll let it speak for itself.
And with this, I’ve finally completed my pound cake project! I hope you’ve enjoyed these little ideas and recipes, and I’d love to hear from you if you decide to try out a variation or two (or twelve). I’m not entirely sure which culinary adventures I’ll document next, but in the meantime, I’m certainly enjoying my various experiments—including the weekly one-hour baking that’s crept into my schedule on Thursday mornings before work. There’s nothing like a batch of almost-weekend noms!