Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter, Here is a Pound Cake

I hope you all had a beautiful Easter, as we did here in Sag Harbor. Plenty of sunshine sparkling off the bay; the basement is drying out nicely after our little flood earlier in the week. I took the Middle-Eastern route with my dinner today: Yogurt-marinated butterflied leg of lamb, Greek salad, pita breads, and this sesame pound cake for dessert. The IGA had some blood oranges, so I made a little fruit salad (a quart of sliced strawberries, 3 blood oranges, juice from half a lime, and 2 tablespoons of honey) to go with. Here is the recipe:

Sesame Seed Pound Cake
Serves 10

You can buy unhulled sesame seeds at Provisions, where they also stock organic tahini.

4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup well-stirred tahini
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons sesame seeds

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter the inside of a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan and dust with flour.
2. Combine the eggs, vanilla, and sesame oil in a glass measuring cup and lightly beat. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
3. Cream together the butter, tahini, and sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high until fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the mixer on medium-high, add the egg mixture in a slow, steady stream until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice as necessary.
4. Add the flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time, with the mixer on low, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. When all of the flour mixture has been incorporated, beat on medium-high for 1 minutes. Beat in 1/4 cup sesame seeds on low.
5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons sesame seeds. Bake until the cake is golden brown and a tooghpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, invert it onto a wire rack, and then turn it right side up on a rack to cool completely. Serve immediately or wrap in plastic and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

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